My earliest memory came back to me in a dream. Around my twenties i dreamed i was crawling on a short stairs with maybe 2 steps. It was warm. I felt the warmth in my hands which were resting on the steps. I felt the warm stones beneath my fingers. My mother was sitting in front of me. She pointed to somebody behind me. My father. He was standing there with a camera in front of his face. He clicked. I had the photo. Somehow i lost it. I searched for it quite a few times. I still hope it’s somewhere in a book or a notebook. Somewhere hidden. I do love this memory. I can still feel the warm stones. I was like a year, a year and half old.
When i walked to the kindergarten, i was scared by the door with a message on it and a drawing of a skull. I think it was black and yellow. I remember walking around it.
When i was six i got a cold. I was only a few weeks at school. I remember my mum going out on the balcony. I was standing in the kitchen looking out. My mum told me not to get outside. That evening it got worse. We didn’t have a phone, so someone went to the neighbours and made a call to the doctor from there. I had pneumonia and croup. I was carried outside, going down the stairs. The ambulance was driving fast with the siren on. Red lights seemed to spin around me.
In hospital i did say to the nurse that i didn’t like carrots. She still gave them to me. I threw up. Mushed orange carrots on a pale blue blanket.
I loved my teacher in the fourth and fifth class of the lower school, meester van der Staay. I was 9 – 11 years old. One day i dislocated my ankle in a school break. He carried me upstairs.
In the first class of high school, one day, a friend was hit in front of my house. I walked with her to school. But halfway, when i realised i was going to be too late, i went on my bike and let her walk alone. I shouldn’t have done that. A teacher said so to me in front of the class. Everybody hated me. It seemed.
I think in the final year of high school, one day, the first spring day, me and a couple of friends went outside to the park and walked in the sunshine. When we got back, we were called by the dean. When we said where we had went and why, he couldn’t hold back a smile.
After my exams, i went on a holiday with a good friend and her family. We were going with the train. We went to Italy, in the north part close to the Alps. Aosta was the town close to where we camped. The day we left, i called her on the telephone. She didn’t answer. I got in a panic and walked up to her house. As it turned out, i was calling the wrong number. Stupid me. The whole time we were hardly talking, until one evening we had a huge fight. I left the next day, or the day after. Afterwards she gave me the photos with me on it. I never saw her again.
When i studied at the Technical University one day in spring i went to ‘t Platenmanneke in Delft. I listened to Tracey Thorn’s then new album Plain Sailing. For the most part i had my eyes closed. When i bought the album, the person behind the counter looked at me. Like she or he might have looked at me while i was listening. I was swept away by that record. I still love it.
The first year at art school, in the first weeks, we got an assignment to go outside and, i’m not sure, but i think draw. It was in September, late summer. The sun was shining through hazy thin clouds. The light was warm golden. The trees had lost their freshness and were turning yellowish a bit. And the smell! I smelled it again later on in that same period. I cannot describe the smell in words. It’s too subtle. For me anyway. I felt so happy.
In 94, while i was working temporarily at a printer, i knew they were looking for another DTP person. I didn’t think about myself. At all. But one day i was working there, and they were guiding this person around who was applying. I remember thinking then “He doesn’t fit here at all!”. And then i thought “I might! If i would just say something?”. It dawned on me i could simply get the job if i wanted it. I had to think. I knew it would mean i would leave behind art. It would be my first real job. So i took it. The next five years were hard work. The hardest of my life. It was also a lot of fun. I actually did sing at work. Chatted with my colleagues. Some of whom were friends. It did wear me out. After five years, i couldn’t keep on going anymore. But those five years will always be a special memory.
It does seem to me memories in later periods of my life have grown less. I do think it also has to do with me working on lfs.nl. On that site i mostly make things, i talk about music and memories and such. Also, the things i made are connected with my dreams a lot. So to me it feels like my dreams are already out there, like for instance Dancing Queen.
The past eight months are really special. They still are. I do know i’m closing in on the end period. I’m still not sure what i will be doing with my life. I am in for a change.
Added monday 14:00
My first volunteer job at the Rotterdam Film Festival, i think in 1992. It was a Saturday morning. It was so crowded! In the newspapers there were photos of the cues! I worked at the Lumiere cinema check out. A small round glass building with i think 4 or 5 check outs. I tried not to look at the people in front of me. I was happy there was glass between us and the rows and rows of people in front of us. It was mad! At one point i think i simply felt i needed a bit of break, not sure. But i did turn around and looked at the check out person sitting there. She stood up, took my place and told me to go outside for a bit and get some rest. I cried. I did go outside and stood against the door and took some deep breaths and tried to regain a bit of control of myself. Than i went back inside and started working again.
The farewell party from my job at the printer. I never said it’s name! It’s Tripiti, in the centre of Rotterdam, the area called Cool. I always enjoyed that name. It’s also the name of the main central road of Rotterdam, where the city hall is situated, the Coolsingel. You don’t say it like you are doing in English. It’s pronounced as ‘coal’. But, getting back to the memory, my farewell party. A client helped with making the snacks. We bought a shiny disco ball to hang up high above the printers. My friends came, Pieter and Rens from 75B were there. Jelle van der Hijden was there, Femke and Martine. Jeroen en Han. And i got way too drunk! I actually at one point sat outside and threw up. They put me in a cab and sent me home. But it was glorious!