The Canadian years,44 yesterday

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Saturday 27 December 19:59



I walked up to Pop to pay, he gave me a curious look. ‘Not all went well, boy, she broke up? ‘I looked at Pop, ‘No,’ I answered slowly,  ’they are moving, tomorrow.’’ Oh dear,’ said  Pop, forget about the coffee, it is on the house. He stuck two fingers up,’ peace man’, he said,’ may I give you some advice?’ Pop looked at me, ‘things went the way they went, you can find her back again in others and so form a picture of what you want or expect from real life.’ ‘ First love,’ he asked? I nodded. ‘That's heavy man,’ he said. Pop was in the wrong body, he was incredibly hip for a 300-year-old with gray curls. ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘it is heavy.’ ‘Give her a place as she was, with all the good memories,’ Pop counseled ‘and do you want to know something more?’ I nodded. ‘There is not a handful of women but a country full of women.’ A slap on my shoulder brought me back to the world.’ Hey old wanker’, the voice of Don sounded beside me, ‘you're not driving Pop balmy with your  Shakespeare shit?’ ‘No,’ I said.’ we were having a deep conversation.’ ‘Nice’, he said,’ because when you're done then I would like to order a coke.’ ‘Beautiful’, Pop said, ‘this old wanker will get you a coke.

Don changed color,’ I was  referring to my friend.’ ‘But you looked at me, and your friend is not old,’ chuckled Pop. ‘Phew,’ said Don, ‘sometimes everything goes wrong.’’ Tell me boy’, I said,’ I know all about it.’ ‘Oh,’ he said, and took out his wallet. Richard came walking up, ‘alright men has Saturday already been discussed?’ ‘What's this all about,’ I asked?’ Don may use his father's car on Saturday and we are going to 'Happy valley', that is, if it is not raining. Are you coming?’ ‘I do not know,’ I said, ‘I've had a crappy day.’ ‘All the more reason to go,’ Richard said. ‘What makes your day so worthless?’ Don looked at me quizzically? He played again the oncoming psychologist.’ I have lost Shelly,’ I said. ‘Oh man’, Richard said, ’that’s poor.’ The upcoming shrink, looked at me, I saw it coming, ‘you're too overbearing in nature’ ‘She is moving’, I continued toward Richard.’ She does not even want to be in the same city as you live,’ said Don,’ it runs deep’. Good lord, Don, are you disturbed or what,’ I asked? ‘You must be one to to recognize one, Don replied, profoundly. ‘And who do you recognize Don,’ asked Richard?’ I'm not crazy,’ Don said emphatically. ‘Say that again and slobber a bit,’ answered Richard. ‘Don, Don,’ I shook my head in sympathy,’you'll find in your practice later,  deranged folk who deny their ailment. They will all think they are normal and that you are disturbed.’ ‘Some,’ said Richard thoughtfully, ‘will be right in that.’


‘Hey man, cut it out, this is not funny anymore,’ shouted our future shrink. ‘Just for the record, are you or are you not coming along to 'happy valley?’ ‘ Yes,’ I said, ‘it sounds like fun.’ ‘Then we’ll meet here at Pop’s exactly at 10am.’ ‘Excellent’ exclaimed Richard, ‘we have wheels man.’ ‘ I am off’, I said, ‘ have to pick my sisters up and I want to unload my books.’ I thought of Shelly while walking  and it was the real farewell, as the processing takes place, then you'll say goodbye in a way that you find appropriate in your memories. We had passed a good time, I had to chuckle to myself thinking of the first date, where we had ended up at Archie Stamper’s. Men who were without any civilization, one tooth Joey, and horseshit Bill, who hammered each other's brains out. I decided to take a future flame only to movies and concerts and who knows, if I owned wheels, to happy valley. I walked up the garden path and came through the back door.

I was greeted by my oldest sister who was busy with cooking preparations.’ What's wrong with you,’ she asked, as she looked at me searchingly. ‘Nothing’, I said. She looked straight through me, she could read me like a book.’ Really,’ she asked? ‘Do you have problems in school?’ ‘ No,’ I said and I turned my eyes away. ‘Look at me when I talk to you, there's something you want to talk about?’ ‘No’, I said. ‘Okay,’ she continued,’then I’ll fix you a tea and then you can tell me what that something is. I’ nodded and walked to the living room to put my books on the table and greet my mother.

She had the radio turned on and 'yesterday' by the Beatles was blurting out. I walked over to her chair which was standing in the rest position and saw that she was in a haze of painkillers. She was awake. I leaned over and pressed a kiss on her forehead. She asked , ‘was hot on the plantation?’ She narrowed her eyes a little, to better focus on me. ‘ I am..’, I replied.’ Yes I can see it’ my mother said, ‘beautiful music, huh?’’ I .’. and she paused to gasp .. understand that text’. ‘Yesterday, all my troubles’ seemed so far away .’.’Yes, I agreed, it's beautiful music.’ ‘Not too long in the sun now, huh,’ she continued. ‘How is it that you're so young again,’ and she laughed lovingly at me. ‘Oh dear,’ she confused me with my father. ‘That filthy rotten morphine, which made her totally confused.


‘We are in Canada, Mom,’ I said, and my heart bled as I adjusted her pillow. ‘Dad, will come shortly, I just got out of school.’ She had just one bright moment ‘oh,’ she said, ‘my thoughts whirl so much.’ I heard the fastback  pull up the parking bay and  a bit later the kitchen door was flung open. The dog flew away whimpering, with his tails between his legs,  under the table. Father was home. He first went to the radio and turned it resolutely off, ‘what a crap,’ he said. His second act was pressing the switch of the recordplayer,  where the slave chorus from Nabucco came under the needle. ‘So, he said, that's better.’ He walked to the chair of my mother and kissed her forehead. My mother lit up. ‘Oh there you are, now I see it’, she spoke almost without breath short.’ Just look at you,’ my father spoke with a chilled heart. ‘Go do something, crafts or something.’ ‘You,’ he looked at me with a searching look, ‘what are you standing about for, go do something useful and out of my eyes.’

I sat down with my sister, two cups of tea were steaming on the table in the kitchen. ‘And’ said my sister? ‘It is insoluble’, I said. ‘Really,’ she asked, ‘if there are problems then there are solutions. It's a girl, right?’ I nodded and said, ‘but it is no longer important.’ ‘Nothing is more important compared to how it goes here.’  ‘Yes’, she said, ‘the morphine dose has been increased but you have noticed that already, I assume. I'm going to work.’ ‘ I'll get the girls later on,’ I said. We probably both thought the same, just flee away for a minute. My brother would come home and my dad would watch TV, I would go to the basement to study and the kids would go to sleep. ‘We are all hurt, you know,’ my sister said thoughtfully. She explained it exactly, as always, with  just the finger on the sore spot. Suddenly 'happy valley'  seemed more than alluring.

San Daniel 2014

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Zo oefen ik m'n Engels nog eens.