Look at my eyes!

Sadaf entered Lara’s room with two cups of coffee.

“I’m wasted, Sadaf. Both Japan and China were too much in one day. Look at my eyes!”

She made her eyes slant.

“Hahaha, Lara! Try as you like, you can’t make yourself look Asian without making those huge eyes smaller. I know the Japanese garden is nice, but what’s up with China Town?”

Lara answered without thinking: “Myself! Do you know, I’m an alien in this city, and so is China Town. But we are both world citizens.”

“Feeling like a stranger makes you feel better? How?”

“Yes, I don’t feel so alone!”

“Right, but there are lots of foreign people living in this city. Look at me, I’m originally Pakistani.”

She sucked her lips into her mouth. She always did this; it was a nervous twitch. Once Lara had thought she did this because she was ashamed of what she had said and thought she probably shouldn’t keep speaking.

Lara pulled Sadaf’s ponytail.

“That’s why I’m staying with you, to feel my difference more.”

Sadaf was used to Lara’s jokes, but still she screamed.

“Oh, don’t!” Sadaf sat beside Lara and prepared to ask her something. “Why do you feel better by being different, foreign and—what did you call it? —a loner?”

“It doesn’t make me feel better, Sadaf, but it makes me more me. Think about it: I came here from overseas. I’m far away from my country, yet close to me. You can’t see what’s very close to your eyes, right?”

Sadaf tried to look as though she understood.

“Can you see a beautiful painting when you put your face against it? It’s like that. Getting away from myself made me closer to me. Never mind, I’m feeling deep and talking nonsense.”

Sadaf felt sorry for Lara, then realized she was late. While Lara was putting the dishes from the night before into the dishwasher, Sadaf prepared to leave the house.

“Don’t be sad, Lara, I’ll pray for you!”

“Thanks,” Lara said and came to the door with the towel in her hand. “Take care”

Lara closed the door. She realized that she hadn’t prayed for a long time, or maybe the time felt longer because she didn’t pray. She had lots of reasons to pray, but she had just given up. She needed to go and apologize by praying.

She put on some music, needing an outside sound or she would have had to listen to her conscience. It was talking to her, but she decided to turn a deaf ear.

You are without HOME or YOU are HOME.



“I know what it is like to live in a house, but you have no idea about living on the streets. That’s why the topic is so strange to you. Don’t tell me that you did camp or stayed in the mountains. Staying on the streets of a city is way harder than staying in nature. Why am I on the streets? Not because I have no home, but because I accept the streets as my home. This is my own choice: my home is my street. You may not believe it, but I am happy this way.”

He answered everyone’s questions as if reading their minds. Instead of telling his story, he was following a path of unanswered questions.

“You may think of us as alcoholics, uneducated and useless. This is quite wrong. There are some homeless who used to rank very highly in society, then they lost everything. Some do not even call themselves homeless. As for me, I can’t deny I have drunk a lot. I have also been involved in bodily injury and robbery cases. I was in prison for a while, for a short time did drugs. However I managed to free myself from the things that made me dependent.

“Hey, you! The one with the glasses sitting in the middle—yes, the one asking ‘Me?’ Do you know that it is not the same for you to open a pizza box as it is for me? You only open a box, while I open a treasure chest.

“Some of you call us ‘shadow people’. You are real and we are just your shadows. Really? You are very wrong. I’m homeless and I’m aware of that. I’m here with all my awareness. You have homes, but you remain homeless and you die without even realizing it. What about it? If you don’t know which street your doors open onto, you are the real shadow people. Homelessness without awareness is much more dangerous, believe it or not.

“We are known, accepted. We are who we are. We don’t have a roof above our heads, but what about your upside down roofs, relationships and worlds? Who can call them home? We are the residents of the streets, but you do not even belong to the streets because you have closed your doors on both sides. You are stuck between the inside and outside; you live in emptiness.

“I am homeless, right? And I am well aware of that, but you? Where is your home? I am the visible homeless, you are the invisible ones. That is the difference between us. You are the real homeless, not me. Now please, you, namely the real homeless people, come to the stage as I’m going home.”

He left the microphone and took a scroll from his belt. It was a yellow rag and the words were black. While he held it up to the audience, they tried to read what was written on it.

You are without HOME or YOU are HOME.

Treasure Island: The Season of the Heart




The universe would be the color of a person’s heart. When one sees the universe with their heart, it would be black, white or rainbow colored.

Cihan could see his actions reflected in the outer world. Sometimes they were good, and sometimes they were bad; sometimes they caused joy, other times sorrow. However he couldn’t see his actions in his soul’s mirror. When he complained about the storms inside him, it was he who was unaware of them. Was there really a storm?

The steel rope between his feelings and thoughts became a thin cotton one. His head and heart couldn’t connect and swim in the swallow water. A strong wind made his heart a mess. He had to wear lots of things to warm it, but they were not enough. He had a hole inside and the cold was coming through it. He wouldn’t be able to get warm as long as his heart was cold.

Cihan was worried. He cared and was interested in his heart, and as a result it became heavy. How could he perish under his own organ? How could the source of his life crush his head? He would have no escape other than to have a heart attack maybe. Would his heart riot against his body in this way?

Cihan was terrified of breaking hearts, but this caused him to break his own heart a hundred times. His body made excuses to do things its own way. His soul disobeyed its owner and lied about its own history.

There were some hearts that couldn’t reach themselves and hear their own voices. When the emptiness echoed, they thought they had their answers. When they thought they were in the depths of pleasure, they were pushed back to their gardens.

Alcatraz: The White Shirt with Five Holes

Lara realized that the white shirt she had wanted for two weeks
was an absurd enthusiasm. This waiting made her forget to be
happy. She had waited to buy it and now she had to wait to get rid
of it. She didn’t know where it was. Actually, what she didn’t know
was how to look for it.
There were lots of white shirts falling down from the sky, looking
like parachutes. They appeared every morning and fell down
to the ground with an invisible robe. The white shirts represented
purity, cleanliness and freshness. The day was new. It was exciting
that every living creature got to wear them. The new day was hot
bread just out of the oven. A new and spotless twenty-four hours
were in front of anyone with a white shirt.
The owners of these white shirts realized the shirts had five
holes by the end of the day. Their souls were full of holes and they
added five more each day. They knew how to patch things up, but
they couldn’t handle the holes in their shirts.
Every day this attack was repeated and the holes passed through
to the souls. The emptiness caused by them

teen show


Teen Show

“Nicole, we have heard your story and watched your video. Now it’s your turn to talk. Are you ready to talk with your mother?”

“Yes,” answered Nicole without thinking.

There was loud applause in the studio. People were screaming her name when the tension music started. There was also the sound of a telephone, dialing her mother.

Diiiiitt diiiiit diiiiitt!

Nicole decided there were two less things for her to do now: putting on makeup and calling her mother.

“Hi, Rose, we are calling you from Teen Show. You’re on the air. How are you?”

“I’m well, but I don’t understand why you’ve called me. Is it a wrong number?”

“No, madam. Your daughter Nicole is with us and she wants to tell you something. Will you please listen to her?”

“Hmm…Okay, I’m listening.”

All the eyes, cameras and lights were on Nicole.

“Mom, I’m pregnant!”

She confessed in one breath as if she had stayed underwater too long and needed to breathe as soon as she surfaced.

There were thunders of applause in the studio, but Nicole couldn’t understand what they were celebrating—her being pregnant at a young age or having the courage to confess it on the TV.

Rose was speechless. There was only the sound of her breathing. Nicole began crying.

“Hey, Rose, are you there?” the presenter asked.

“Yes, I am.”

“Do you want to talk with your daughter?”

“Yes. Nicole, who is the father?”



“And I have told you not to have sex without protection. You know the cookie jar in the kitchen?”

“Wait a minute, what is this cookie jar?”

“Well, my mom puts condoms in the cookie jar in the kitchen.”

“An interesting method.”

“I’m sorry, Mom!” Nicole was playing with the napkin in her hand.

“Are you sorry? That doesn’t alter the fact you are having a baby.”

Nicole was now crying on the shoulder of the presenter. Some people in the audience were also crying, their mascara running. Nicole realized why the short woman hadn’t put mascara on her eyes: she must have known everybody here would cry and the audience wouldn’t like looking at black eyes.

“Won’t you help her, Rose? She is very sad and she’s your daughter.”

“No, never. Good luck, Nicole! Find yourself a place to stay!”

Rose hung up. Nicole knew what was coming; she felt a déjà vu. The assistant came in the commercial break and helped her to leave the studio. She was so gentle as if she was treating an old lady, and Nicole was feeling old at that moment.

An African-American girl was on next. Nicole wanted to warn her not to go on, but decided not to. Maybe her mom would forgive her.

“Mom, didn’t you get pregnant at a young age? I don’t even know my father. You went through the same things as me and you told me your story. Our destiny is the same, Mom, so why do you condemn me? Or is this your own punishment?”

Nicole was only able to say these words in her mind. She was a homeless mother now, a homeless home for her baby.


Zeynep Guvenc, HOMELESS


Angel Island 

Angel Island: The Surgery of Oneself
Cihan was in the surgery room of the soul as he was planning to cut out everything ugly and bad. He lay himself down on a big stretcher, turning the white lights on to see everything better. He was as hungry as the wolf in the ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ story. He had to release himself from unreasonable dreams, bad ideas and bad acts, then ultimately he would become an angel.
Cihan lay his body down on the stretcher and scratched his eyes out to stop them from taking a fancy to the beautiful ones. It was time to cut off his ears so as not to hear tempting offers. He then cut out his tongue so as not to say anything bad. After breaking his nose to purify himself from bad smells, he cut his hands so he couldn’t press the red button.
The door of the Imperial Suite in his body palace was locked. It was hard to enter his heart. He had pulled everything out and assumed he would be lighter now, but all beauty had left him as it couldn’t be seen where there was no ugliness.
Becoming an angel was not possible for a human.
“Why has the beauty left? I did everything to make her to stay with me.”
It was not possible to exist without your opposite. Good was only good when compared to bad. There would be no good deeds without sin. Beautiful was not beautiful when nothing was ugly.
To open those doors, you had to turn what you had into goodness and beauty.


The Japanese Tea Garden. 

Lara was passing through the Japanese Tea Garden. The color of the flowers gave her a new sense. Beauty was to be aware of your own culture in another culture’s garden. The purpose of her visit was to drink some green tea and smell the bergamot and taste the jasmine.

Passing through the small temples, she had to squint due to the flashes of the cameras. She watched the fish in the water from the small wooden bridges. The roads were going up; bridges in all cultures are about to going up. The differences build new gardens in our minds. We put other colors and smells to what we had already have. Gardens make us regard our cities from a higher place, adding soils and putting new ideas in our own homes .

Lara was watching a Japanese show in America. The taste of their tea was completely different than the tea she had been drinking for years. The difference was nice. It was worth going to the other side of the world and exploring herself. Not only her viewpoint but her whole being changed with the tea she was drinking.