Fragment uit het boek
I rub the unshaven lower half of my face and my tired eyes.
Listlessly, my tongue is making clicking motions, although without
making any sounds. The youths’ chatter fades into a hum. I look
downward and the blades of grass stare back at me blankly.
The spring simplifies into a blurry mix of light and green.
“Hello. Is this spot still free?”
She startles me. Without looking up, I say, “Yes, of course. Please
do sit down.” I shift a little to create more space although there was
plenty of space to begin with. An automatic gesture. My instinctive
response when ladies are concerned.
I am leaning forward, my pointy elbows resting on my upper legs.
My eyes blink in a daze when literally right under my nose, her
behind rotates toward the seat next to me. I am faced with snowwhite,
semi-transparent trousers and a minuscule little panty that
seductively shines through. I break out in a sweat. Anxiously, I bury
my face in my hands. How is this possible? At this exact moment? It’s
like a hungry lion that detects the smell of fear and weakness in prey.
Several moments of fear slide by. She sits down beside me. I can
feel it in the vibrations of the bench. She is sitting closer than I had
“Are you alright?” her concerned voice asks. Her voice sounds
frolicky at the same time. It is a voice with an unlimited number of
I try to imagine what this young woman’s face looks like, this
woman whose voice I have heard and who’s wearing a panty that
covers no more than a fraction of her fine little behind. No, I am not
alright, I am doing badly, very badly, and your splendid butt just did
me in, I find myself thinking while I study my brown leather shoes.
The laces are actually too long, excessively long; only a triple bow and
a voluminous knot keep them from touching the ground. How very
symbolic. I must look seriously distressed, like someone who’s
completely lost it, and in a way, that’s precisely the case. The melody
of a well-known children’s song surfaces in my mind, but I don’t
recall the lyrics.
Unobtrusively, a gentle, sweet sound, a kind of buzzing, makes a
nest in my thoughts.
“Yes, fine. Perfectly fine, even. Never been better. And you?”
She laughs wholeheartedly. It is a sincere, waggish laugh. “Me? I
am very well. I’m not the one sitting on a bench looking as if my
partner suddenly took off with someone else after ten years of
marriage. You understand?”
I see. “Yes, I understand.” Do I?
I straighten my back and look into her face. It’s a miracle. How
this is possible, I have no idea, but her beautiful face matches her
delicate bottom perfectly. She is blond, very blond, and also young,
very young, sixteen or eighteen I think, with an expertly sculpted
narrow face. She gives me a broad smile, revealing a set of wonderful
teeth. She is gorgeous. I instantly realize that I am in love. “Why are
you smiling?” I ask foolishly.
“You would too if you could see yourself. You look a bit, eh,
disheveled. Quite chaotic, in fact. Funny, too. Messy hair, and in need
of a shave.” She giggles. “Sorry by the way for being so direct, but I’m
a blabbermouth. That’s what my friends always say.”
My scalp itches, but I’m not going to scratch in my funny, messy
hair now. Hands off!
I continue to look at her; she might call it staring. Without
diverting my gaze from her delicate visage, I take stock of her.
Fortunately, she’s wearing a light-blue blouse that is not see-through.
Otherwise, I’d run off right away. That much is certain.
“Ah, it doesn’t matter,” I brush it aside. “You may be right. I
probably do look rather muddle-headed.” I suddenly realize that my
exterior accurately reflects the chaos in my brain. “I have multiple
reasons for it, but I don’t want to wear you out with my problems.”
Multiple? I have multiple reasons? Yes, it’s true. Multiple.
I still look at her for a while, immobile, while she looks back, a
passage of time that will later seem much longer than it actually was.
Mere moments, probably. The jumble of the park, the children, the
fray, the spring, the rest of the world, it is all effortlessly pushed into a
drab green background, but the buzzing continues. ×