i was walking back home last night when i became acutely aware of people in their everyday ways of extracting pleasure out of life. it’s the month of ramadan so fasters, wanna-be-fasters- and pretend-fasters spend the day working or sleeping, then once they eat they hit the streets until it’s time to eat for the last time till the next iftar. an entire day of abstinence rewarded with a couple hours of alimentary and social pleasures. there is the the late night teravi prayer, mosques to visit for the broke, and many other cultural and religious activities some for the broke believer and some for the believer with some cash in their pockets. but most of the activities do not really need to involve cash. like the simple pleasure of taking a familial stroll in the summer night breeze.
the whole thing is kind of neat. changes the rhythm of the city. the traffic becomes a thing of the night. of course this is only one aspect of things. the nonbeliever, or just the nonfaster is threatened with being lynched depending on where and when they decide to non-fast… there is that fanatic frenetic fascistic side of this month of ritual going on. abstinence should be no grounds for forcing the non-abstainer to also abstain or pretend to abstain. it seems contrary to everything ascetic.
but then there are the nights when the believers, nonbelievers, fasters and pretend-fasters alike try their best to enjoy a summer night. cause this is what it is. a bunch of people trying their best to enjoy life. celebrating/hoping for bounty after a ritual of abstinance.
i was passing by the theater when i saw the kid brooming down the gutter a huge pile of sunflower seed husks. this is the family of the apartment caretaker guy. they live in a tiny apartment with no windows. so when they can, when the wheather allows, they throw their little plastic stools at the entrance of the building and the theater, and chat away or eat sunflower seeds. it was such a funny moment seeing the little kid broom away the seeds. it was such a huge pile. and i saw an older woman and the wife of the apartment caretaker, laughing and chatting loudly and with much pleasure. it brought a smile to my face and that weird gentle caressing kind of, almost physical, feeling i get in my heart when i see something so neat that i don’t dare touch for fear of breaking it(s spell). it was just so sweet. it seemed like genuine fun, you know.
then i kept walking with the smile on my face and noticed a short-haired blond woman with a backpack and earphones and sporty outfit, walking briskly past me. She also had a little water bottle. So some late night exercise? She looked “foreign” so I assumed she lives on my street. A little kid on his bike took an interest in her, probably because she had short hair, and probably because she was blond, and probably because she looked different to him. So he sort of rode the bike towards her and then swiftly turned around before he got her. A move of curiosity and pleasure. Threat and love. A move that perhaps satisfies some of the curiosity, perhaps trying to spark up some curiosity about himself as well, and it also contains a sort of kinetic kind of pleasure, the pleasure of maneuvering with the bike. She did turn to my street with the big ass sequined Love sign. I loved my street once more. The love street. Once I went down the stairs past the Love bar’s doors, I heard music from someone’s window. Classical Turkish art music. Müzeyyen Senar perhaps? It sort of gently streamed out of somewhere and I was almost sure it was in the middle of healing someone’s heart, because that’s what music does so much of the time. That’s why I turn to music most of the time.
Then I thought, here we are, all of us (oooh here comes the grand generalization), trying to iron out the creases of our crumpled souls with these little pleasures, of the alimentary, musical, physical and social kind. but then why are we so scarred in the first place, why is my heart so crumpled, that no amount of sweet music could ever heal it, it feels.