Birthday of Beatrix, the Dutch queen. Felt even more connected to my native country. I woke up at nine, and was taken care of again. I’m so grateful. We went to the village with the new dog that day. The new dog can’t be together with the old one yet, since they’re not used to each other. The new dog pisses in the room to mark his new territory, and the old dog scares him away as he was taught to scare away rats and unwelcome visitors. The village was nice, the people as laid-
back as they could be. Standing gloomily at the side of the road, noddig at each other and then walking on, slowly as ever. Old people live here, but the colors are young. We had a coffee in a small place and spoke about life here in the countryside. One day, I want to move to such a
place, away from the huzzle of a numbing metropolitan existence, away from the tube, the noise, and the concrete layers.
That day I read some poetry which was a stupid overkill of halfbaken metaphorical amuses. Definitely not my chef d’oeuvre. It would be a good thing when poetry could kill, my friend told me. Yes, stab somebody with a sentence, no need to wipe off the blood afterwards, no traces, no
guilt. And no need to sharpen the blade. We had a Portuguese dinner again. Potatoes and fish, good fish.
There was an American guy who came to clean the pool. I must keep him incognito, so he can’t be identified. He had had a remarkable life. Deserted in Vietnam. Refused to kill villagers, the children. Raised his voice and said no to napalm and agent orange and crimes against humanity
that didn’t go by that name in those days. A humane hero, at least in my imagination. I liked him, he was very relaxed about his walk of life. And still, how many child molesters, rapists, brutal pleasure killers walk around with purple hearts wagging on their fat bellies? He was nice, okay?
We saw it on the tv that evening, a soldier in Iraq left alone with his trauma. The guy had to shoot children who could possibly betray him on his secret mission to kill high-profile figures. He was 26, left alone by the army, his wife, a drug addict with hallucinations. It was the guy who
found Saddam Hussein. The tv documentary stirred in the hot soup of his misery and told us that we should be compassionate with the poor basterd. With that cowardous child killer, who chooses his carreer in the army over the life an innocent child, the life of God knows how many childs. The pool was so dawn clean after he had done his work. It was the cleanest pool of the village. All blue tiles glistening in the heavy sunlight.
In the afternoon we visited some Chinese shops that sold cheap stuff. You could buy crutches there. In Holland they have to be ‘arranged for’ and it cost you ten times more money. It was funny in its uselessness. How hard they work, the Chinese. My friends bought garden earth and with the earth we took a taxi back but we forgot the earth and had to call the taxi again and he came and delivered the earth and with the earth we went into the house.
January 31. Life as Literature. was originally published on Meandering home