Goodbye Maramara dog. Goodbye simit man
In the last week I have lost two very important parts of my morning routine and my life.
Every morning on my way to the metro I pass the Marmara hotel. There are stray dogs all over our neighborhood. In fact one even sometimes sneaks into our apartment building and sleeps outside our door. So, it was quite strange that at the end of Istiklal street, by the Marmara hotel, there was a dog that lived outdoors but had his own dog house.
Feraz and I used to joke that he was the only dog in Istanbul who had a dog house. So whenever we were coming or going, we would see our little friend. We grew quite fond of him. The only problem was that he looked like the saddest, most sorry thing you ever saw. It was clear that he was in a bad state.
But still I was shocked to pass it the other day and see a girl my age standing in front of the dog house, looking as if she was holding back tears. I looked up to see the dog house, but it was different now. There was a large flowered wreath hanging on it, marking the name and date of the dog’s life.
For tourists, visitors and people who saw him everyday, he was a constant. Even the taxi drivers commented on his passing away. I will miss seeing his little face every day, but I am happy his pain is over and I hope that he is in doggy heaven and one day I can play with him. (Assuming doggy heaven is like regular heaven, I don’t want to be stuck alone with all the doggies 🙁 )
I passed the doggie going into the metro and when I would come out of the metro I would be greeted by the simit man.
The first time I saw him I knew he didn’t belong to this life. This life of selling bread on the side of the street. With his long slicked hair, his button down shirt and his worldly air, he either belonged at a club or somewhere making and breaking lives. No, the simit life was never for him. But still, he sold those simit. Every morning, he waited by his simit cart looking as melancholy as you would expect a man of Istanbul to look. I always wanted to say hello, to start a comrardery so that somehow he could know that I knew.
But in those first weeks when I felt somehow lost in Istanbul, I found comfort in him. He too was a stranger, even if he had lived in Istanbul his whole life. So, I came to value him, to look forward to seeing him in the morning. Even when I would forget about him, there he would be, to remind me of how far I was coming along, to show me how I was changing as he continued his crusade of selling simits.
As suddenly as he came into my life, he disappeared. There is a new simit man now. He inspires nothing in me. He is short and seems too aware. I always see friends coming to visit him. There is not an ounce of melancholy in him. I wonder if they are brothers or cousins. If I should approach him and ask him about the old simit man. Did they have a simit war one night and this new shorty was the victor? I have soo many questions. But I don’t want answers. Instead, I like to think my simit man has found his club. He has found the lives he has to break. I am so proud of him.