Why chemistry is a must. A miracle brought about by endorphins

Last night I don’t just get out of the house and go buy water. No. My body is determined. I watch it head for the closet, open the doors, take off the day’s clothes, search on the lower shelf and take out the running clothes, put them on and get out in a hurry.

I stopped my exercise routine three weeks ago. Because it had become too much of a routine and I need variation, because of the bike fall, because of Turkey, because of overindulging. Pretexts. Now, out in the street, I don’t have patience for a warm-up, so I just spring like an arrow finally having escaped the tension of the bow. I shoot through the dark streets, dodging people on the narrow sidewalks and cars when the sidewalk cannot contain me and I know it’s too early for hooker spotting, but I still run by their usual spot just to pay my respects. By the time I finish my run and get to the supermarket, I am so happy every cell is singing in ecstasy.

“Habibi, I am so happy. You know, I am finally, finally, at that point in my life I have always been waiting for. I am totally free. I’ve spent my entire life waiting for this moment. I feel so free and happy. I can do whatever I want.” I tell Hamodi  and we’re both laughing as we start our phone conversation while I’m still panting. “Isn’t it funny? You smoke weed and I’m high… It must be because of the good connection.”

The evening shoppers are all looking at me and I know I am glowing. Thank you, God, you’ve done a good job!



Shuffling dead leaves and crushing cigarette butts with their high heels, all wrapped up in their thick black clothes, the hookers are pensive tonight. Clients are few and far between. Turning tricks is getting more and more demanding. Every other day someone offers to pay in meal vouchers instead of cash. Since winter is coming, men hardly ever shower anymore. Why stick around? Why not move to Barbados? It’s not like the country cannot do without them. No one is irreplaceable. If the situation becomes desperate, there’s always the option to import.

Checking up on the hookers every night I go running gives me comfort. Just like hearing the church bells ring every Sunday morning. Or the muezzin performing the adhan when I’m in Turkey. It gives me something I can rely on. No matter how crazy life gets, no matter what happens to me or to the world, the hookers are always there every night, opposite the church, the church bells ring every Sunday morning and the muezzin performs the adhan five times a day from the minaret. Rituals. It’s one of the first things I learnt when I started working in Waldorf education – children need rituals; they give them a feeling of safety, something they can relate to, structure.

And all this time, up there, the moon is quietly filling up again, just like it does every month. Life can get as crazy as it wants, heart can be broken, hopes crashed, dreams postponed, days filled with work, week after week can pass with light speed, wrinkles can deepen, hair can whiten, earthquakes can shake, lies can be told, illusions can be created and destroyed, love can be fallen into and out of and so on.

So, as I’m heading back home, sweaty and tired, I’m counting my rituals: the hookers opposite the church every night I go jogging, the church bells on Sunday morning, he muezzin’s call to prayer five times a day (no matter how far I am from it), the moon filling up and becoming new again. Oh, and jogging itself. But that’s more personal, it depends on me, so it doesn’t feel safe enough. More about that another time. So go on, life, bring it on. I’m good. Ready for anything.

PS Photos taken last night, as I was riding my bike on my way home.

A dead white rose lying on the hood of a grey car

Was it the impact? I wonder. What is it transitioning to? Everything seems to be a transition. This day is a transition between yesterday and tomorrow. Life is a transition between birth and death. And so on. I didn’t invent this, of course, I’m just expressing truisms. That’s pretty much what I do all the time.

I’ve been thinking about how people need to mention their profession when they introduce themselves. “I’m a driver.” “I’m a teacher.” “I’m a writer.” “I’m a lawyer.” “I’m a manager.” I like the ones ending in “-er” – they seem easier to get out of, easier to change, less dramatic. You can be a doer of something. But when you are a doctor, a judge, a nurse, a model, a director, an artist etc, it does seem as if you are that profession instead of just a doer. It becomes you.

What about the hookers? Two of them tonight, all black from head to toe, leather, hair, everything, smoking while talking on their phones. Transitioning between tricks, cars, clients, hairdos, outfits etc. Hooker is an “-er” ending profession, so they are doers. So it must be easier to change than other unfortunate professions. They can get out of it, right? Unless they are prostitutes.


like the moon
I empty myself of my self
and become new
once a month
I’m again
so full of myself

the hookers shrouded
in their heavy perfume
their faces covered up
in their heavy makeup
wearing their heavy breasts
their heavy hearts

the church is dark tonight
no candles burning
for the dead or for the living

“How are you?”
“Fine, I guess…”
“What’s with the sadness?”
“Oh, that… It’s just the bottom side of happiness.”
“You think? Looks rather deep to me…”
“Oh, thank you! I’m working on it. You know, the deeper the sadness, the higher the happiness that follows.”

“Move that heavy ass!”
the robot voice
of the wheelchair night prophet

PS I want to sleep early tonight, so I figure out a way to make my run last shorter: I make it more intense. The same must apply to life.