With crumbles of fried chicken on our plates and drizzles of orange juice forming a mess, my friend and I sat restfully on the dinner table, with two mellowed and dropped off stomachs. On the edge was a cup of Turkish coffee, sipped till the end, leaving a bottom layer of charcoal black finely ground coffee beans.
My finger slid through the darkness of the cup, extending rivers, alleys and hills, usually interpreted by fortunetellers. Shortly after, I had all five fingers caught in an espresso sized coffee cup. My friend and I engaged in recreating the moment, so from simply experiencing the texture of thinly grounded soft beans, to a facial makeover recipe.
Light bulbs kept glowing, and in no time, we had prepared an eye shadow for finishing touches while our fingers raced to paint every inch in black. We stood in front of the mirror, and I could see my skin transforming visibly, yet from inside, who am I, but me? I closed my eyes to sensations of spongy-circled movements that escalated from my chin, up sideways covering those pink cheeks spot by spot, cell-by-cell and freckle-by-freckle, wrapping the eyes and dipping the nose, in Turkish coffee. The smell of boiled coffee glued to my skin and my face was as firm as a sculpture. Only one thought could be spoken: “if I walked into Starbucks, people would definitely assume I was freshly baked coffee beans.”
We sneaked into my room to build a climax to our show. I wore my black abaya*, covered my neck with a scarf and wrapped my hair with a flowery bandana. We went down the stairs, opened the front door, all ready for an act.
“Ding dong.. Ding dong”, my sister opened the door, and with a mouth widely open, I could see her tonsils, and a scream so sharp, a 9 year old had pierced my ears. I carried myself into the house, back bent half way, a crutch keeping me from falling, and a voice so thin, I begged her: “It is the month of Ramadan, the month of giving, a month for the poor. Give to the poor, so your home would transform into a castle”.
It was dark; and my sister’s mouth still open wide; she turned around herself in circles, and then looked back at me. She took a closer look, but as they always say, don’t make eye contact when you’re lying, because my eyes had who I am written all over them.
“Sister?” she said. “Who’s sister? I stuttered, with stumbling lips, I pushed the smile inwards. No use, we fell on the ground laughing. My friend appeared from behind the stairs having it all recorded, in our minds, hearts, and smiles. * Abaya, Female gown that usually comes in black or other colors and that are traditionally worn in public.