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Leaving Tucson by bayripley
21/05/2013, 00:00
Filed under: life, the city | Tags: , , , , , ,

Loft and Rocky horror

I have so much to do before I leave but I will take a moment to list some things I want to remember about Tucson. Let me tell you what Tucson did to me.

I grew up a lot in Tucson. Especially professionally. I had a certain plan about my future, and nothing turned out as planned. So, besides everything else, I once again realized the inconsistency hidden inside every plan. I came here to spend five years and get a PhD. I rather spent three years, got a master’s, and now I am moving to New York City for my PhD.

UoA

I paired up with mind-blowing professors and thinkers. I translated a novel with one of them, while I learnt a lot about my research with the other. I started learning how to research, analyze, argue, and write from scratch. They were amazing guides all along. I cannot think of a professional future without any one of the two.

I experienced the harshest of work politics, as well as friends’ support, and past-friends’ treason. Again. I have learnt how to turn everything into a learning experience, not to hold grudge, and get things done no matter what. Again. I thought Galatasaray University’s academic and social environment had taught me all. Apparently, they had only prepared me for worse.

Luce

I discovered friendship and its various forms. I made two BFFs at first sight; I saw how a high school friend turned into a partner in crime; I became a colorful figure on a multinational canvas with big words written on it. I also sadly witnessed how past-friends jumped off the ship when I was out of sight. My new life was full of such wonderful people or their wonderful versions, I really didn’t care a second as bad things happened. Life was hashtagging snapshots of my life with “#zerof*cksgiven.”

I fell in and out of love; broke some hearts and bones. I loved, left, returned, left again, but mostly wandered in the grey area between heart-shaped boxes and bed. I got addicted to the excitement of not knowing what will happen in the end. My love life in Tucson was a Tucsonan July. You knew it would rain, but you never know when and how much it would.

Flying

I became someone else. If you don’t believe in that, look at my left arm. You’ll know what I mean.

Now Tucson’s time is up. I know I will return one day for a brief visit. I’ll collect memories from the rapidly gentrifying downtown, and reflect on them whilst walking on 4th avenue. I’ll probably stop by Plush. You know I don’t like Sky Bar. I actually hate it.

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Tucson, rain, and love. by bayripley
09/11/2012, 04:40
Filed under: the city | Tags: , , , , , ,

I wrote before what can happen when rain falls on this city. Today, the day that started with a great promise, it happened again. It rained in Tucson, and I found something else in life.

I have been reading Susan Miller, a famous astrologist, for the last three years. I knew she was great in describing which signs match well with each other, but I had no idea how foreseeing her monthly forecasts were. Many times, I found myself in awe at the end of a month as I reread her forecast. She knew exactly what would happen that month. When I shared my experiences of Miller with friends in Turkey, I recruited a great deal of fans. In America, the reaction was different, though. Although most of my American friends didn’t really know what “Enlightenment” or “Cartesian thought” meant, they were perfect examples of them, in a way. At least when they encountered Astrology, their smirk signaled their latent ridicule.

This month, Susan wrote that I would find the long expected love today, on November 8. Because Saturn was in the house of love for my sign, the last two years have been hell for my heart. She called this period, the time of learning. I will say she was right. I don’t remember an undisturbed moment of love for the last three years. There were moments when I said, “Yes, this is it! This is the love I have been waiting for all my life” And they were immediately followed by a disenchanting moment. (The zenith was waking up from an evening full of love in Istanbul, feeling how much I was loved, and before having my coffee, receiving an email of acceptance to the University of Arizona.) I learned a lot in the last three years, with lots of mistakes, and tears.

But November 8 was supposed to be the end of it, she said. Miller had written that October was the month in which love reemerged in my life. But she precisely said November 8 was the date I would find the love for which I have been shivering with anticipation.

I went to school. No sign of love. I went to classes. No sign, again. I came home, nothing on the road. I went to bed alone and fell asleep around 4pm in the afternoon, instead of falling in love and going to bed with my “lover.” (Please read the last word with Carrie Bradshaw’s tone when she described Petrovsky to others for the first time.) I woke up, totally devastated, and went for a run.

I got out of my apartment, ran towards the campus, and then took a northbound turn on my favorite street in Tucson, Mountain Avenue. I was in my usual pace, thinking how Tucson hell has been cooling down lately, and what a great running companion Santigold is. I had forgotten about the failed prophecy of Miller, and another day without me finding love. Then, bam. It started raining.

All of a sudden, the amazing scent of the rain and soil’s love filled my nostrils. In every step, I was getting a different scent. With one step, I remembered how I used to wander in the garden of my grandmother’s summerhouse after she watered the geraniums and four o’clocks. With another, I remembered how my best childhood friend went frantic after I articulated my love for the smell of earth after rain. She was so alarmed that she immediately warned me that I was never supposed to say that, as it could mean one’s desire to die, given the ritual of watering the grave after burial. With one more step, I remembered all those rainy Istanbul afternoons where I found myself at the stairs of Galatasaray University, looking at the Bosporus, with a similar scent around and myriad of thoughts about love and friendship, or both, in my mind. The last chunk of memories was a complicated –and drunk- one, covering our outings at a bar, which played Turkish Pop from the 1970s and 1980s. All those moments were pure happiness, though very heterogeneous in nature.

The rain got faster, and I ran home faster than usual. As I ran, I thought maybe the rain was supposed to me the love of my life. It connected me with my past life, it made me very happy, and it is actually rare in Tucson. What would one look for more in a love?

When I arrived home, I realized that I didn’t need to fall in love with my Proustian madeleine to prove an astrologist correct in life. I know one day I will find love, either while running apace or lazily laying on my couch. If it is real love, it won’t matter.