Man in a Concrete Fez
Do not pity poor Fazil Korkmaz, seen here, prone in the midst of the Turkish market of Diyarbakir (just past the fennel cart of the local spice merchant, Muzaffer).
For Fazil is a fez-maker. For forty-four years, Fazil has fought to find the perfect fez. He has fashioned fezzes of fuzz, fezzes of fur, fezzes of feathers and leather and pleather.
Fezzes of plastic, fezzes of plush, fezzes of mohair, and fezzes of mush.
Fezzes of felt and fezzes of mink, fezzes of corduroy, fezzes of skink.
Fezzes of wool and fezzes of wax, fezzes in sequence, and fezzes in stacks.
Fezzes of metal, fezzes of wood, fezzes of paper — none of them good.
Until — at last — after all these false fezzes, Fazir fashioned his very finest fez: of concrete.
No more listening to Ayda and Burcu and Ezgi and Gonca (the youngest) wrestling over the homemade doll! No more prying apart the fighting Ismet and Nihat and Osman and twins Zafer and Zeki! No more enduring the grating griping of mother-in-law Gamze, or the wheedling whining of his once-beloved Yasemin!
Fez-maker Fazil simply strolls to a sedate spot — and, clapping on his concrete fez —kisses the cobblestones, collapsing into a sweet and satisfying slumber, the sensation of which he has not savored through many a Mideastern moon.
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