Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
Granted, it was a small sample, but from the Turkish TV dramas I’d watched in passive attempts to learn the language, all of the blonde women were evil. Friends in Istanbul called me Caroline, which I interpreted as a sort of odd pop culture compliment, until I learned that in this particular series, Caroline was a German vixen who stole a Turkish man from his wife and five children. Later in the show, the wife met Caroline in the street and stabbed her. I briefly considered life as a brunette.
One afternoon, I stopped at Taksim Square to sit, take notes, attempt to collect the pieces of that day. A stray dog spotted me, circled me, and rested nearby. I tried various English and Turkish words to encourage him into depart–to no avail. He only came closer and made himself at home against my boot.
Tourists paused from placing their children into circles of pigeons while armed with cups of birdseed. Instead, they snapped pictures of the resting blondes. I tried to look faraway and at ease, mimicking the dog. I remembered why this moment felt familiar. My new Turkish companion resembled to a dog I’d met before.
Two years prior, I went through Tivat, Montenegro. It was hard to sleep when serving as a feast for mosquitoes, so I embraced an early morning and fled my unsavory hostel for a walk near the water. I reached the boardwalk and watched an old man go to the edge, take off his shirt and shoes, and leap into the sea.
A blonde stray dog crossed my path. I tried to ignore him, but he was also coy and let me lead. I stopped at a bench, staring over the water, reminding myself to savor the morning and all of its details. The new friend hung out as well, just passing time in my vicinity.
A pack of six or seven massive strays came rushing down the waterfront. They were largely menacing in their number, their speed, and in the fact that other than the man in the sea, I was completely alone. I briefly lamented my childhood pets–outdoor cats, a bunny, a retired pony. Perhaps people raised with pups wouldn’t have panicked the approaching dogmob. Yet, the blonde one who adopted me stood, sniffed, marched a few paces away, and barked. He barked not with ferocity, but with an apparent sort of doggish authority.
The other pack grew attentive. They stopped short and waited. When Ol’ Blondie held firm they turned together and rushed in the opposite direction. My dog returned, marching around me with pride and coming to rest at my feet. I shared the meat from my sandwich and promised that, along with the details of the morning, I would not to forget him.
To the beauty of being protected–