It’s about 3 a.m., the wind is blowing fiercely outside. I can hear the ocean from here – even though it is across the street. The waves are crashing on the sea wall. It is a comforting moment to feel the warmth of my bed, the wind railing over the head – and most importantly – on the other side of the roof. I feel the warmth of my dog on my feet and remember that I am visiting Provincetown on Cape Cod without M. to do some business later today. I feel relaxed, as, after all, I have made it through my tenure hearing. And then I remember all of the work that I have to do to get ready for the semester. And then I hear the crash. It makes my heart lurch in that “is this finally a heart attack” kind of way…
The dog jumps up off of my feet and starts to bark.
Karagöz is fomenting riot.
Yehuda Rebbe is trying to get his yarmulke on straight in case we have to evacuate.
Hacivad Bey is remaining calm, but looking around furtively
Esma is trying to calm the chorus of dancing lady puppets who are tumbling out of the purse.
Kenne the Queen of manners and maintained order is reading the evacuation plan out loud to no avail – she is calling for the ladies to don their robe-du-chambres so that they will be able to maintain their honor in the middle of the night.
Zenne the nervous nellie is literally a bowl of jelly.
Mercan Bey is gathering up his spice stash so that he does not lose his livelihood.
Generally, the entire troupe of puppets are in a jumble – screaming and pushing eachother to get out of the house (they think it is another earthquake – even though they are far from Turkey these days, they are still connected by a spirit thread to their homeland, and feel the pain of winter in Van this year after the earthquake).
Bebe Ruhi is strangely quiet, this usual questionner, but soon he poses a question – “do you think SOMEBODY caused that crash to get our attention?”
And I stop and think, as my brain catches up with my adrenalin in the deep dark night light and soon they, and I, and the dog, realize that this is not an earthquake, and it is not a crash from the wind in the attic – it is – well – it is SHE.
Who is SHE you may ask?
SHE is the writeamatrix – the intoxicating academic whipcracker who has been on vacation in the Tierra del Fuego conducting research about the hardships of Magellan’s voyage and how these might be applied to torturing me into producing more scholarship.
She has entered the house through the kitchen vent in the roof. I later learn that she blew in from Provincetown harbor and directly into the attic – using her magically strong whip to push the removable panel in the closet onto the floor, thus the crash.
And then the whip began cracking on the floor, and cracking, and cracking louder and louder until she worked her tiny self through the closet, into the living room and up into my bed.
“Hacıyatmaz, you had better get your roly-poly self out of the way. I don’t want to hear one squeak from you. Enough of this ‘creative writing’ crap that you encourage m’lady to engage in. From here on out you are not m’lady anymore, you are slackerific to me, nameless and worthless. As I have just returned from vacation, I will have mercy on your slackerific self. You may sleep until sunrise, at 7:03 a.m. You may then get up and walk the dog – return and make a to-do list. You will eat breakfast and make your work with your contractor and CAD designing as fast as possible. I will not tolerate long, dawdles on this front. There will be no beach visit with the dog in the afternoon. You will go STRAIGHT to work. You will not go home until you have produced the final syllabus for Spring 2012 and finished that manuscript on suicidal foster youth (so much for M.’s hope that I might move towards “happiness studies” in the posts-tenure phase). Got it? I want to hear nothing more about Rumi and writing and likening that to tripe-washing.” She glowed in the dark in a creepy way – she is, you see, made out of glow-in-the-dark dominoes, representing something about the quantitative data analysis I do as part of my academic work (e.g. numbers). Her weird domino skin is akin to the artwork of David Machs (see this link)
Meekly, I mustered a “yes, miss, I mean, Miss Writeamatrix, I will do it.” My heart raced until my dog came and curled up next to me, making an M. replacement, and eventually his warmth lulled me back to sleep, until 7:02 a.m. when the little chorus of dancing ladies made a chain from the kitchen to the bedroom and delivered a glass of çay to me, just in the nick of time. She’s back…but I have a feeling she is going to be in for a run for her money (and her whip) as Esma is eyeing her with a great deal of defiant skepticism. Instead of roses and jasmine flowers exuding from her ears (which happens when she is happy), she is shooting out sharp, tropical ginger flowers and birds of paradise. She’s not messing around either, this little hippie poet. Hold your horses ladies and gents, we’re in for a hippie-writeamatrix battle.
- A globalized, but quiet dinner in Provincetown as the Karagöz puppets state their resolutions for the new year… (slowly-by-slowly.com)
- Back to life, back to reality: On Rumi, writing and tripe (yes, tripe) (slowly-by-slowly.com)
- Writamatrix and Hacıyatmaz: On the rote hard labor and love of writing (slowly-by-slowly.com)
- The Karagöz Puppets Attend a Tenure Hearing (slowly-by-slowly.com)
- Provincetown in Winter (metaboston.com)
- On the 2nd day of Christmas: Meet Bebe Ruhi, a Karagöz puppet with Dwarfism and a whole lotta goof (slowly-by-slowly.com)
- Kenne and Zenne keep me up all night (slowly-by-slowly.com)