Remember that thrilling moment from Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark music video when he struts and shakes over to the edge of the stage in his tight jeans and then invites Courteney Cox up onstage to dance? Of course you remember. I mean, who could forget a scene like that? If you’re anything like me, you watched that video as a tween girl, and imagined the budding courtship between the boss and Courteney to be on par romantically with Prince Eric taking Ariel on a boat ride in a dreamy lagoon and being serenaded by a Jamaican lobster. (The Little Mermaid.) The only time I’ve ever been pulled up on stage was at a Gallagher show when I was a kid. Somewhere in my mom’s collection of family photos is one of eight-year-old me, wide-eyed and visibly shaken, covered in watermelon goo, with a glob of peanut butter stuck on my face like a leech.
The reason I bring up Bruce Springsteen is because today I met a man, a Washingtonian with a Maine accent, who looks like Bruce Springsteen. He was at my school, doing some work arranging for our students to take part in overseas community service field trips and so I talked to him on the bus ride home. He told me he needed to get to Galata Tower and I agreed to take him. Istanbul is chaotic and confusing and I needed an excuse to venture out of my mouse hole.
By accompanying Bruce Springsteen’s doppelganger on the ferry over to Eminonu and then to Karakoy, I realized I was breaking my own safety precautions. I had told myself to hide out in my apartment until either a.) I leave Turkey, or b.) Turkey suddenly stabilizes. These touristy places are more likely to get bombed, but at the same time, there is comfort in seeing more liberal people, at least judging by the way they dress. It’s comfort at the price of comfort, which is kind of messed up.
The boss and I had a good conversation about travel (he highly recommends Jordan), social progress and the craziness of the world.
When we parted ways, I walked up to Istiklal for old time’s sake, to enjoy a glass of wine and some people-watching. I needed ink for my drawings, so I stopped in a lovely calligraphy store and bought a fancy dip pen and some inkwells. The economy has been hit hard by the collapse of the tourism industry, so I felt good about supporting a lovely small business.
Before descending into the metro (another safety precaution I broke today), I browsed some used books for sale and stumbled upon a bilingual book of Eminem song lyrics. With Turkish on one side and English on the other, I can now sing, “Lose Yourself,” in Turkish. Video coming soon! Check my youtube channel! J
Actually, the book is a gift for my friend Kelley, who is in love with Eminem and wants to marry him. I honestly don’t know what she sees in him. Doesn’t Kelley know Bruce Springsteen is the better choice?