Grace, Ben, and the ducks

7 AM on Saturday.

 It was another Saturday morning and as usual, the sky is blue, the sun is high and it’s so humid when you walk outside the lenses on your glasses get steamy.

Ben jumped on the bed and licked Grace’s face. He needed to go out for a walk before she is ready to leave for work.

“Get off me!” Grace yelled at Ben. He put his little head down and whimpered.

Grace stared at him and then thumped him on the head with her pointer finger. Glaring at Ben and with the most contempt, a person can have said, “If that old witch hadn’t died I wouldn’t have to get up so early and take you for a damn walk. I don’t even like dogs. Cat’s are more my thing. They don’t need anyone. You can get on with your life and leave them to do their thing. Stupid dog.”

With another whimper, Ben jumped down and stared at Grace.

“Stop staring at me!”

With that last yell, Ben walked out of the messy dingy bedroom into the equally messy dingy living room and stood by the front door.

7:15 AM

Grace crawled out of bed, put on some gray sweat pants, pink hoody, brushed her hair and dabbed on a little pink lipgloss.

 She may not want to go out but, she also knows that it’s around this time she runs into Jack. One of her neighbors. Jack is gorgeous and always seems to be leaving on an adventure or coming back from one. Even when he excuses himself for looking scruffy he’s gorgeous. This is about the time he’s leaving for a run.


“You’ve really been standing next to this door since you left the bedroom? Stupid dog,” Grace sneered.

Ben had been standing at the front door. Next to the dent on the door that Grace had made when she threw his food dish at it one evening in a fit of rage when she realized he wasn’t going back to her grandmother’s house.


Ben had been Grace’s grandmother’s dog. Grandma Pearl wasn’t a mean. She was always very loving and kind. She had always wanted the best for Grace and tried to do her best for her.


Grace was an only child. When she and her parents would visit Grandma Pearl she always had all of her favorite foods and she was never at a loss for a new toy or book.  Grace just never cared what kind thing was done for her. She just wanted what she wanted and if she didn’t get it she threw fits and broke things. Like doors, toys, tv’s and on possibly one occasion someone’s arm.


When Grace was sixteen Grandma Pearl did come to realize it was not love that Grace needed. It was a psychiatrist and possibly handcuffs. Grace was just batshit crazy.


Grace finished college and went on to be a nurse. Her parents were quite proud of her. For a while, they weren’t sure what was going to become of her. But, then again, a lot of what she did as a teen could just be put down as “growing pains”?


When Grace was twenty-four her parents passed away, in what seemed like a double suicide. They were found in the garage, in their new two-seater sports car, with the windows rolled up the hosepipe in and the windows taped up.


When the autopsies were done they were found to have both taken enough tranquilizers to make a few very healthy racehorses fall asleep and never wake up.


When the police asked a somewhat not distraught Grace why would two seemingly happy empty nesters with a new sports car and trip booked for France kill themselves? Grace said, “Who knows why old people do what they do? If you’re done I’ll be cleaning up and putting the house up for sale. Oh, and when will the car be released? It’s paid and for so I’ll be having it. You know.. to remember them by.”


Grace put the bright blue leash on Ben and yanked on it to get an already standing Ben out the damaged front door.

As luck would have it Jack was walking down the stairs.

“Hi, Grace. How are you and Ben today?”, he asked.

As always he was gorgeous and getting ready to go out for a run.

“Just taking Benny out for a walk by the little lake by the park. After that, I’m going to work. I’m so tired. Why do I have to work today? The old witch, that does the scheduling, has it in for me. I hate working in that damn care home. I never get to have an entire break to myself. They’re old and sick or sick and old. It’s not as if they notice when I don’t answer their call bells, within the first 2 minutes.” Grace replied.

Jack lied and said, “Well, I’m sure they’re happy to have you there to take care of them. See you later little Benny!”

Grace bent down, picked up Ben’s right paw, made a waving motion with it and said, “Bye Jack!”

And when Jack was out of sight yanked on Ben’s leash, to make sure he knew how much she really does hate him and walked out the building.

Grace and Ben walked down the sidewalk and made their way down the street to Mills Park. Mills Park is three acres and is a popular place for dog walkers. It’s always green and lush and filled with birds and squirrels.

People always stop to bend over and give Ben a rub on his head. “What a sweet little thing.” They would say. Grace would smile back, lie and say how happy she is to have him.

As they reached the park Grace looked down at Ben and said, “Come on stupid. Hurry up and get your business done. It’s freezing out here. That’s why we’re the only ones here except the damn ducks. Is that Jack over there? It looks like him on the exercise equipment.”

Grace waved her arms over her head and yelled, “Hey Jack! Didn’t think we would see you here too!”

“Oh shit. How did she see me!”, Jack asked himself.

And then to Ben, with a small kick to his side Grace said,”  We’ll just stroll over there and say hi when you’re done stupid. Hurry up.”

Ben looked up at Grace with sadness in his eyes. He missed Grandma Pearl.

While Ben was thinking of Grandma Pearl and Grace was smoothing her hair down, a group of ducks flew at them both.

“Agghhh,” Grace screamed and dropped Bens leash.

With this moment of freedom, Ben jumped into the small lake after the ducks. Happily splashing behind them.

Grace screamed at Ben, “Get out of the water you little bastard. I hate you! I’m not coming in to get you!”

Jack heard the screaming and started to walk over. Grace may be a nasty piece of work. But, what would it look like if he didn’t see what was happening?

Grace decided that maybe she should get Ben out of the water. It was getting late and needed to start walking back to the complex to get ready for work. She walked to the edge of the water. “Get out of there you f’ing idiot! Come on.”

By the time Jack got to the lake, Grace was in the water up to her knees and throwing rocks at both the ducks and Ben.  Some of the rocks hit the ducks and some hit little Ben.

Grace finally got a hold of Bens leash and was yanking it. With each pull, Ben would whimper. Jack said, “Stop pulling on his leash. It’s hurting him. He’ll come back in a minute.”

But, Grace kept pulling and cursing at Ben. Grace didn’t care. He knew she was bad. But not this bad. Strangling a dog to get it out of the water.

“I said stop pulling on his leash. He’s just playing with the ducks. He’ll come back!” he screamed.

All of a sudden the ducks grew louder and louder, Ben started to bark and started to paddle back to the water’s edge.

With wide bewildered eyes, “What the hell is going on? What’s that?” he asked.

The ducks flew away and Ben made it back to land.

Grace let out a blood-curdling scream, “Alligator! Help me! Drop the f’ing dog and help me you dumb f..” 

Grace went under the water.

Jack picked up Ben and watched Grace be pulled under the water.

Grace shot back up to the surface and screamed again, “Help me you asshole!”

“What do you think Benny? We stand here in a conundrum. Is doing the right thing to try to go in there and save the evil bitch? Or is the right thing to let nature take its course? What do you think Benny?” asked Jack.

Ben looked up, with his big brown eyes and snuggled into Jack’s warm dry dark blue hoodie.

“What do I do with you, Benny?”

Ben looked up at Jack and licked his face.

Grace’s pink hoodie bobbed to the surface of the lake. Along, with her leash pulling right hand.

“Let’s go home, little buddy,” Jack said with a smile.

9 AM

Text from Maggie: “How in the hell did an alligator get in there?”

Text to Maggie: “Who knows. Sometimes people get these things and then when they start to get too big they dump them. At some point they finally turn up. Here’s the best part, then her tacky little jacket popped up to the top of the water. Along with her hand!”

Text from Maggie: “LOL!! Why can’t exciting things happen to me? I can’t wait to meet Benny”





Carmel in Istanbul

I’m here!!!! 

I landed at Istanbul Airport. The flight was fairly uneventful. But, the food was soooo good!!  I asked for thirds.

I have no idea what the nice lady sitting next to me said during most of the flight. Her name was Inci. I’m pretty sure I agreed to go to her house for dinner this weekend. I think. Mert told me to not just nod and smile when people are saying things I’m unsure about. But, she’s so nice.

He met me at the airport. He’s so sweet. He looks just like his pictures. Tall, wavy blonde/brown hair, muscular build, like a swimmer and teeth that are so white they don’t look quite real. He’s absolutely gorgeous.

 I pointed at Inci and said by butchering her name, “This is Inci! I was sitting next to her on the flight. She’s so nice. We spoke the whole flight.” I think she’s invited me over for dinner. I’m not quite sure. “

Inci had been standing next to me. She was waiting for her husband and kids to pick her up. Mert bent down, kissed the back of her right hand and then respecfully placed his forehad on the back of her hand. This is the customary way to greet your elderly in Turkey. Awww he’s gorgeous and has good manners.

He then gave me a hug, grabbed my arms, stood back and said, “Look at you cilgin kiz! You look just like you.”

I’m assuming this is a good thing. He also smells so good. I love Turkey.

Mert looked at me and asked, “Did you actually speak with each other? Or did she speak to you in Turkish and you smiled and nodded in agreement?”

I said, “Well, it was mostly her. But, she has such a kind smile and she made eating motions, while looking at me and pointing from her to me.”

Mert looked at, a still very smiley, Inci and spoke to her in Turkish.

”Merhaba Inci hanım. Benim adım Mert Demir. Carmel’in arkadaşıyım. Sanırım Carmel sizi yanlış anladı ve ne dediğini pek bilmiyor. Ona yolculuktan ӧnce uçakta anlamadan herşeye başını sallamamasını sӧylemiştim ama beni dinlememiş sanırım. Herhalde kulaklarımı duymuyor nedir. Neyse, sizin onu evinize davet ettiğinizi sanıyor. Eminim yanlış anladı sizi”

Inci said “Evet, tabii ki davet ettim oğlum. Uçakta ӧyle çok yedi ki, zavallı herhalde çok aç kalmış diye düşündüm. Uçakta üçüncü tabağını isteyeni hiç gӧrdünüz mü siz?”

Mert said ”Tamam Inci hanim, eminim iyi kendisi. Merak etmeyin ben aç bırakmam onu. Bir de herşeye kafa sallamamayı ӧğrense iyi olacak”

Inci said “Pekala, umarım güzel ülkemizi sever. Bari hemen yemeğe gӧtürün zavallıyı”.

Mert shook his head and said “Tabii gӧtürürüm”. 

Inci smiled at me, hugged me and said in Turkish, “Güle güle güzel çocuk. Umarım bol bol yemek yersin” And with a funny look on her face she winked, “ve kafanı ӧyle herşeye sallamayı da bırakırsın“.

I hugged her and nodded yes to whatever it was she said. I’m sure it was very nice.

We walked out of the airport into the cold bright parking area. It’s such a nice sunny day. A bit cold. But, I love it. The wind blew my hair into my face when I pushed it away from my eyes

Mert had stopped walking and stood next to a car that looked more expensive than my school loans totaled. 


I heard a beep and the trunk popped open and placed my bags inside. 

I’ve never been in anything so luxurious in my life. You can smell the leather. There were so many buttons it looked like the cockpit in an airplane.


I asked, “Is this your car?” 

He said, “I hope so. But, just in case, maybe we should drive off really fast.” 


As we drove out of the parking lot I ran my fingers along the dashboard and started to touch the buttons that looked like they may be controls for the radio.

Mert took my hand gently in his right hand and said, “Don’t touch that.” With a smile. If I wasn’t so overly stimulated by all of the knobs and leather, the very large sun roof and his very soft hands, I would be miffed. His hands don’t look like they’ve ever done a day’s work. Wow.


 We merged onto the highway.


I asked, ” Are we going to Nisantasi?” 

Mert said, “Since that’s where you’ll be living, I thought it was a good idea to drive there.” 

I noticed a slight laugh when he said that. Sometimes, I’m not sure if he’s a tad bit rude, sarcastic or making a joke. 


I said, “Well since I’ll be staying near Nisantasi I guess it’s a good idea then. hmpt. It’s supposed to be very nice and upscale. I’ll be able to walk to the English speaking school I’ll be working at.” Do you know how to get there?”


With another smirk, he’s also smirky. If that’s a word. I don’t think it is but, it should be.


 Mert said, “We’re going to leave the airport and take the Kemerburgaz ramp to Istanbul. We’ll then continue onto the D020, make a slight left onto Hasdal Kemerburgaz Yolu D020. At some point we’ll be turning right onto Taskisla. Should I keep going? Would you like to help navigate?” 


More of that smirking and a bit too loud laughter. 

“No thank you,” I said. 


He asked, “What is the name of the English speaking school?”

I said, “English Speaking School.” 

“That’s original! If you get lost you can tell someone where you work.” 

And for some reason, he thought it wasn’t rude to start laughing. Again. 

I started to explain why it’s called that and then noticed the music started to get louder and louder. I think it was to cover his laughter. 

He lifted his fingers to his lips and said, “shhh listen to the nice music.”


And with that, he opened the sunroof, turned up the music and drove. Too fast.




Hande Yener- Askin Atesi


Mustafa Sandal – Araba

My adventure begins!

Today is the day! I’m leaving everything and everyone I know. I’m excited yet, terrified. I want everything to work out. But, if it doesn’t, I know I can always come home.

I’ve traveled out of the country before. But, I’ve never lived out of the country.

My parents dropped me off at the airport.  They made sure that I had everything I needed. My passport, camera, money, credit card and house keys. The house keys are just in case I come back, unexpectedly, and need to let myself in. I’m sure I’ll be fine. I’m also sure that I would be calling for them to send me money and buy me a plane ticket. So, no need to worry about me not being able to let myself in.

Before I got out of the car by mother said I can come back whenever I get scared.

My father said that it will be an adventure and don’t be scared.  He said, “Life is about living. Go and have an adventure. New people, places, food and not knowing what each day will bring. That’s what life is about. And in case the adventure gets scary, here’s some pepper spray sweetie.”

I said, “Dad, I don’t think it’s a good thing to bring pepper spray on the airplane. It would be considered a very bad thing to bring pepper spray on an airplane.”

With that, I handed it back to my dad, kissed him and said, “Güle güle baba!”

From behind me, I heard him say, “What the hell did she just say, Mary?”

My mother said, “I heard gooly gooly baba. I have no idea what any of that means dear. It’s like a foreign language.”

My dad said, “I’m pretty sure it’s a foreign language considering she’s going to a foreign country dear. Jesus.”

And with that, I got into the line to be searched like a thief in the night and wait for my plane.

Turkey here I come. Please love me the way that I think I’ll love you.


Picture courtesy of @aussiegingersnap

BULLIES – part 10

I will not be intimidated in my own home.

I walked up to Agent Black.  A confident, not arrogant, smile on my face and my right hand outstretched to shake his hand.

He reached out, with his left hand, to shake mine. Do you know how awkward it is to shake a left-handed person’s hand? He then took his phone out of his inside jacket pocket and started texting someone. With his RIGHT HAND!  It’s as if he pretended to be left-handed, out of spite.

Agent Black said, “Please, come in Frank.” 

He seriously invited me into my own house. I hate him more and more every second.

Black continued, “Would you like to have a seat?”

I said, “Seeing as it’s MY house I’d like to take my jacket off and have something to drink.”

I may have said, “my” with a bit too much aggression.

Agent Black looked at me, with his little smug face.

He said, “Do you need to drink alcohol after work. I know your job must be very stressful.”

I looked at him and said, “No. I do not NEED a drink of alcohol after work. But, I am thirsty. I would like to drink one of the drinks that I bought with MY money that I store in MY refrigerator in MY house.”

I need to calm down with the my’s. But, it is MY damn house. The smug little turd.

“Calm down sweetie,” Susie said.

Thanks for making me sound aggressive Susie. I want to say it. But, I don’t want to sound aggressive, do I?

Instead, I said, “I am calm Susie. There’s no reason for me to not be calm. I just want to get a drink of water. If that’s okay.”

Susie said, “Of course it is Frank. Go, take your jacket off and sit down in the living room. I’ll get you a drink of water. With a slice of lemon the way you like it.”

“Thank you,” I said.

I walked over towards Agent Black that was standing next to MY couch. He motioned for me to have a seat. On MY couch. May I just remind everyone that this man keeps acting as if I’m a guest in my own damn house? He’s trying to intimidate me. I won’t be intimidated in my own home. On my own tan leather oversized expensive couch.

I sat back, crossed my legs and asked, “So, what is this all about Black?”

He smiled at me and said, “Well, as was explained to your wife, best friend and parents there have been very strict laws prohibiting the bullying. We have been tracking everyone’s usage of the internet, online profiles, written content, groups and have found that there needed to be consequences. Very strict consequences.”

I asked, with a calm tone in my voice, “And what does this have to do with me, Agent Black?”

 Black said, “By everyone’s, you are included in this Frank. You belong to some very non-questionable groups. By non-questionable, I mean you belong to groups that promote hate speech and hateful actions.”


I asked, “Should I call my lawyer before we begin?” You smug little ass wipe. I didn’t say that last bit. Because calling someone an ass wipe is actually aggressive.

“No”, Black said. He continued, “Because, lawyers will not advocate for bullies. Once we determine you are, in fact, a bully you  have no right to legal representation.”

“What do you mean, once you’ve determined? How and when did you determine I’m a bully?” I almost yelled.

“Calm down Frank and drink your water,” Susie said as she handed me my glass.

 It took her long enough to bring it to me. I swear I feel as if I haven’t had a drink in a year. I’m thirstier than one of those sluts on the internet with their shit hanging out with a look on their faces that resemble a brain dead cat. You know the look. Big hair, fake parts, and the same duck lipped brain dead stare.

Agent Black said, “You belong to groups called, “F You”, “Women are Stupid”, “If you don’t look like me you don’t need to live” a very long name for a group, “I’m Always Right” and we thought it would be the lesser of the groups, but it turns out it really isn’t, “Ho Ho Hoes”. The fact that it doesn’t mention Santa says everything.

Outside of these groups, you have gone on tirades against women, teenagers, anyone that literally isn’t anything like you. And you know what I mean by that. You are extremely racist Frank.”

He said the, ‘R’ word!!

“But, honestly Frank, he continued, it’s hard to say you actually like anyone. I’m not even sure you like yourself.”

I said, “And so? It’s my right to say what I want to say. I’m a citizen of this country. I can say whatever I want. It’s not as if I killed anyone.”

Agent Black took his tablet out of his left jacket pocket and started scrolling.

I tried to not look like I was trying to look at the screen.

I could see the names and lots of lists of what I assume are other “Bullies.”  I was able to see two other lists: ‘Terminate’ and ‘To be Terminated’.  What the absolute F?


Frank went down the list:

“April 25th

A use named Bill Jacksons said, “Who would get rid of someone if you knew you wouldn’t get caught?”


“Yep, two useless bitches. Susie and Cheryl. LOL”


Susie, who was sitting on the left side of me gasped and dropped her glass of ice tea.

Doesn’t this woman know wood floors stain with liquids?

Susie said, “Ummm, I’m going to get a cloth and dry this. I don’t want it to stain.”


Agent Black looked at Susie and smiled.


 “Frank, you were the first one to answer. It was 11:00 AM. When you should have been hard at work. I’m sure Susie doesn’t feel very good being on your list of kills. Neither does Cheryl. Anyone else on your list to kill?”


I interrupted and said, “No. I didn’t mean I would actually kill them.  I was just writing just to add to the conversation.”


“No need to get excited Frank. We have every list you’ve written since you discovered the internet,” Agent Black said with a smile.


Since I discovered the internet? That’s been more than..Jesus. They have everything I’ve ever written online? That can’t be true. Can it?


“May 1st on the everyone who looks like me or doesn’t bullshit forum.

You wrote, “If they don’t look like me they can suffer the consequences. Steal gum, get shot, take your library book, get shot. As if they can read LOL”

What consequences were you speaking of Frank?”


I said, “I don’t know. I guess when people do things they should be held accountable and not be given any special treatment because you know whatever.”


“So, you believe in being executed for stealing gum and turning in library books in late?” Agent Black asked.

“It was a joke,” I said. Damn. Not really. But, still. Damn.


Damn. He just keeps scrolling. How much shit did I write that they found? Isn’t he almost done scrolling?


Agent Black said, “There’s just so much. You write so many horrible things that I just might get carpal tunnel syndrome before the night is over.

I said, “Listen. I know I’m no angel. But, It’s not as if I Killed someone!”


“Saturday night,” Agent Black said.

“Which Saturday night? A Saturday in June, July? What Saturday night!?” I asked too loudly.

“This Saturday night, “Black said.


You went on a forum called, ‘So Lonely’.

People go on that site to chat and try to make friends. Try to connect with other people who are lonely and just want someone to chat with.

For some reason you decided, in your infinite wisdom, to go on and under Jenny’s post stating, “I’m so alone in this world. I’m not quite sure why I keep going on.”

You wrote back, “Then kill yourself. You can make friends with Jesus LOL. You can swap dresses. LMAO!!!!! “

Black said, “I’m assuming by both wearing dresses it’s because Jenny was a woman and Jesus wore a white robe.”

What do you mean, “Was a woman? Has she transitioned to a cat?” I asked.

“She killed herself, Frank. Rope.

“What the fuck?” I said.

“What the fuck indeed Frank,” Black said.

“Still on Saturday. You responded to Toby who said he was going to come out to his family tomorrow. You again, you genius you, decided to say, “Good luck with that. No real man wants a son that’s a fa..”

I said, “I got it! I know what I said! Stop telling me things that I know I said!”

I kept yelling, “It’s not my fault what weak-minded people do to themselves. It’s not my fault if that girl is living on a cloud or what happened to Toby! And I don’t want to know! So, I said these things. What of it? People are weak and stupid. When me and other people like me say things to them, we’re doing them a service. We’re trying to toughen them up. You can’t survive in this world and be a weak little piss ant!”


Agent Black’s tablet went black. He put it on his lap and said, “I know that you didn’t put a rope around someone’s neck or pull the trigger.”

What trigger?

“But, he continued, it doesn’t matter that you didn’t do those things.”

“Then why are you punishing me and other people?” I asked.

“Most people ask, “Why are you punishing everyone I love? Those “other people” are your wife, children, parents and best friend.” He said.

“You know what I meant.” I think I almost growled.


Black said, “It doesn’t matter that you didn’t pull the trigger or use the rope. What matters is that you brought it upon yourself to say these things. You decided that you had to be someone to say the most ruthless, malicious, horrible things to absolute strangers. Never mind listing two people that you say you would get rid of if you could get away with it. You feed off the sadness of others misery. You write LOL and LMAO after saying the worse things you can possibly think of.

This is why the government has created new laws and punishments. To deter this type of evil soulless activity.

Frank the world is tired of people like you. I’ll be going over my findings here today with my superiors and get back to you. It should take less than a week. You can live your life as normal. Use your bank account and have a good weekend. Just don’t try to leave town. You’re still being tracked. Thank you for having me.”


As if we had a choice.


With that, he got up and started to walk to the front door. I felt light-headed and shakey. But, I’m not going to show it. Susie got up from her chair and walked with me to the front door to show Agent Black out.


As he opened his car door I said, “Okay, so I’m a bad person. What can you actually do? What’s the worse you can do to me?”


Agent Black straightened threw his jacket onto the passenger seat, straightened his tie, looked at me and said, “Public execution.”

And then he drove away. With a smile, beep of his horn and a wave.


I feel more than slightly sick. Susie looks not as sick as I do. She actually looks slightly happy. I can see a slight smile on her face.













picture courtesy of #Millieeaton

BULLIES – Part 9

5 PM


I’m almost home.

Just five more minutes. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.

How can I maybe be a fugitive? I’ve never done anything, that bad, in my life. Sure I get on the internet and say mean things. But, everyone does. Don’t they? Of course, they do!

The day started so well. 

Even the weather seems strange now. Everything is dim. I rolled my windows down and I can’t even hear the birds that normally line the trees. I don’t even like birds. But, for some reason, I wish I could see them now.

I love this neighborhood.  I chose it for specific reasons. Beautiful homes, everyone has nice cars, minds their own business and look like me.  It’s lined with trees on both sides of the street and the lawns are well manicured. The only time anyone undesirable comes around is to do the lawns. What more could you want?


How did this all happen? And to me.

I’m educated, make excellent money, very good looking and excellent at everything I do.

The only thing I’ve ever done that’s questionable is marry Susie. But, she was pretty and took direction well. I told her what to do and she did it.

I’m going to drive down the street as slowly as I can. I want to see Agent Black before he sees me.

I think I see his car. There’s a black sedan parked in front of the house.

I just have to look calm and unbothered.

 I haven’t done anything to get in that much trouble. I know I’ve said some not very nice things to a lot of people, that in my mind, deserve it. But, I wouldn’t say I’m a bully. They can’t arrest you for being a bully anyway. Can they? I know what Matt said. But, he might just be wrong. How can they do anything?

How can they have you fired and take away college and do all of the things that I keep being told they can do?

It doesn’t make any sense. It’s too harsh. There are too many sensitive cry babies that wouldn’t let that happen. Even if they don’t like you, they still give you ten thousand chances and fight for your rights and freedom of speech.

The front door just opened.

Okay, there’s Susie. She looks scared. Why is she waving so hard as if she hasn’t seen me in a month?

Good Lord. Why is he inside the house? Why did she let him come in?

Agent Black came out of the front door and stood next to Susie. Smiling and rubbing his hands together.

He’s not as tall as I thought he would be. And he looks happier than I think he should. Why does he look so damn happy? Why did she let him go into the house?

Okay, I’ll just apologize, look sad, regretful and tell him that I’m going to delete all of my social media and be a good person from now on.  See it’s that easy. This won’t take more than ten minutes.


I got a text from Becky.



Becky -“You’re so fucked.”


Wow, I hate teenagers.

Photo courtesy of @darius.krs

Letter from Mert

Hi Carmel,

I can’t wait for you to get here! I know you will love Turkey. It is the most beautiful place in the world. I may be a bit bias though. You will also love the area that you will be living. Nisantasi. The area is very nice and your English school is down the street from your apartment.

Once you are settled in, I will introduce you to my work mates and best friends. Their names are Beyza, Janset, Fatih and Emre. I have known them all since we were all kids. Fatih and Emre are both very smart, loyal and funny. Janset is as well. Minus the funny part. She takes a bit of time to get used to. But, she’s a good friend, once you get to know her. My friends, will be your friends. They all know English and it will be easy for you to communicate with them. My mother is also looking forward to meeting you. Her name is Belgin. She doesn’t know very much English. But, you’ll manage. She said she wants to take you to play, Okay. It’s a game. You’ll love it!

Make sure to text me as soon as you get on the plane in America and as soon as you land in Istanbul!

Sincerely your best and only friend in Turkey. For now of course.

Mert Demir

Awww, Mert is so sweet. He knows that it’s my first time in Turkey and I’m scared.  I will have to find a way to remember the names of everyone. And learn how to pronounce them. I did try to use a translator that sounds out the words for you. For some reason, I don’t actually believe Fatih is pronounced ‘Fatty’. Nor is Emre pronounced emery. As in an actual emery board. No one is going to name their child after a nail file for goodness sakes. Janset, is close to Janet. Beyza is close to..well Beyza and Belgin like the waffle. Okay! I’m ready! I can do this everyone!

I’m just finishing packing. My plane leaves in a few days. I can’t wait. I’m so scared. What will everyone be like? Will they like me? Will I actually learn Turkish?


For my Turkish readers:


Sevgili Carmel,

Buraya gelmeni dört gözle bekliyorum. Türkiye’yi çok seveceğini biliyorum. Dünyanın en güzel ülkesi. Tabii biraz ön yargılı olabilirim bu konuda. Ayrıca İstanbul’da yaşayacağın semti de çok seveceksin. Nişantaşı.  Çok güzel bir muhit ve çalışacağın ingilizce okuluna da çok yakın.

İyice yerleştikden sonra seni kendi yakın arkaşlarımla da tanıştırırım. İsimleri Beyza, Janset, Fatih ve Emre. Hepsi çocukluk arkadaşlarım.  Fatih ve Emre, ikisi de çok akıllı, sadık ve eğlenceli insanlar. Janset de öyle ama eğlenceli kısmı hariç. Ona alışman biraz zaman alabilir, ama yine de tanıdıkça seveceksin. Benim arkadaşlarım senin de arkadaşın artık. Hepsi ingilizce biliyor ve onlarla iletişim kurman kolay olacak. Annem de senin gelmeni sabırsızlıkla bekliyor. Annemin adı Belgin. Pek fazla ingilizcesi yok ama eminim bir yolunu bulacaksın onunla iletişim kurmanın. Bana geçen gün seni okey oynamaya götüreceğini söyledi. Evet, okey! Buradaki popüler bir oyunun adı. Seveceğinden eminim.   

Amerika’da uçağa biner binmez ve İstanbul’a inince hemen mesaj atmayı unutma.

Sevgiler…Türkiye’deki şimdilik tek ve en iyi arkadaşın.

Mert Demir

photo courtesy of

BULLIES – part 8

Okay, I’m out of the building. I just need to get to my car and get the hell out of town.

I need to stop and get a little gas, cash, and food.

Lot’s of people leaving. Even my good old bro dude Chris is heading out. Well, won’t Cheryl to be upset to find out that I’m not the only person leaving early on a Friday afternoon. The snarky bitch.

I’ll pull into the gas station that I usually pass by on the way to work. I don’t want anyone to recognize me.

Thank God it’s quiet here. I’ve been looking around to see if I recognize anyone. I don’t know why I feel like a fugitive. I’m being “investigated” for being a “bully’.

I haven’t gotten any more texts or phone calls. That’s a good sign. Maybe, it’s not as bad as I’m thinking.

 I’ll just drive around for a little while and think of what to say. I can come up with questions that he might ask and have my answers ready.

Yes. I’ll just drive around for a little while. And if I accidentally drive onto the highway, heading due north…

Okay, let me just get some gas. Just in case.

The display on the gas pump said, “DECLINED. TAKE CARD INSIDE.”

Why won’t the machine take my card? I KNOW my credit card works. It always works.  I pay my cards off every month. It has to work.

Maybe, there’s something wrong with the pump.

I walked inside the gas station. I hate going into these places. I’m always sure it’ll be getting robbed by some thug. You know the type.

Too lazy to work so they come and steal from hard-working innocent people.

“Fill up on number six,” I said.

“It says declined sir,” said the sad-faced long greasy-haired idiot.

“Try it again. There’s nothing wrong with my card.”

“It declined again sir,” stupid said.

“Try this card then. Maybe something’s wrong with it,” I said with a bit too much aggression.

“It’s declined to sir.”

“What the fuck. It can’t be declined! Try this one! I yelled” Making him jump a little.

Stupid took my third card, with a shakey hand and put it in the machine.

“I don’t know what to say. It’s declined too,” he said. AGAIN!

I grabbed my card and left.

I’ll go and drive to the bank and use the ATM and get some cash.

It’s already almost 4:30. How is the time going so f’ing fast!?

I won’t get out. I’ll go through the drive-thru ATM.

I put my card into the machine. The screen lit up and said, “CARD HAS BEEN CONFISCATED. PLEASE GO INSIDE OF BANK.”

What the absolute…

Okay, I have some cash in my wallet. I wanted more. But, it’ll have to do. I’m just going to drive around for a while and think. Highway five is just around the corner. I’m just going to get on it and drive for a bit and think.

My phone is ringing. Who’s calling me now?

Incoming call: Agent James Black

It’s not 5:50! I’m not late! I don’t have to be home yet!

Okay, I’ll answer and sound relaxed. I’m not a fugitive for f’s sake.

“Hello,” I said.

FBI, I hate those initials, Agent Black said, “Hello Frank.”

“Yes. What do you want?” I asked. Like I keep saying, I’m not a damn fugitive. And it’s not even five yet.

Black continued, “We’re still on for 5:30 correct?”

“Yes, why?”  I asked.

“Because you’re on highway five going the opposite direction of your lovely home. You have half a tank of gas and won’t get that far.” Black said.

I asked, “How would you know where I am and how much gas I have?”

He said, “You’re under investigation Frank. You stopped at the gas station on 5th and Howe and all of your cards were declined. You went to the drive-thru ATM at Pacific Bank. Your card was confiscated. We have blocked all access to your money. You drove onto highway five. Heading out of town.”

Seriously, it’s not as if I’m a murderer on the run. As I said, I’m not a fugitive.

“Frank are you there?” Black asked.

“Yes. Of course, I’m here.”

“Good. Please, take the next exit and drive home. I and your lovely family will be waiting for you.” Agent asshole said.

“If not, you will be considered a fugitive.”

Sweet Mother of…


BULLIES – part 7

4 PM


In an hour and a half, I’m supposed to be meeting with agent Black. I don’t want to meet with Agent Black. I want to go home, eat dinner, pretend to listen to everyone speak to me, watch my shows, check my groups and chat. Well, chat with people that I want to chat with.

Maybe, I’ll leave work and leave town. Go somewhere that they can’t find me? We have a cabin about four hours away from here. I could stop, get some gas and keep on driving. Since I’m the only one that works at home, it’s technically all mine.

I know this would be the wrong thing to do. But, at this moment in time, I kind of don’t give a shit. This is the only time I’ve ever been afraid of another grown man. To be honest, it’s not the fact that he’s another man. It’s the fact that he has his initials. Not J.B. for James Black. It’s the F.B.I. letters all together that I’m afraid of.


4:15 PM


Let’s go.


4:16 PM


As I left my office, Cheryl walked up to me asking me where I was going?

I said, “Home. It’s Friday and I am going home to be with my family Cheryl.”

I swear she smirked at me.

Cheryl said, “Oh. I was just asking. Seeing as that it’s not 5 o’clock yet.”

I said, with my own smirk, “Cheryl, I’m a husband and a father. Sometimes, I like to go home and see my wife and children before 5 o’clock. My wife, something that you aren’t, a wife that is, likes to see her husband, something that you don’t have, a husband that is, sooner than 5 o’clock.”

“Wow”, said Cheryl.

“Yes. Wow”, I said. Her lack of social skills and knowledge of big words is maddening.

As I said goodbye to everyone, whom I’ll let you know were also packing up to head out early, I looked walked by Cheryl’s desk. I mostly certainly heard her say, “Asshole.”

I walked back to Cheryl’s desk, smiled, leaned in as close as I could, without appearing to look aggressive and whispered, “Bye Bitch.”

She looked scared.

That made me happy. And that’s how I like to end a work day. Happy.

BULLIES part – 6

3:00 PM


I had to pretend to work for a while. Cheryl came in to see if I needed anything. I don’t think she cared. She had a slight smirk on her face when she asked me if I was okay. She said that I looked a little warm. I told her that I was possibly coming down with a cold or something.

Chris also stopped by to see how I was doing.

Chris asked, “How are you doing in here bro?”

What the what..bro? Seriously, he called me bro.

Chris said, “I heard a yell earlier.”

 He said that he heard me yelling earlier. Seriously that was hours ago. If he was that damned concerned he would have been by already.

I said, “Well bro I was just speaking to my mother and she gets a little dramatic sometimes.”

Chris said, “Well if you need anything just let me know. Sometimes, we men need to talk and get our feelings out. It’s not healthy to keep everything inside.”

 Fuck your feelings, BRO!! I wanted to say. But, I didn’t.

 I just said, “If I find some feelings to talk about I’ll come and find you.”

He laughed and walked away. I could swear I heard him say, “And that’s why you’re in trouble.”

Everyone seems to have a lot to say under their breath today.

I’m going to call Susie and see what’s happening at home. I waited a while because I didn’t want to hear any hysterics. She always overreacts to everything.


3:15 PM


“Hello! Thank God you called back!!!” Susie said frantically.

“What’s happening and why does Becky hate me?”

Susie said, “Frankie the police and FBI were here this morning. Becky’s school called and said she’s going to be expelled and every college she’s applied to has sent her text messages saying that they may have previously said she sounded like she was going to get in. But, ow they’re going to all have to review her status due to a bullying alert that went out to them!”

How can colleges even know that I’m supposed to be a bully? How do these people even know who I am?

What the absolute F!!?

“Where is Becky now? What did they ask you and what the hell did you say?”

Susie said, “She just got home from school. She ran into her room and slammed the door shut. She won’t come out. She said you’re a bad man. I’m paraphrasing actually.”

Susie continued, “They asked me what organizations you belonged to, how long have you been a bully, do you bully me and the kids, when did I realize you were a bully, why did I knowingly choose to marry a bully?”

Dear God, Jesus and Virgin Mary I’m not sure who else to add to the list.

“And what did you say to all of those questions?”

Susie said, “I told them that you don’t belong to any organizations because you hate most people. Well, you hate anyone that’s not like you. I told them that you don’t bully me and the kids. You’re just a bit harsh when you give constructive criticism. Like when you tell me I’m too fat for my favorite dress. When you tell David that he needs to stop crying and man up. When you told Becky, after she cut her hair, she looked like a lesbian. Which wasn’t nice. But, I know you are just well you’re just like that. I said I chose to marry you because you were pleasant most of the time and very smart.”

Damn. Pleasant? All of the other stuff was true. But, pleasant? I’m a nice guy. She couldn’t do any better. And she is too fat for that dress.

“What types of organizations do they think I belong to?”

“They showed me some of your messages, from all of your social media accounts, it sounds as if you are, as the kids say, a total hater,” Susie said.

“Who the hell am I hating on?”

Susie said, “Umm, everyone that’s nothing like you.”


Holy Hell.


But, hey, that’s normal. Like attracts like.

“No one wants to play with David anymore at school. They found out that the police and FBI came by and that you’re a bully. So, they think he’s a bully too.” Susie said.

I yelled, “I’m not a BULLY!!”

Chris ran into my office.”Bro are you sure you’re okay?”

“I’m still fine Chris, Bro, Dude, Man.”


Holy Holy.


I swear if I hear the ‘B’ word, not that one,  one more time. I swear I’m going to punch someone.

“I’ll be home as soon as I get off work.”

Susie said, “Okay, Frank. Agent Black said he was coming back tonight. Oh and Frankie.”


Susie asked, “Why do you belong to a private group called, “Ho Ho Hoes?”

Oh, here’s one I just thought of…


Holy Fuckity Fuck!!


Picture courtesy of

BULLIES part – 5

1:30 PM


I’m still a bit numb. Okay, completely numb. I’ve never been afraid to leave work and go home in my life.

Except when Susie’s parents came to stay a couple of years back. But, that was mostly just feeling annoyed. They’re as stupid as she is sometimes.

I called my mother. She may be a bit calmer than my dad, at this moment.


“Hello, sweetie.” My mother said. “How are you?”

She doesn’t sound as if anyone is about to have a heart attack, stroke or even a mild case of acid reflux.

I said, “I’m returning your call. How are you and dad?”

My mother said, “Well sweetie, the police were here, this morning, asking about you.”

I asked, “And what did they ask?”

She said, “Well, they wanted to know if you have anger issues and what organizations you belong to?”

“And you told them what exactly?” I asked.

Mom said, “I told them that you’ve always been highly excitable and I wasn’t sure what organizations you belonged to. That you’ve always been outgoing and new a lot of people,but you aren’t a joining, as it were, type of person.”

I said, “You told them that I’m highly excitable?”

Well, that should help me. They think I’m a highly excitable bully. That sounds awesome.

Mom continued, “They asked your father the same questions and looked at our phones. At first, your father said that he knew his rights as an American citizen.”

I asked, “What did they say then?”

She said, “That’s when a man walked up from behind the nice police officer and started talking to us.”

Oh my Lord, “What man and what did he say?”

Mom said, “At this moment the only rights you have are the ones that I give to you. And, because you’re the parents of an adult bully, your rights are to tell me everything I want to know. And then your dad kind of fell into his lounge chair and said he was going to have a heart attack. He didn’t even see the dog was already sat on the chair. The man said, “You won’t have a heart attack until I say you can. Stay seated sir.”


Oh, my sweet Jesus. “What was his name?”

“Agent James Black. I’m sure his first name isn’t agent. But, you never know. Some of these parents are calling their children some silly names.”


I have to steady myself with my arm on my desk. I won’t fall far since I’m seated. But, I just feel a bit dizzy.

I didn’t want to know but, I still had to ask what else he told them. So, I could be ready when I get home.


I asked, “What else did he say?”


Mom said, “He told us that there is a new bullying law that was passed. Because you’re a bully..”

I yelled into the phone, “I’m not a bully!!”

Everyone stopped and looked up at me from their desks. I’m sure I heard a giggle.

My mother continued, “Sorry sweetie, but I’m just repeating what Agent Black said. He said that because you’re a “B-word…


I don’t think she knows exactly what that actually means.


She was still talking, “Because, you’re the B-word and we’re your parents we are just as in trouble as you are. Because, we raised you to be the ahem ummm, now I’m just going use the exact words he used sweetie so don’t get angry at me.”


I said, “Just tell me what he said, mother.”

Honestly, why are women so stupid?


Mother said, “Because, we raised you to a complete asshole we’re in trouble too. That due to our shitty parenting skills after they are finished with their interviews and investigations, we’ll probably lose our pensions. Your father will have to go back to work and I’ll have to take in laundry to make ends meet. So, we better have saved up a few coins. After he said that your father asked them to call 911.”


Oh, God.


“And did they call?”

Mom said, “No. He said we really won’t be able to afford the ambulance bill after they’re finished with us.”


Oh God and Jesus.


Mom said quietly, “I think I’m going to just hang up sweetie. Your dad has started drinking after 10 years of sobriety and I feel a slight stroke coming on. Love you!”


God, Jesus and Holy Virgin Mary.


Picture courtesy of Steph Munden