Running. With Marc and Eddy Verbessem.

Identical Twins, Euthanasia, Belgium

5:30 am.  59F. Birds up and singing in all their glory.  It’s still.  Very still.

I put on my Adidas running shorts.  Rachel’s scolding from months back surfaces: “I can see your tan line.  They’re too short.  Those are Perv Shorts.  Embarrassing. Go change.”  I growl.   Now, each time I put them on, I’m thinking Perv-Man.  Words. Killer.  What a delicate flower.

What do you want to do for Father’s Day Dad?
I’d like to be left alone for the day.
Yes, if you could arrange for me to be sitting alone next to Thoreau, at Walden Pond, listening in on his thoughts, that would be a perfect Sunday.”
“Who? What?”
Forget it Honey.  Forget it.”
Have to say Dad, you have to stop your incoherent mumbling.”

I haven’t had a running post in weeks.  Lack of inspiration?  No.  Lack of running.  Self-described Weekend Warrior has shut down.  I ponder the long list of reasons why, including Man Down last week. Bottom line: Lazy-A**.  Mr. Stop and Go.  Outcome: A new 4-year high on the scale.  I’ve been feeding without a governor on Haagen Daz, Chobani yogurt laced with Smucker’s marmalade jam and heaping servings (multiple) of pasta.  Lucy Ball gobbling up chocolates on the conveyor – and actually keeping up with the pace.  Dr. Hitchcock is right: “It’s simple. More in than out.” Susan Barrett Kelly thoughts still nagging at me – – her Hindu relatives explaining that “reincarnation is not about living your whole life over again, but by being presented with lessons until you learn them.  When you learn them, you move on to a new lesson.”  Same lesson.  Over and over and over again.  Waves crashing the shore line.  Without respite.  When do I figure out this lesson…so I can move on to the next one?

Back to the run.

Home stretch of a head cold that is clinging for its life.  One week and still counting.  Mucous still draining.  I’m two miles out.  Place thumb and forefinger on left side of nose and blow.  A stream of mucous shoots out, with the tail end dangling down the front of my shirt.  Disgusting thick goop oozing down on Perv-Man’s shorts.  D*amn it.  Half of century of life and I can’t seem to get this right.  Maddening.  I brush it off.  I move to the right nostril.  And blow.  Another thick stream flies out, this time with a red carnation tint marking the asphalt.  Intestines? Odd, what a sense of accomplishment I felt in getting this done.  How old am I?

Marc and Eddy Verbessem drift back into my consciousness.  The twins haven’t been far away since yesterday morning.  Hovering.

The rest of my run I smell.  I see.  I feel.

Black cat ambling on the road.
The faint smell of seawater mixing with the pine of the deciduous trees, filling my lungs.
Featherlike breeze, just so soft and cooling the sweat on my back, my forehead.
Red cardinal fluttering its wings in a puddle.  While another looks on.
Cottontail rabbit, its hind legs propelling it across the side street.
Three geese swimming in single file.  Leaving a soft rippling wake on the Sound.

Gentlemen, I trust that you had a safe and pleasant journey.  And, I do hope to “see you on the other side.”

Time Check: 5 miles flat.  46 min 43 seconds.

Nap Time.

PUTTE, Belgium—In this small village amid an array of Flemish farms, they were an unusual but seemingly happy pair, two 43-year-olds who were identical, deaf twins. Townspeople recalled seeing Marc and Eddy Verbessem around town frequently, talking animatedly in sign language together, tooling around in a small blue car, and regularly buying two copies of a popular gossip magazine. No one expected them to decide to die on purpose. According to their doctor, the twins had developed a genetic disorder that was making them blind, and several years ago they began pressuring him to put them to death…their doctor says that as their condition worsened and threatened their independence, they would hand him envelopes containing a blunt request for euthanasia—and, for good measure, a list of symptoms they said were making their lives unbearable…Marc and Eddy, after a long legal and medical journey, met their doctors and family in a Brussels hospital, according to their doctor. They enjoyed a final cup of coffee and lay down in adjoining beds, where a chaplain said a prayer. Then they waved to their family, pointed up as if to say “see you on the other side,” received their injections, and were gone.

Image and Quote Credits on Verbessems’: Wall Street Journal.

Related Posts: Running Series 


  1. Do I note a theme with your posts this morning? Great writing. I did not read about the Verbessem brothers. Must read the full story.

    Happy Fathers Day btw. I think you deserve to wear whatever shorts you want! Lol


  2. Oh man…there is so much that I would like to say about this post, but I’ve decided to spare you from the flower girl comments for a while. Can I just LOL!!!!!???


  3. Wow…on the twin brothers….

    Happy Father’s Day David!


  4. I had a hard time moving on from the perv-shorts – I was laughing too hard. Kept thinking of the shorts that pro basketball players used to wear, which are now totally gross. Onto other thoughts…I can’t let you self-deprecate without voicing my sincere disagreement.


  5. Take some Kleenex with you next time. But the shorts…I have to agree with Rachel. 😉 I’d love to have seen the look on her face when you paraded around in them today. LOL.


  6. Michael Zahaby says:

    If nothing is hanging out, keep running. Happy Fathers Day


  7. Happy Father’s Day, David! I hope there was no snot on the shorts!


  8. Lol at “Go change” besides the story of twin brothers touched me.
    Belated Happy Father’s Day, Dave 🙂 You are one of the best.


  9. lkanigan says:

    Hope Fathers Day ended better than it started. Shorty shorts & snot…lol.


  10. 😆 Oh, you really made me chortle, David. I hope you had a very happy fathers’ day nevertheless, and that your head cold gets a whole lot better very soon. 🙂


  11. Happy Father’s Day! I wonder what the twins’ father would have felt like.


  12. Kleenex is helpful… Hope that Father’s Day was a nice one.


  13. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    You couldn’t have made this 2 separate posts? Hilarious running story but that story of the twins puts me in a completely different frame of mind. Maybe I’m missing some crucial connection?


  14. Laughing. It’s amazing how fascinating snot gets when you’re sick. It will be over soon.


  15. Visit my blog too! Don’t forget to follow. Haha 🙂 LOL


  16. Alex Jones says:

    Congratulations on getting back to running.


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