Monday morning and I was back to work; well when I say back to work, I had a formal meeting with 2 of the bosses to investigate the legitimacy of the lost passport saga. I sat opposite them brazen as hell and put my game face on. I needed to keep the job for at least 3 months to facilitate me going back to Turkey. I desperately wanted to tell them to stick their makey-up job but I bit my cheek and looked contrite. I surprised myself with the web of lies that I so easily spun about red-tape and rampant crime on the streets of Kusadasi. A number of times I pulled at my sleeves to conceal my golden tan and pushed my new leather jacket deeper into my fake fendi handbag. Tears came easy as I missed my gorgeous new fella and I channeled them and my male bosses were uncomfortable and sent me back to work (I may have mentioned periods to bring the meeting to a swift close). It was not my finest hour but I had a plan and nobody was going to stop me.
Yvonne however didn’t fare as well, she had too much pride to throw raw emotion around willy nilly and she got demoted. I can’t explain the ins and outs of the business in a few sentences, another post for the blog at another time.
We cheered ourselves up by booking flights for the end of August and began the difficult task of making money while clearing all the credit card debt our 3 month sabbatical had inflicted. I got an evening job waitressing in a hotel at the airport and would take a bus straight from my office in town to the hotel. This was 2003 and there was no skype or viber and I made ALOT of long distance phone calls to Turkey. I would open wine and talk to him, hanging up only to pee and then ring again and we would do the “no you hang up” thing for ages… somebody should’ve bloody hung up because my phone bill for that month was €600! All that hard work, for nothing so I called him a few times to cry over the bill and incurred a second €600 phonebill.
My job in the office had become unbearable and I would take out a little Hello Kitty diary I had and count how many days till I could hand in my notice.. the day came and it was a relief for all of us and I skipped down the quays giddy with happiness.
My family thought I’d lost the plot but could see by the Turkish flag on my bed and my shrine of photos on the wall that I had this as bad as the great Take That obsession of 1994 or the Corey Haim one of 1987. They know me well enough to stand back when I am in the grip of maniacal love. I‘m beginning to sound like a stalker/ serial killer so I probably shouldn’t tell you about the portrait I painted of Ossie and posted to him with some cadbury’s creme eggs that had an enroute melting disaster and made the painting appear as if I’d smeared shit on it…like a Tracey Emin installation.
The flight to Turkey was a blur of excitement and preparation. Ossie had to work and couldn’t meet me till that evening. We had a house rented along with another girl and I was planning to shower, put on some makeup and get out of my sweaty plane clothes but as the taxi pulled up there he was holding a huge bunch of roses (my least favourite flower but I had all the time in the world to mould him into perfection…note to self..I may in fact be a sociopath). I squealed and ran into his arms and we did the spin around thing again while Yvonne turned her back and had a fag. I’m still not sure how but I managed to stay 3 months on a shoestring and a maxed out credit card. The others left early and I got to keep house for a few weeks. I had to book the cheapest route home which involved a 10 hour bus journey to Istanbul followed by a flight to Prague and then a connecting one to Dublin. There had been a bomb recently in Istanbul so Ossie came on the bus with me. I slept most of the way on his shoulder, saturating him with my sobbing; but I was home in Dublin hours before he got back to Kusadasi. He said he kept waking on the journey home and reaching to check on me but I was gone… this still gets me right in the feels. I took to my bed/ shrine for a few days and had a regroup… I was going to go live in Turkey but I needed a job, international phone cards and a gym membership. I was going to arrive there next time like an absolute babe.
Ossie didn’t give a shit, in fact he likes me curvy but I needed a goal and possibly somewhere to direct a bit of pent-up physicality. I got a temporary job in Boots (I’m still there ha) and joined a gym on O’Connell St. I finished work everyday at 4 and would spend and hour at the gym with my headphones on, repeating turkish phrases. I tried a few classes but I have no sense of rhythm or direction and when an aerobics instructor showed concern at the end of a class and implied that I had special needs, I thought it best to stick to my own workout, in a dim corner, far from other humans.I have never before or since had such willpower and it paid off, by new year I was completely toned and could say hello, goodbye and thanks (bit slow on languages).
To be continued