an excerpt from my humorous travel
Sun, Strong Tea. (The
previous episode is The
Bile Green Color Wasn't Even the
Worst of It.)
We leaned against the heavy marble
balustrade by the Baghdad Kiosk in Istanbul's Topkapi
Palace, gazing out at the city
of the sultans and across the Golden
Horn to the Bosphorus beyond.
The sultans themselves had relaxed
here in the kiosks with their chosen
consorts, reclining on the brocade
sofas, listening to the women play
and sing, watching their mesmerizing
Jane's eyes filled with tears.
"I have something to say."
After a long silence I responded "So
"We're not happy together anymore," she
" I think we should separate."
I took her in my arms and we held
one another tightly, tightly, for a
"It's such a relief to have said it.
I can't imagine it, but I think it's
best," I said.
"Yes." She paused. Then, "I still
"I still love you," I said. "But
you're right. We're not happy. You
need something different, maybe somebody
different. If you need to leave, I'll
let you. We should at least try it."
Each of us felt exultant relief. We
had been well and happily married for
ten years, but a beast had been gnawing
at our hearts for the past two years.
Now it was finally acknowledged, and
the weight lifted from our shoulders.
We knew it would be difficult and
painful to live apart after a decade
of affection, passion, storm and strife,
but we had taken the first step. Having
done that, we now had a chance at something
better. We had a future again. It might
hold pain and suffering or it might
hold promise and joy, but the simple
prospect of future joy was better than
what do we do now?" she asked,
half-sobbing, half-laughing. "Here
we are in Istanbul about
to go on a trek through Eastern
Turkey, and we've decided to break
up. What do we do?"
"We go on our trip. We break
up later. When it's convenient."
We both laughed through our tears
and held each other tightly again,
tightly, holding on for dear life.
How could we let go? We laughed and
cried, tears of sadness and relief
pouring from us both in a cathartic
Tourists eyed us warilyuh-oh,
something going on there! They
slipped past us into the kiosk
carefully, willing themselves to
Nothing was easier than for us to
be togetheras long as we both
saw the possibility of change in the
future. The recent past had been a
heavy train leading us inevitably toward
the crash of heartbreak. Better to
jump off, take the bruise, and find
some other way forward.
here to order an autographed
copy of the book online with
credit card or PayPal.
from Turkey: Bright Sun, Strong
Tea copyright © 2004 by
Tom Brosnahan. All rights reserved.)
(We did take the trip: see Eastern
Excerpts from Bright Sun,
Sun, Strong Tea Photo
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