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Sloggi

Verschenen in De Volkskrant, 18 augustus 2016

 

 

Geregeld heb ik Vera aan de telefoon. Of liever, zij mij. Mijn vriendin, woonachtig in een riant appartement aan de Italiaanse Rivièra met uitzicht op zee, is van de oude stempel en lijdt aan telefoonfobie: ‘Nee joh, veels te duur!’ Met het ópnemen van de telefoon heeft ze daarentegen minder moeite. En met aan de lijn blijven nog minder.

Vera is één keer gescheiden (van een Rotterdamse ‘zakenpief’) en één keer weduwe (van een –onzakelijke- Italiaan). Haar dochters uit haar eerste huwelijk ziet ze niet zo vaak. Tijdens en na haar heupoperatie schitterden beiden door afwezigheid. Maar ja, toen mamma als fotomodel furore maakte, was zij ook niet altijd thuis.

Op hun sporadische logeerpartijen (‘zonder de kleintjes, hoor, veels te druk!) moeten de meiden zelf voor hun leeftocht zorgen: ‘Scusi, maar ik heb niks in huis’. En natuurlijk dient er gebeld te worden met de eigen telefoon.

Vorig jaar zocht ik Vera op ter ere van haar tachtigste verjaardag. Haar hele familie was ditmaal aanwezig, nou ja, zonder die drukke kleinkinderen dan. Tussen haar terras en de Mediterrannee loopt het spoor van Italië naar de Côte d’Azur en terug. Iedere keer als de trein langsdenderde, juichte de gastvrouw: ‘Il tren!’ Tot ergernis van de dochters. Maar die ergeren zich aan alles van hun moeder.

Ik niet. Bij mij kan Vera een potje breken. Misschien omdat ze mijn oudste vriendin is. In twee betekenissen. Maar vooral vanwege haar niet kapot te krijgen levenslust in combinatie met die zandlopersgestalte. Zelfs haar stok (ter ondersteuning van de nieuwe heup) draagt ze met zwier.

Als er iemand mooi is geweest, dan is het Vera wel. En nog steeds mag ze er wezen. Met haar hartvormige gezicht, geprononceerde jukbeenderen en cupidomondje doet ze denken aan een Slavische filmster uit de jaren vijftig. Terwijl ze toch gewoon uit Rotterdam komt.

Dat is duidelijk te horen. De ‘O já, joh’s?! liggen haar in de mond bestorven. Op vragende, slepende, typisch Rotjeknorse toon. Ook heeft ze een samenzweerderig stemmetje in huis: voor haar visserslatijn – op het financiële vlak-, steevast voorafgegaan door de opmaat: ‘Je lacht je rot!’ Daarna barst ze los in haar zoveelste dubbeltje-op-de-eerste-rang-relaas waarin ze de wereld te slim af is geweest en voor een schijntje van Nice naar Schiphol is gevlogen of (‘je lacht je rot’) op de markt van Ventimiglia voor een habbekrats een cashmere shawl heeft ‘gescoord’.

Naar mannen taalt Vera niet meer: ‘ Ik trek voor niemand mijn sloggi nog uit.’

Hoewel…. Gisteren kreeg ik haar weer even, nou ja, even, aan de lijn.‘Meid, ga zitten! Je gelooft het niet, maar ik ben verliefd! Hij heeft een paardenstaartje! Vanochtend zei hij ‘ti amo’ tegen me!’

‘Vanochtend?’

‘Eh .., haha! Nee joh! Op een terras bij een kopje koffie. Alles in het nette, hoor,’

Daarna meldde ze in geuren en kleuren de details van haar zojuist ontloken amourette. Dat Paardenstaart tegelzetter is maar desondanks in een open Mercedes rijdt en dat hij lichtgevende ogen heeft. ‘Net koplampen! En hij is pas zestig!’’

Over die sloggi heb ik nog geen uitsluitsel gekregen. Volgende week hopelijk wel.

 

 


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