Story so far: Having survived a near goring by ferocious cows on my way to Annemarie through the ‘Snowy’, I have arrived at the front door.
Annemarie, here I come!
After a soft knock at Annemarie’s parents address, the door opened. It was her mother who was beaming invitingly. “Ah, Gerard, come in, come in. Gee, you look red. The whole family came to the door. They had eight children and most of them girls. Dutch families of that time were huge. Indeed, a family with 21 children had arrived in 1955 and were featured, all in a row, on most newspapers front pages. I think they were The Stalenberghs and settled in ‘own home’ near Blacktown. The redness was mainly on my nose which also had developed nasty sun- blisters, not looking too appetizing. A four day trip in January on a motor scooter had left my face too exposed. I was so hot and my suit was dark.
I entered with my suitcase but sans the object of my trip anywhere in sight. “Where is Annemarie, I mustered bravely but also casually”? “Oh, she’ll be here soon, she is just with a friend”. “She‘ll be helping me cook dinner soon”, her mother added rather quickly. “Why don’t you take a douche, here is a towel”? “You’ll be sleeping in Annemarie’s room and she’ll sleep with me.” With Annemarie not being there at my arrival and out with a friend, it did not sound too promising. Still, sleeping in her room was at least something. Percolating in a suit carrying a carton suitcase with bulbous and blistered nose, beggars can’t be choosers. Her absence was ominous though. Sleeping in her room was also not as it first seemed. I knew, that she would not be anywhere in bed with me. Of course not. Who do you take the Dutch for, a libidinous race of herring eating fornicators? “My husband will sleep on the stretcher bed next to Annemarie’s bed.” The ever thoughtful wife added.
My head started spinning and I needed to take up the offer of a refreshing shower. The sleeping arrangements needed some clarity which I could not achieve while still wearing and steaming in my Reuben’s S. suit. I undressed in the shower and tried not to complicate things with having Annemarie’s bed in mind. My proboscis was throbbing, nothing else. With a clean body and, considering the circumstances, a clean mind as well, I got dressed. I carefully packed my suit back in its carton environs together with dirty clothes and spark plug and spanner. My ‘suit wearing’ for impressing Annemarie had been a fiasco, she wasn’t even there!
I put on a Pelaco shirt and shorts; thongs on feet, clearly refreshed and ready for whatever would eventuate, including hopefully, a good old fashioned Dutch fare that Annemarie and mum would cook up. It smelt delicious, and not seeming too keen on getting a glimpse if Annemarie had arrived back yet and was lending a hand in the kitchen, I engaged with the other daughters and single son. They all were remarkably uninterested and preferred to talk to each other. Father of Annemarie had just come home and was in his special chair, smoking Graven A as well. What a coincidence! At least we had that in common as well as sharing the same room for to-night. Suddenly, I heard the lovely pitched voice with a timbre that I recognized from that time on board with her special table tennis skills. ” Oh Annemarie”, I shouted from the lounge room. “Oh, hello Gerard”. “Hoe gaat het?” How are you going? It did not sound as enthusiastic as I had imagined or fantasised. During that episode in the Snowy Mountains with those ferocious cows, I had prepared myself to gild the (Annemarie’s) Lilly somewhat with a heroic survival tale that I had practised during the last 2 nights in my single person tent.
I walked into the kitchen and immediately understood the reason for her rather cool welcoming engagement from the kitchen. There was a bloke there. Can you believe it? Cool as Fanta and with a normal nose. “This is Roderick, Roderick this is Gerard from the boat”, “he has a Lambretta”, she cooed. What a blow, all those cows ready to gore me, my burnt facial features and rotten nights wrestling to keep pure for Annemarie and now all hope collapsing. Roderick kept staring at my nose. What I had left now was a night with her father and her bed. Small solace! No wonder the mother was cooking up a big meal. She knew full well what was going on and I consoled myself with the idea that she preferred me for her daughter. An apprentice spectacle maker was a bit better than a mere factory labourer which ‘he’ turned out to be. “He has no future”, she confided, after he, the ‘Fanta boyfriend’ had left just before dinner. I did not have it in me to enlighten her to the fact that I had been a factory labourer until recently! Why not thrive a bit on someone’s better opinion?
The dinner was almost prepared and I watched as Annemarie was bashing the spuds with the potato masher, wriggling her lithe torso so knowingly and so maddingly delightful. Those table tennis tournaments sure had paid off, made her a fast mover. She wore a dress that was sweeping and rotating around her legs in sympathy to the spuds being pulverised.
ps: Will be continued with a consummation.