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Seun

Verschenen in De Volkskrant, 9 augustus 2016

Na mijn tweede echtscheiding veranderde ik van een luxepop die jarenlang vorstelijk was beloond voor bezigheden binnenshuis, in een zorgelijk gezinshoofd Hoe moest ik mijn verwende zoontjes en mezelf (idem) onderhouden? Al was ik ooit een soort bekende Nederlandse geweest, een behoorlijk vak had ik niet geleerd.

Dus nam ik alles aan wat op mijn pad kwam. Zoals een rolletje in ‘Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden’: dat van Sandra Mulder, een daadkrachtige architecte met schoudervullingen onder haar spijkerbloes. Sandra was niet op haar mondje gevallen. Ik wel. Het kostte me de grootste moeite andermans tekst (’best wel’, ‘doei’, ‘te gek!’) losjes uit mijn mond te laten rollen.

Daarom nam ik mijn toevlucht tot de journalistiek. Daar kon je je eigen woorden kiezen. Maandelijks verzorgde ik een dubbelinterview voor het vrouwenblad Elegance. Van de redactie mocht ik met twee zo beroemd mogelijke dames lunchen in een gerenommeerd restaurant. Nu eens in gezelschap van actrice Mary Dresselhuys en schrijfster Annie Schmidt: ‘Vraag maar hoor kind’ dan weer in dat van twee actrices/ filmsterren: de onlangs overleden Annet Nieuwenhuijzen en Monique van de Ven. Ik herinner me nog goed hoe deze laatste met een juichkreet een fles Brunello di Montalcino bestelde. Misschien –ik weet het wel zeker- ging er nog een tweede doorheen want ook la Nieuwenhuijzen en de interviewster zelf lustten wel een slokje. Tot mijn schrik ontdekte ik thuis op het opnameapparaat dat het aantal woorden van het dubbelinterview de dubbele hoeveelheid van het vereiste aantal besloeg: 4000! Omdat ik geen enkele ervaring had, schreef ik het hele vraaggesprek op, zodat het uitwerken ervan een volle week in beslag nam.

Kort daarop riep ik een derde werkzaamheid voor mezelf in het leven: die van declamatrice. Geen saaiere kunstvorm dan voordrachtskunst. Althans om naar te luisteren. De enige die er van geniet is de voordrachtskunstenares zelf. De opkomst in de Kulturele Centra en Teejatertjes liet dan ook nogal te wensen over.

‘Familiebanden’ heette het gedichtenprogramma waarmee ik door het land trok. Van Appingedam tot Heerlen. In mijn Panda. Nog zonder tomtom, zodat ik niet altijd stipt op tijd ter plekke was.

‘Familiebanden’ ging over moeders en zonen. Ik begon met het gedicht over die snotaap die het hart van zijn moeder op de grond laat vallen. Maar dat vindt dat moederhart helemaal niet erg: “Heb je je pijn gedaan, enigste schat?!”

Nijhoffs Bommelse Brug mocht natuurlijk niet ontbreken netzomin als ‘Jong Seun’ van de Zuidafrikaanse dichteres Elisabeth Eybers. Ik citeer de eerste regels: ‘Die seun klim druipend uit die bad, sy hele lijf is gaaf en glad’.

En het moederliefdevolle slot:

‘geheg aan die benedebuik

waar blink haarrankies reeds ontluik,

deuraar, teer soos ‘n ooglid, sag

soos murg, hang weerloos die geslag’.

 

Laatst was ik even op ziekenbezoek bij mijn jongste seun die geveld was door een zomergriepje. Hij lag In het bad. Gaaf en glad, zag ik in een flits. Maar toen ik me over hem heenboog om hem op zijn bezwete hoofd te kussen, hield ik mijn blik demonstratief op zijn gezicht gericht. Naar de benedebuik met haarrankies en wat dies meer zij durfde ik niet te kijken. Niet meer.


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