'In the first minute following her death, Tequila Leila's consciousness began to ebb, slowly and steadily, like a tide receding from the shore. Her brain cells, having run out of blood, were now completely deprived of oxygen. But they did not shut down. Not right away . . . ' Our brains stay active for ten minutes after our heart stops beating. For Tequila Leila, each minute brings with it a new memory- growing up with her father and his two wives in a grand old house in a quiet Turkish town; watching the women gossip and wax their legs while the men went to mosque; sneaking cigarettes and Western magazines on her way home from school; running away to Istanbul to escape an unwelcome marriage; falling in love with a student who seeks shelter from a riot in the brothel where she works. Most importantly, each memory reminds Leila of the five friends she met along the way - the friends who are now desperately trying to find her.… (more)
Now he has again preceded me a little in parting from this strange world. This has no importance. For people like me who believe in physics, the separation between past, present and future has only the importance of an admittely tenacious illusion.
Albert Einstein upon the death of his closest friend, Michele Besso
To the women of Istanbul and to the city of Istanbul, which is, and always has been, a she-city
Her name was Leila.
It was remarkable that her mind was working at full tilt—though who knew for how long. She wished she could go back and tell everyone that the dead id not die instantly, that they could, in fact, reflect on things, including their own demise. People would be scared to learn this, she reckoned. She certainly would have been when she was alive. But she felt it was important that they knew.