after three months on the road
by crustacean island
After three months on the road, none of my clothes smell the same. A diversity of pit stops and temporary landing spaces. Detergent from a friend’s hilltop house in Akyaka, hung in the garden to dry; the ancient banging washer at Patika, dried under a fig tree overlooking the Mediterranean; the rooftop machine at Yanikoy, swinging on a line between grape vines; lavender soap in a bucket on Datça peninsula; a few items unearthed from a stale duffel bag still smelling like home; lingering perfume from a borrowing friend; the sweet foreignness of a gifted cotton dress; wood smoke; cigarette smoke; dried sweat; sunscreen; saltwater residue.
I’m covered in mysterious bruises, scratches, scrapes. Barbed wire, insects, burns, underwater rocks, blisters. My feet are so cut up they draw attention at the beach. Long horizontal cuts, callouses, bites. I’m given all sorts of home remedy advice, from obvious (almond oil, calamine) to unorthodox (snake oil?).
After harvesting cactus fruit in Yanikoy, in spite of best efforts, we were all covered in tiny slivers, hair-breadth razors everywhere. Reconvening at the table to share tweezers, olive-oiled cloths and beers. Peeled pink cactusfruit split open and sliced, some abstaining, others digging in. Supersweet white pomegranate, zucchiniflower-pepper fritters, leftover chocolate wedding cake.