The Kommersant

by Ella Kanegarian Göktaş

“Now because of you I have to read a book, or whatever it is….is it a novel? a story? hmm young lady…I don’t like reading books…takes too much time!” said the Commerce Man without taking off his sunglasses. He noticed my facial expression from his “young lady” and continued talking “So what, let’s talk and I’ll understand what you want from me…what do I have to tell you for your story?” continued, touching his earplugs simultaneously…which looked like he was receiving calls all the time. Or maybe something else….The only thing I know is that the noise in your head got doubled with other sounds…and I fear that all the sounds of your assistants, clients…friends calling may blur the ones more important, the sound of your intuition, your guts and YOU in general…

I started speaking. Was trying to describe what I am going to write about him and what type of information I need. To be honest, I didn’t need that much, I didn’t even know what I need…or do I really need the real HIm for writing my story.

He was listening and nodding his head. His elegantly shaped head with semi-long hair, a bit burnt by the sun, some of them comfortably residing behind his ear garnished with earplugs. He was drinking his smoothie and waiting for me to start. I could tell from his face, he expected serious questions on life or…not what I asked.

I asked him if his room was small when he was a teenager. Stupid question…but I  have always thought, that the size of your room defines the size of the world for you. If your room was narrow, small and dark, this is how you end up seeing the world, and if not, you see the wideness of it and feel comfortable, because your body was never damaged by the narrowness of material reality.

But this is just a theory, which doesn’t mean it is true and really people who had big wide rooms in their childhood and teenagerhood are really more peaceful and calm whenever it comes to material reality…it’s just a theory just like the one, which tells the longer your fingers are the longer your penis is….

I got confused when I understood that I am staring at Commerce Man`s fingers, though I know and I am sure that I am not interested in his penis, but still…does the fact that I am staring at his fingers mean I secretly am? and if I am…in which sense? Do I want to experience it or think of it in general…just like I think about Eiffel Tower or Empire State Building…is it big or not…does it satisfy women or leaves them empty…does it make them happy or makes feel lonely and used…although, you know, women are creatures which are able to get whatever they want in any circumstances…they want drama, they can get it even in the happiest and smoothest times…if they want to be happy, they will find it amongst the dust and shit…if they want to be loved, they are, even when there is no one near…and if they want their heart to be broken…you don’t even need to do a single move…they’ll find a way to break it on their own…you are just a tool for their inner experiences and transformation…

Human beings, in general, are that way…but women are some very complex and multilayered versions of a human being. I don`t love the woman in me and if I manage to drive her out, just her construct and the patterns of thinking, not the biology….I  will probably end up becoming a happy human with breasts and vagina…happy and fulfilled…probably the same way this person is…the one who is in front of me…yes, the Commerce Man. I feel he is, though he didn’t share any small reaction, even a micro gesture which would make him happy or else. He`s like the Mona Lisa… is she smiling or is it her background or is it all just an optical illusion, caused by bright sunlight and much coffee???

The waiter handed me my fourth coffee and the  Commerce Man his second smoothie.

“Banana. I have to have it every day. So said the doctor.” he said adding “I recently started loving golf. Finally. I have always thought its boring and dull, but now I got it`s vibe. I love sports in general and I am a very communicative person. I’m a team person. Love communicating with people, hearing their stories, experiences” he continued and I assume he was looking at my eyes, though I couldn’t tell for sure, his glasses were hiding his eyes. Hiding for real.

However hard I was trying to find his eyes behind the glasses, all I could see was just my reflection. I saw only me, tired, a bit burnt from the sun, with weird hair…but not him…where was he hiding his eyes?

I waited for him to finish his smoothie and asked if I could continue giving him more questions. He listened and carefully added:

“Yes, but we have 36 minutes”

he never starts his sentences with “No”, always says “Yes”, even if he is against it and continues with adding a “but” and moving a conversation towards a direction he needs to.Maybe that is why in this small city everyone calls him Commerce Man and tells he can sell anything and convince anyone to do anything. But maybe this city needs someone like him, so simple that it can easily be turned into a complicated and mysterious character. Simplicity is hard to digest in small cities, which are hiding their narrowness behind layers of gossip. Gossips help to blur the lines and create an atmosphere of activities, whereas in small cities the only activity offered is gossiping or being gossiped about. Anyway, Commerce Man was the sort of character small cities adore, too simple, too easy to become anything…a spy, a womanizer, a successful businessman…

I stared so shamelessly at his glasses, that he just took them off…without a huge desire of doing so.

“My eye doesn’t blink, that’s why I am wearing glasses. You won’t feel at first, but if you take one more look, you will see.”

Since the very day, I saw him, I have always perceived the Commerce Man as a highly nostalgic person and this, the unblinking eye, ideally proved my point…on a symbolic or metaphysical level…Imagine an eye which doesn’t blink, in other ways, an eye which is paused on a certain day, certain hour…a certain moment…while the other still blinks and stays present…For the unblinking eye there is no present, only the frozen moment, it chose to stay in, it has no sense of time anymore. So, maybe in order to pause the time and the moment all you have to do is to stop blinking? Should give it a try…though later…Now I have to focus. Although this idea is something nice to work on, it can turn into a nicely layered story about a man, who paused the time to not lose it. But to come up with something decent, I need to speak more to this Commerce Man, and yes, to listen to him more…be present and get out of my head, my thoughts. I concentrated on his face and came back to our conversation.

He looked straight into my eyes. One wasn`t blinking for real…the other one had such a childish thing in it…something which wasn`t matching anything, any gossip, story you may hear of him.

What problem do you think you have? I mean why did your eye decide to behave this way?” I said it and immediately felt sso stupid for putting it all that way…such a childish way…why the hell did I say “your eye decided” as if it is a character on its own and not part of this human`s body…what will he think of me now?  I sounded so silly….but there was one huge plus in all this situation…I didn’t care what will he think, because he was the character I will write about…the character of my story I am about to create…I am “writing him” and shaping his image into words and I don’t care what will he think of me, because he is not real…yet…but, if I am speaking to an unreal person… I am not real as well. He doesn’t exist and all the stories circulating of him are lies, because none of them are really about him…this one too.

Kommersant cut my thoughts by loudly drinking his smoothie and added with an exaggerated sharpened southern accent.

“Listen, there are things which have no metaphysical explanation and they mean what they mean. The problem with my eye is just because of the cold. I got a cold. It shall pass…or shall not pass. I just have to wait and see” he said, and continued while doing something on his phone  “Hey, one more question, couldn’t you come up with a better name than “The Commerse Man”? I sell nothing”:


The Kommersant

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