The Autobiography of a Turkish Girl


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“I wondered what to write. The cuckoo clock which hung under the coloured picture of the Virgin on the wall went on ticking, but I procrastinated. I loosened the ribbon round my head, and began to let my hair fall slowly over my eyes. Holding my pen in my mouth with one hand, I kept biting it and turning it round and round between my teeth. When philosophers and poets write, they have strange habits like scratching their noses and pulling the skin of their chins; the fact that I was biting my pen and letting my hair fall over my eyes was a sign that I was plunged deep in thought. Mercifully my periods of thinking were rare: because otherwise I should have preserved a continual appearance of dishevelled locks, like the well-known witch of the fairy tales.
Years have passed since those days, and now, as I begin—in a strange town, in the bedroom of a strange hotel, simply as a defence against the loneliness of a night that seems unending—to record my memories, one hand is pulling at my hair again in the manner of a small child, and trying to make it come down over my eyes. As to the reason for this, it seems to me that I am still a child—a light-minded and inattentive child, all too easily carried away by the life going on around her. Certainly, in times of stress, in order to be left alone with myself and my own thoughts, I used to try to draw a curtain with my hair between myself and the world. As for turning my pen-holder round and round in my mouth like a meat-skewer, I really haven’t solved that mystery. All I do know is, that at a period when I was beginning to look like a young lady, and yet had lips never free of ink-stains, I presented myself one day before someone who had come to visit me at school, looking as though I had on a painted moustache, and was thoroughly ashamed of myself in consequence...”
Turkish classic airing now on Netflix as TV show “Lovebird”

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