A late story – 8 March

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…A chilly breeze waves the curtains. It’s already morning. More precisely it’s around noon…Nobody’s in the kitchen yet. Some are still enjoying their slumber; others are somewhere on their way to Amsterdam. There’s something peculiar and special this day… What is it exactly? A couple of wondering Sun razes just started to dismantle the grey mass of clouds…On the kitchen table a couple of frightened breadcrumbs await the menacing wet sponge. Two dirty plates look towards their saviour, the tap water. Something is still missing from the table…I look around and my eyes stare at the calendar. The 8th of March!!! Wooohh, I nearly forgot about it…But of course! There’s not one flower on the table. Forgetting my jumper in the room, I run towards the garden next to the dorm. The grass shines with a striking green colour and near the tiny wire fence a couple of yellow daffodils watch over the violets. The girls will probably be happy upon seeing them – I said to myself as I prepared to take a couple. A violet, a daffodil, another daffodil…Stooop!!! – an eardrum shattering voice breaks the silence. As I raze my head I look in the corner of the garden. Near the entrance lay “Amazon-like Marijke” (a Dutch woman probably around her 60s) holding a vicious cigarette in her hand. My eyes become sharper, my nostrils widen and my poor eardrums prepare for the next sound-wave. Her chest moves. Her lungs avidly breathe in the chilly spring air. Her lips separate. Her eyes become stiff and once again with her metal voice she scatters the garden’s tranquillity. Why are you tearing the flowers? – I hear as her screeching sounds reach my ear. My brain quickly starts working, my chest expands; my mouth opens. Because it’s the 8 March and it’s Women’s Day. Maybe someone will be happy on seeing these flowers! Anger streamed from the Mevrouw’s eyes and once again her ear piercing throat filled the garden’s silence. I don’t care if it’s 8 March, or if it’s Women’s Day!!! My left hand tightly grips the few strands of flowers as my lungs prepare for the new air intake; my vocal cords loosen up and with a faint smile I answer. Don’t you like it when you get a flower from someone? The garden suddenly becomes silent; even the small drop of dew slumbering on a strand of grass starts paying attention; the cricket next to the wall stops its silent music. Everyone’s waiting for the answer. No, I don’t!!! – the answer of our Amazon worrier flowed across the garden. A smile runs through my face. Dear Saint Mary, Mother of Christ – I say to myself – who knows what’s her problem? I take my flowers, tare another violet and I walk towards the other entrance. Maybe I hurt Mevrouw’s equality notion? Only she knows…I open the kitchen’s door. A glass of water takes its place on the table in which the two violets and three daffodils happily revive…And there was someone who was happy for them 🙂

11 March 2008 Utrecht

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