Frederik, are you sure what you want?
MY cases are packed, ready to start an enjoyable journey with me, with the ultimate aim of being home for Christmas, in order to celebrate the feast of Christ together.
I do not yet know how I managed that.
It was an urge, which greedily dominated my thinking life as it were, and which I could not resist.
In this way I just decided to come back home for Christmas, unless any earlier necessity forces me to change my decision.
I surrender completely to the future, with the calm knowledge that I live for something, have an aim, which only very few people can say for themselves.
Anna, Erica and Karel take me to the train.
They are prepared, we have had enough time to say goodbye to each other.
René is fine, he feels at ease there, he is already learning something and he has not kept any of his former wildness, even if, as his doctor says, we expect him to demonstrate his talents at any moment.
In any case, we may not complain.
Another personality reveals itself amongst the boys: they boy elevate him to their lives, he discovers the work, the day, the hour, he searches, he talks little, but that is understandable.
Really, Karel got to hear: we are satisfied.
There were no new phenomena.
He eats well ... truly a surprise.
He also listens.
You would think that a change of climate opens new aspects for soul, spirit and material.
Just do not worry and give madam the sacred assurance that I am doing everything in my power to help her son.
However, one thing, stay away from here for the time being.
If it is at all possible, no visitors.
You will hear from me when you can come.
Now you would just upset him.
That was a few weeks ago.
Yesterday evening Karel phoned.
All of us were quiet with longing.
How is our child?
‘Still exactly the same.
A quietness has come into him, something more apathetic, but not of a permanent nature, we have not yet experienced hours of wildness, but we will make sure of that.
Straightjackets are therefore not necessary.
He is more silent, but the nurse has no trouble with him, I think that he finds a friend in Van ‘t Zand.
We keep hearing the name ‘Frederik’ ... also in his sleep.
I have recorded all those things.
The nurse heard him say in his sleep:
‘Where are you, Uncle Frederik, can you not see me?’
Perhaps you understand that better than we do here.
Is that not the name of the friend who was with you?
I also advise him not to come.
He has to be separated from his old friendship, if we want to build up a new life for him, which is the intention, after all, colleague ...
No other news, you will hear from me again.’
‘René is asking for you, Frederik.’
‘I hear that.
Just let him ask, if the longing becomes stronger, in my opinion, it will force the other one to go to sleep.
I once let myself believe that by a simple little mother who was to visit her son in prison.
It is another matter whether she is right, but there is something in it.
In any case, I can go on my trip with an easy feeling.
We also had to accept the opposite, we may be satisfied.
We are sitting together and are talking about René and about my trip.
They do not know any better than that I will first visit Switzerland.
A friend of Hans lives there, who will send my letters, which I will first send to him, to Holland.
I want to hear everything, to know everything about René and the family at home.
Hans approves and I think that he is getting used to the idea.
Hansi has gone.
Hans has tuned into his patients completely.
He has had to accept another drain on his resources; but however things go, if you have been born for material welfare, is nicely demonstrated by the fact that he got the whole amount back, thanks to the inheritance from an aunt.
Hans said: ‘I must still have a long life, or I still have one and another to do here; I am a blessed man as a result of this mud.’
Hansi cursed a bit, let rip like a wild cat, but Hans forced her to go, if she wanted to stay alive.
In order to put an end to everything, Hans showed her the deception and she flew into other arms, in order to start her destruction again.
‘She will end up in a rich brothel, but I’m out of the picture.’
From that moment onwards Hans was another person.
As a result of inner violence, he flings himself into his studies, I think that this beating sends him to the highest and he can order his gown in the meantime.
Today it is 7th October.
It is now nine o’clock in the evening and we are talking about our child and my trip, about Hans and Hansi, thousands of other things.
One thing we all feel: there is emptiness.
Anna and Erica will miss me.
Karel will get over it, although he honestly admits that he will also miss me.
A change for the best for him.
The Karel of before is long gone, he has died.
We go over what we have been through with each other over the years.
They were incredible hours.
Painful, miserable, blood-thirsty, commonplace hours, but also supernatural events to me and to them, friendly and loving hours, for which a person actually lives, the most beautiful thing a person can experience.
One thing again: we miss René.
But it is fine!
We talked, a conversation as we had never had before.
Anna looked at me as if her husband was going away.
Erica was like a mother to me.
Karel a real friend.
Meanwhile we delved even deeper into little René’s meaningful existence and personality, to get out of it what was in it.
Anna got the inner redness of the soul on her cheeks again, Erica talked about her dreadful washings, of which she does not understand anything now: we see ourselves again in the neighbours’ chicken run, we horse ride again with the Ten Hove’s, whom we are rid of, thank God, and which no one wants anywhere, for that matter, because these worms should have been in the ground long ago to begin their task for this life, they cannot do anything anyway except pull people’s eyes out with their wealth.
If you just have look at those masks, you are disgusted by the dryness, the insignificance of those conceited faces.
We are also rid of the other doctors, at least it looks like it.
Karel claims that he let them sense too much that dog instincts are not wanted by people in the long run.
They push you out of your own home, they bring their heaviness and emptiness upon you, as if we did not have enough misery.
We follow René in everything.
We are faced with his birth, we sit again at Erica’s grand piano, we experience Franz again, we go through the jungle, stroke snakes and talk to brown bears, see jackals in the air and close to the ground, we live amidst whoring and immediately amongst sacred, be it mystical matters and finally you feel that you are busy bordering heaven and earth.
We sail through ancient Egypt, visit the Pyramid of Giza ... where Erica wants to go if little René gets better, because she thinks that stone mass is so high and nice and she wants to play the camel for once in her life.
However, René has to ride next to her; I have to follow with Anna, Karel in front in order to show us the way, because he understands these things so well.
We give each other hours of pleasure, because there is only one will: we live for René!
When we draw up the final account, we reach the conclusion that we would not miss each other for all the money in the world.
Then Erica suddenly said to me and Anna:
‘Why do you not get married?
Why do you not wish us that happiness?
Why do you really have to leave on your own, Frederik?
Could we not have gone together?
No ... that is impossible!
But why do you not get married?’
Anna is already running upstairs.
Karel growls something between his teeth and Erica senses that she has interfered in things too soon, which have nothing whatsoever to do with her.
What stupid things a person can do!
She looks for Anna.
They come downstairs for a moment, but half an hour later we are all tucked into bed.
I go to sleep and think of nothing more.
There is the chauffeur.
Erica and Anna go with Karel, Hans comes as well.
We get in.
The train moves off, but I get out at the next station.
They make a cheerful decision, Frederik needs a rest, they will not think now that I myself took the unconditional decision to stop.
I get off, but that is my business.
I am waiting.
‘Frederik, do you know what you want?’
‘Of course, I know, Hans.
We will go to your castle first.
There you will lock me up for a few days until I have a beard and have learned to behave strangely.
Then I will surrender to you.
Neglected, I will enter your sanctuary.
Did you expect something different?
The nurses may not recognise me, because it will be no fun any more to me; I do not want to be disturbed in anything.
‘What can you do for me?’
‘Just leave that to me.’
I used the days which passed as a preparation.
Hans let me be.
I felt myself sinking away, the earth started to tremble under my feet, but I felt little René coming closer to me.
I started to understand where our child lived.
I talked to him.
Hans, who is following me, really thinks that I see fifty of them flying.
I am talking about my little dove ...
If I look up, he follows my gaze with a frown on his forehead.
I want to take it that far that he thinks that I am mad, because he sees that my life is changing.
I am no longer myself, I am becoming another person.
But a better Hans, one who flies!
I can see through him ... I can follow him, I can listen to his thoughts.
He is already letting me go.
Yet I tell him the following:
‘Think about it, Hans.
Whatever happens, not a word to Karel about it.
It is absolutely none of your business how I experience these months.
I will behave madly, but that is my business.
Only when I am no longer able to speak one word may you warn them.
So whatever I do, it is my business!’
‘You can count on me, Frederik.’
When the door closed behind me, Hans thought: Frederik is busy going mad.
I let him down that much ... I was so far from his life.
Hans disappears, I thought about my little dove.
I am grateful to Noah’s child.
I see René and he will soon see me.
I can see him more clearly than before.
That gives me inspiration, strength and love.
I am called ‘Van Zeulen’.
A quarter of an hour later it is already ‘Zeul’ and after another five minutes ‘Zeutjes’.
Now I go in the bath.
The nurse forces me to have a bath.
The man thinks that I am mad and treats me as such.
From the normal viewpoint I look at the mad carry-on of the servant of mad people.
What a world I am experiencing.
Am I mad or is he?
I think it is nonsense being washed by normal people.
A brush is rubbed over my back, I think of Anna, who otherwise did this job if she got the chance.
Oh, mother, did you expect this of your child?
I am grateful to that man, I am lying in the water and he covers me with soap suds.
It is a wonderful feeling.
When he asks me something my mad nature emerges and I say ‘hah’, as if I want to bite him.
He asks me whether I am an academic.
I grin ...
I laugh and I cry at the same time and I manage it as if I have been doing it for years.
I start to feel that I am beginning to lose my mind.
When the man orders me to get out of the bath and I hear his words: ‘Come, out, sir!’, I just lie there to comfort myself a bit.
He taps me on my shoulder and says:
‘Come on, inventor, out ... out ... come on, hurry up, no nonsense.’
I growl, I cry, I hiss.
This feeling suddenly comes to me, as a result of which I will create an alibi for myself.
That I hadn’t thought of that.
Come on, growling out.
He already understands me, and he says:
‘Does sir want to go to the animals?
Is sir on the hunt?
Was Mr Zeultjes a hunter?
Did the animals frighten you?
Come on, man, no fuss.
Get on with it.’
I do nothing.
He throws a white sheet around me, a pair of trousers follow, then an old suit of mine on top and Zeultjes is ready.
Now I get something to drink.
When the door opens and we want to leave, Hans is standing in front of him.
‘Remain calm and collected.
Do not make a fuss, everything frightens him.
Follow every reaction and pass it on to the head nurse.’
‘So, Van Zeul, how are you?’
I growl at him.
The nurse wants to help Hans, and says:
‘Is sir a world traveller?
He imitates animals.’
Hans looks me in the eye.
He does not know whether to laugh or cry.
‘Hah ... hah ...’ I utter, and a loud screeching follows.
I am just like a wild animal.
Hans does not know any more what to think of it and disappears through the door.
I go with the nurse to the ward.
It is ten o’clock in the morning, I am brought coffee.
The men are occupied with themselves, my day task is beginning.
However, where should I start.
I look at all these mad people, I follow them.
Their ages vary from thirty to seventy, I see.
There are men with bald heads, but I also see heads with curly hair, blonde, grey, dark, children of one God, one Father.
They stand and sit, they do something and they do nothing, but all of them do something, they are occupied with themselves.
All those eyes are empty, even if they look wild.
I do not know what my eyes are like.
I look at a big man ...
He talks a lot and talks about his patients.
I know from Hans why they are here.
He is the doctor ... he still writes his prescriptions and curses the life into darkness.
Faith and learning broke his neck.
That man has already been here for three years.
About eight men are mentally deranged.
There is a poet, a grocer, a theologian, who has lost his God as a result of misery and troubles, who came to grief himself as a result of the sorrow and suffering of this humanity.
We have a religious person, a man of forty, strong as a lion, who ‘kissed Jehovah’, who went under in love and happiness.
We have Frans there, the person of private means, the gentleman.
He came to grief as a result of his money.
He is under legal restraint ...
Now he has nothing more but his mad ego, his boastful personality.
There is a young man of approximately thirty-four.
I hear that they call him little thumb, a young academic.
He knows at least twenty languages and is so learned that they had to lock him up.
He quotes ancient Greeks, speaks his French, German and English fluently, an actor, who would be suited to the stage, if he did not behave so madly.
Not even three hours have passed and I can already write a book, I know them one for one.
I will hear what I do not know yet.
I am sitting in a corner thinking and looking, but they do not leave me alone.
When I try to send old Piet away and try to sound him out by letting a great growl be heard, he races away from me as if a bear had got him.
‘Did you see that tiger?
I saw him.
I saw that lion.
I saw that cat, look, there he is.’
He points in my direction. I understand him completely and use the opportunity to install myself.
I shout for a moment.
I roar and I miaow like a wild cat, I imitate a bear, I hiss, I crawl across the floor, make movements like an accomplished Indonesian dancer, but already feel dead tired and sit down.
A hawking noise also follows, and completely of its own accord, I do not know what animal it is, I have never seen such a monster before.
When old Piet shows signs of coming back to me, I bark.
I hold my fingers together like a claw and bite at him.
It is as if I have hurt Piet, he grabs for his arm frenetically and screams.
He screams in such a way as if he has been bitten.
When the nurse comes rushing, he knows at one glance what is going on.
Piet’s arm shows that he has been bitten and was clawed.
The nurse sees scratches, which, red as blood, betray the fight between him and me.
He comes over to me.
I get a terrible fright.
I felt so awful that the man must sympathise with me.
He looks at me, remains a few metres away from me, but drills through me with his look.
It is as if he wants to know who I am and what I really possess.
He continues to look at me.
I follow him, I feel what he wants and I surrender to his will.
I utter: thank you!
I will not do it again.
But Piet wanted to capture me and I do not let myself be captured, I want to stay in the wilderness.
It only lasts a short time, but long enough to give me the feeling whether the nurse was busy murdering me.
He stares at me, as if to say: Leave it!
You are not in the jungle, you are a human being!
He rushes off, because I growl, bark, miaow, put my head in my neck, scream, sneeze; behave as madly as I was ever able to in my life.
I pull up my lips and make faces like a monkey.
It is as if the whole jungle is manifested through my life.
Old Piet, who loved women a lot, strokes my arm and now weeps like a little child.
The others have become restless as a result of it.
They know that I am an animal, am more than one animal.
I am like a snake, a tiger, a wolf, a lion.
They are afraid of me.
Without realising it, I have suddenly got respect.
However, the nurse has gone and I already know where the man has gone.
Within ten minutes Hans is standing before me and his first assistant along with him.
He comes to look at me.
I sit in my corner and behave as if I do not see him.
He says my name, I hear:
‘Frederik ... eh ...
Van Zeulen ...
I understand that he made a terrible mistake.
Thank God the others did not hear my name ... he calls really loudly and is strict towards me:
‘Van Zeulen ...!!!
Can’t you hear me?
Can’t you see me?
Can’t you hear me?’
Hans looks at old Piet.
He is still crying, because he was bitten.
Hans looks at the slashes and scratches on his arm.
He looks for a long time and carefully.
Then he asks the nurse:
‘Is that the truth?’
‘But you can see that?’
Now the poet joins us and shouts:
‘Oh, illustrious ... how I will fear you ... where is she, who comforts my anxious trembling?
Will I see her?
Will I happy consider her ... happy consider.
No ‘god here and there’, that’s not it ... it is consider happy, good ...?
That’s not it ...
I will be quiet!
He races to another corner of the ward and behaves like a school boy, waiting for a beating.
All of us look at the poet ...
Hans looks at old Piet’s right arm again.
He looks at the scratches so carefully, as if he is seeing a great miracle.
His helper also looks – from the scratches to me and I read from his face: completely mad!
This is no longer a comedy, no scientific research, this is deadly serious.
Hans looks at me.
He drills deep into my being.
Hans weeps and I see that real tears have come into his eyes.
I have to do something, but I think of myself in the first place.
I am like lightning and I do not rip apart anyway in order to let it thunder.
Yet I have to.
I bark, I just miaow and then I suddenly say:
‘If my friends come to me leave them alone, academic.
I do not want to see anyone and I do not want them to hear from me.
If I should write to them, lay off my letters.
I will knock you down ... woof ... woof ... paf ... paf ... shoo, shoo ... hoeááááá ... grgrgrgrgrgrgr ... rrrrrr ... sjoendamagie ... poof!’
Hans now knows.
I am really mad ...
He is not released from me, he wants to see that other one in me, which he knows, but which is no longer there.
He stands there like a school boy.
If the poet and old Piet had not called him back to reality, I think that Hans would have remained standing on this spot for hours, he was so surprised by my behaviour and all of my being.
The poet is busy:
‘Good Samaritan, I love you more than myself.
I will enfold your head and bring colourful stones for your tombstone.
I do not spy on you.
I only ask whether I love!
Oh, my heart laugh ... my carrousel ... damn it!’
I know that the man is out of it again.
That head is full to the brim or completely empty.
I am enjoying myself.
I am experiencing a fair here and I have never felt so happy before, but Hans may not see that, he may not know.
I feel that this is my path.
Only I do not understand why old Piet makes such a fuss.
I will research that case myself, as soon as Hans and his assistant have gone.
Then the doctor begins:
‘Go away, specific poison, pest carriers ... tb carry-on.
Did you think that I was such a mangy dog to let you stew in your own juice?
Here, my prescription.
And do not kiss the diseases again.
Hahah ... come to Franciscanus ... I have a remedy for you.’
The farmer’s son stands up straight and dictates:
"In the morning three dessert spoonfuls without sugar.
This afternoon five crumbs of minced meat with onions and let that melt on the tongue, so that you can taste the red and green of it.
Do not be shy, lay it on your tongue and afterwards go for a walk or rest.
You can lie down there, in my little garden, or on my veranda, I can visit you from time to time. You ... no ...
You will get another job.
You, Sofie, take care of my patients.
Do not leave Franciscanus alone in everything.
Oh, my patients.
How tired I am.’
About eight of the others are standing round looking and behave as if they understand everything and think it is urgently necessary.
Hans is in the middle of his madhouse.
I had not thought that the psychiatry was such a terrible job.
He does not know where to start.
He follows the poet, the doctor, old Piet and me.
The poet is calm.
Old Piet comes to me.
The life asks:
‘Just be quiet, I will not do anything to you.
Will you bite me again?’
‘Not me’, I say, ‘let’s have a look.’
Hans looks at us.
He sees that I turn my eyes upwards and stroke old Piet’s arm.
‘How nice that is.
Do it again.’
I do what Piet asks me to do and stroke his arm.
I see the scratches.
They are deep red in colour.
Then an idea went through my head, which almost turned me upside down:
You are a hypnotiser, Frederik.
What? I wonder.
What am I?
But meanwhile old Piet holds out his arm, I stroke him and see that the red stripes disappear.
Hans stands watching this drama, pop-eyed.
He definitely thinks that I am mad.
I have completely dissolved in these people and I also take part, I am just like the real thing!
Piet leaves me.
He shows his arm to the others, all that jungle nonsense has been dissolved.
However, they know that I possess the airs and graces of a tiger, can materialise dog biting.
I am like a snake, like a hyena, I can be dangerous.
There is Hans, he and his help do not know.
He comes back to me again.
He looks as far as my heart again, he wants to know what is the matter with me.
Then he reaches a decision.
‘Come on, Van Zeulen, just come with me.’
He wants to take hold of my hand, I refuse.
I pull my arms back as quick as lightning.
Hans looks at me dumbfounded.
He does not know anymore, I can see that from everything.
I start to understand what he wants.
Then the nurse comes.
I stick up for myself.
I want to go alone and do so.
Hans follows me and we go outside.
I walk in front of him, he increases his pace to catch up with me.
Now I hear:
But, Frederik ...!?"
I continue, I know exactly where I have to be.
Now that he says my name, I stand still.
Hans looks at me and says again:
"But Frederik, Frederik!
What is the matter?’
We do not come any further.
I do not give him an answer, I only utter:
‘Dope, dope, dope that you are!’
Frederik, do you mean it?’
I look him in the eye.
I follow his swollen face, look at his mask.
I follow his lips, chin, go back to his eyes and see that tears come.
Again I utter:
‘Dope, what a little child you are.’
Hans hears from the sound of my voice that I am back again.
He says: ‘Do you know, Frederik, what happened there?
No, can’t you hear me?
Do you know that you can hypnotise?
And in what a way, Frederik, I admire you.’
However, I feel that it is going too far.
I am in here and want to stay in it.
I bark a bit, scream a bit, just miauw and hiss, which makes Hans see red and green.
Now he utters:
My God, what have I started.
Frederik, oh, Frederik, what have I started!
I will never forgive myself for this!
That is wrong, I think, I have to act and try and save myself.
I say bluntly without joking:
‘Do you know who René is?
Do you know who Anna is?
Do you know ... do you know who Karel is, who Erica is?
Where is little René?
Get lost and do not disturb me again, whatever happens, do not disturb me, Hans!!!’
Stop it ...
Come on, come with me and stop it, you are becoming mad.’
‘You would like that, wouldn’t you?
Go, Hans, and do not disturb me again.
I will finish my task ...
I will, I will.
Dirty dog, get lost!
I will see you and feel you like Abraham did, when he brought his wife flowers on the grave.
Oh, how that man suffered.
What a misery.
I can still see him standing.
I did everything to save him, but thought, sir, how could this happen?
I cursed him, because he had put on my shoes.
Look, I am starting to follow him, I will follow him.
Oh, how that man suffered.
What did sir think that he said to me?
I had to go home and sort things out.
However, it is not for me.’
I now dance in a circle around Hans.
I jump like an accomplished dancer around him.
I make Indonesian figures which I already studied years ago, because I liked the hand gestures and the significance of that act so much.
I love Indonesian dancing, they put a world into it, they tell you about murders and about love, about justice and passionate ‘nirvanas’.
I play it safely and can let it go over my head, because I consciously know what I am doing.
Hans looks and has also received bulging consciousness.
With my pinky on my trousers, one finger pressed to my forehead, my legs swaying on my body, I behave as if I am walking on hot coals.
I go around the flower beds and put a flower in my mouth, I make a mess of Carmen with an Indonesian princess, add some melodramatic figures, flavour this mixture with some ‘Wiener Schrammel’ music, jump like a mad dog around his firm shape and look into his eyes at the same time in order to drive him mad.
His assistant blushes from it, the corners of Hans’ mouth cause inner pain, but I do not pay attention to anything, I continue, until I feel that it is enough.
When I concentrate on myself, I see myself as it were doing that dance.
I now add some dog barking, give that a mix together and then the screaming of the jackal follows like a stiff porridge, and the hissing of a snake like the curry, which I was still missing, but then it all goes into the oven and Hans will have the complete thing on the table in a few minutes.
He follows me and does not know how to act.
It is your purest acting, in Paris, London, Vienna, wherever he was with Hansi, he was never shown such comedy.
I read that on his gentle face, that is now covered in wrinkles.
I continue to dance, I skate and my legs fly as they did thirty years ago over the Dutch waters, I scratch my name in the ice, the clouds of smoke fly from it.
Hans almost succumbs.
I continue, because I have not finished yet.
When I nearly run him down at great speed, he thought he could grab me, but I am as quick as a snake, he misses.
When the nurse tries to overcome me, Hans holds him back.
I look him in the eye, I have already half eaten the flower, I will have another one.
I hop, I jump, fall back into the slower speed of the East, I have become a Temple servant.
I am almost lying on the ground, I bend so deeply before the Gods.
Now I feel at my best for the first time.
Unknown words fly from my mouth, I speak Malaysian, Sundanese, Javanese ...
I cockatoo a bit and curtsy.
I am lying spread out on the ground, with my nose in the dust, and look like a dirty pig.
Hans is already weeping!
Hans stands there like a prehistoric giant, who knows nothing about scientific carry-on and mad people.
When I feel that they are trying to get hold of me, I am already somewhere else and continue to hop.
I glide along the waters again, suddenly stand still in order to give my Indonesian greeting to the Gods, laugh, grin and kneel down.
I throw my arms around my chest, sing something, it passes my lips as mumbling.
I wink at the heaven, laugh again, cross my arms as far as the ground, press them on Mother Earth, weep, feel heat, feel happiness.
I kiss the ground on which I am lying and have the bliss from above and below in me.
I am almost bursting with happiness.
Now I twist myself in the direction of Carmen again, but fall back into the Indnesian profession, I am standing before a Temple.
There is the institution, I belong there, I was there a moment ago and I would still be there if Hans had not got me out.
I see that the patients follow me.
I run like a savage to the windows, I bark, I scream, I hiss.
Old Piet is already shouting.
He reaches for his arm again and roars.
Now I feel that I no longer possess any strength.
However, I am calm, I do not hurt anyone.
Hans comes over to me and lays his hand on my shoulder.
I let him do it, my comedy is finished.
He knows, I do not see fifty of them, but I see ninety-nine of them flying.
Hans takes me back to the ward.
When we get there I go to my corner and sit down as if nothing special has happened.
He still looks, he says something, but I do not hear him.
Then Hans turns round and goes away.
I call after him:
‘If people break their promises, the snakes of life will beset you!’
He continues to stand there, as if he was nailed to the ground.
I also say:
"When people do not keep their word, the bears and also the hyacinths come and bite them to death.
Hyacinths ... precisely, the hyacinths come in order to bite off their heads... to make them bow their heads and bite them off.
I will get them ...
I never had the chance before, now I will get them.
Oh, how beautiful those apples are.
I have never seen them like that before.
I know them, yes, precisely, I know them.
I know who he is.
I know where he was?
Did you see that, Hansi?’
Hans gets a fright.
The name Hansi is like a rag to a bull.
He comes back and I continue to play.
He has to see me mad.
‘Then we go out.
We then go to London ... hah, hah, hah, to Vienna, to Franzl Kersten.
Pay the Stinkenbrunner, which I never paid before.
Go to Paris, to Madame De Sousi, Rue de la Blanche ... tell her that I will come soon and give her an evening of honour.
Make sure that I have my garments.
Do not forget them, as you see, all kinds are coming.
I have the opportunity of making an advertisement for myself.
I will cherish her and her whole harem.
I know that she is crazy about me, but I may not neglect my art.
Go to London for me, to the Thames way, second floor, and ask for Sir William Scor ... include a Dutch ten guilder note and you will see him immediately, he collects old money.
Ask him whether he will come to dine with me this evening, but do not do anything stupid, you cannot ask him suddenly.
He is easily frightened and he has to get adjusted first.
But if you ask him that, he will pour you a glass of wine and you may see all his naked statues, because he is mad about sculptures and only has naked ones.
He has all the women of the world, even queens.
Go to him and just say that Tomas van Kempen sent you.
Tell him that we lay together under the Pyramid of Rijswijk and that we dug our way out.
He will want to know that, because this man is extremely interested in ancient art.
He himself was in Egypt for years, had treasures to spare in order to make his trips.
I know it like it was yesterday ...
I was his carer and secretary then.
Even if I came from a rich old family, I behaved like his help.
The nights we had there!
I still remember that he asked me to go and sleep for a night in the Pyramid of Rijswijk.
He was mad about ghosts, old ghosts, and wanted me to have a statue made of it.
He says that I had the right to experience that as his servant; he himself would go and sit on the veranda in the evening in order to send me his thoughts through the moonlight, so that I would know all about it ... so that I would know all about it ... he repeated himself three times, because I had to know all about it.
Otherwise it would be pointless and I would not be capable enough of doing my work for him.
I went, but I fell into a ditch, scrambled my way out and remained lying down.
When I awoke, he had meanwhile had his cases packed and had made off.
I would find him.
Our contact could not be disturbed, but I went a completely different way and did not see him again during those years.
So go to him and tell him that I am at home.
Here is my card.
You will see ... I will add my recommendation.’
I search in my pocket and find a piece of paper.
I write down a few scribbles in pencil on the piece of paper and give it to Hans, who appears to be like a blind man.
I notice that he does not even see me anymore ...
He has gone, he is somewhere and nowhere.
‘If you are there and do not find him at home, come back to me as quickly as possible, because I have another message for you.
And make sure you have a couple of revolvers, in case you come too close to the jungle.
Watch out for those blacks, especially those camel drivers.
Did you see that little princess?
I could tell you a story about her!
She is called ‘Santasia’, hoeha ... she is the child of Fleuris and Roosje, you know, the count of Tenhovika ...
His wife suffers from blind frost ... Franciscanus knows that.
I saw her for the first time when I started my honeymoon and had to accept that my wife was bitten by a scorpion.
What a sensation that was!
Santasia had mixed colouring with her.
She wanted to help me to save my wife, but she said:
‘Only if I get a kiss from you.’
‘I will most certainly do that’, I said ...
Then my kiss followed.
We kissed in such a way that my wife died in the meantime.
We buried her together and laid her under the hackles ...
Do you not know those vaults?
I will go there soon as well.
That will cost you a bomb, but, at the end of the day, you are better to lie under the hackles than in an ordinary grave, where everyone enters and which gives you nothing cheerful for your heart, kidneys and soul.
Astanisia has known for such a long time that it is good there.
I believe it, because I find her honest, she has never cheated anyone before.
But no nonsense now.
If you go to Franzl, you know, in the neighbourhood of Schönbrunn, you take a open carriage – you know a bit of Viennese anyway – have yourself embarked and order a Wiener Goulash at my expense, one for the thirst.
I always called it ... ‘zum schmekkerl’ ...
Adolf also knows that and keeps making it for me, because Emperor Leopold also liked it.
On my part, I always approved ... you see, Herman has known me for so long.
But now no more nonsense ...
I would have everything to spare for it, if I knew whether Asta was still alive.
Now just get on with it.
If there is anything else, I will hear.
In any case ask Madam Surié whether I can come this evening in order to bring the cake.
Tell her that I have discovered a new method to make Napoleon tarts rise, which are very tasty.
It costs next to nothing.
Just get lost and make sure that you never meet Hansi.
Where did I see that mite before.
Oh, there was a Peter there ...
Petrus ... and the cock crowed.
Not three times, but twenty times.
Then he was probably put on the rope?
No, he did not go away hung, he went to prison for two years.
But that is his business.
Tell Hansi that I never want to see her again.
I have suffered so much, that my bent back hurt.
Oh, that poor Sam.
Sam, little Sam, Tjésam, Sahcha.
Can you hear it?
Where is that voice coming from?
Háááááls ... and shortened that is called ...
I have worked it out!
I really thought that I did not understand him.
But I still remember that we drunk good wines, talked about Gooise cake and finished off salads.
Many academics gathered there, mostly explorers, like me.
Hans was also there ... a pity, he was bitten by a wild cat and we had to leave him behind in Indonesia.
Or was it Africa?
He lives there every second year, he had a nice castle.
On a hunt we had, we had ... to bury him.
He did not believe it himself, but when he saw that he was well and truly dead, he had to accept his death.
We had a good laugh about it, and yet, if Hansi had not been there, we could have buried him.
Now it was just a ghost and that does not decay.
Just go now, I am going to sleep.
Bye, bye ...
I’ll see you again.
Remember the letters.’
Hans knows: I am completely mad.
I know what he is feeling, but he is not able to warn Erica, Karel and Anna.
I am curious what he will do.
He leaves ... remains standing at the door again, has a look and shakes his head.
He is destroyed by it.
His assistant as well.
I sit here thinking about everything.
How can it be, how madly I behaved, and it happens of its own accord.
You just talk a bit and you mess up the words, and the normal, learned human being of this world believes it.
But that costs many people huge sums of money.
There is a couple who are here for their money.
It should not be allowed, but I know that from Hans himself, they came to grief as a result of their money.
Hans examines his patients, he does not want any patients who are finished off by the family for money.
Just look at that gentleman!
He is a healthy as anything.
I hear that his family has put him under a restraining order.
Good, you will never get out of here again, because you behave a bit madly.
He is already jumping ... behaves as I just did, but for him it is an illness.
That illness went to his head, he was just like Hans and Hansi in Paris.
My God, what nonsense I vomited out.
Hans thinks that I have lost my mind as a result of his research.
He warned me!
Now I am mad.
What will he do?
He does nothing.
He does not dare to mention it.
He will wait a bit.
He will wait and see which way the cat jumps – I am the cat!
We sit at the table.
The female nurses are also there, some are sweet children.
They are devoured by the gentlemen.
A few grab for the carillon and long for the church to perish.
I thought so, just as with René; the adults are like the little ones.
Sexual carry-on, also those old ones.
However, the nurses put greens in the food.
They can get on with the men, I see.
I am a bit calm again and old Piet is already sitting next to me.
He says at least a hundred times: don’t bite me again, will you?
I say: no, Piet!
And Piet can already sense that I mean it.
We slurp up our food, have an argument with each other, because one got more than the other, but we get our fingers rapped by the male nurse.
We are little boys from the nursery school and are having fun.
But watch out if that mad man comes up again.
After the meal it is time to rest.
We wander round.
I follow them one by one.
The poet has started writing.
I go to him and ask:
‘Could you give me some paper, a little bit, your honour, how are the flowers?’
I just let myself go, but I notice to my astonishment that I am continually on the mark and can feel their world of thoughts.
And a poem promptly follows.
‘They surge over the waters of my heart.
Loving like two wings.
They were so at ease ... when I was not there either.
Oh, Greetje, Gretchen ... weisst du dass ich komme (do you know that I am coming)?
Hast du nicht gesehen wie ich bin (did you not see how I am)?
The man must know.’
The man flings off his clothes, he is standing stark naked before me within a few seconds.
The female nurses call for the male nurse.
They think that it will be trouble.
Again, ten minutes later, Hans is standing in front of me.
Hans looks ... sorrowful.
Hans looks for a long time and does not know.
I disturb the peace here.
I am making them mad.
I am a bothersome, an awakening ... a good one to sit alone.
I have to prevent that.
Hans looks and I ask him:‘
Do you think, doctor, that we are mad?
And that we cannot get on with each other?
I know, yes, I know why you are a doctor, I can see that from your white coat.
I was also a doctor, but I wore black coats.
You do not see so much on black.
I will have a nice seat there, doctor, I want to think.
I want to see my colleagues.
This man thought he should have a bath, doctor.
He thought that it was summer.
Yet I said: don’t do it, it is winter!
When he felt that cutting wind, he was standing naked before me.
But that is not possible, is it, doctor?
That is impossible.
He does not know me, but I know him.
It is Johann Strauss.
Can you hear him?
How that man can play.
Can you hear it?
Did you see that mask?
I used to think that everything was inspiration, but this is it!
How that man can play.
Can you hear it, doctor?
Can you hear it, little doctor?
It’s nice, isn’t it?
It’s nice, isn’t it?
But you do not believe it.
I am going to rest!
Good bye, doctor.’
Hans does not know anymore, there is just one percent sense in my whole being.
He follows me.
He stands in front of me again.
He looks at me again and he thinks about me.
I look him straight in the eye, but go through those eyes.
I look behind him and see into the distance.
I can see little René there.
Hans follows me.
He has to accept that I am no longer myself, because I am no longer there.
At the moment I am like my dove.
I am flying.
I go to little René as fast as lightning.
I can see him.
He also walks amongst the mad people of his class, but Hans does not see that.
I have a talk to René and tell him that I will come back again later.
I can still hear little René saying:
‘How close you are to me, Uncle Frederik.’
‘Let it be like that ...’
I am aware that I do not say his name, Hans must not hear the name of René.
Goodbye, my child, goodbye, dear!
I continue to look and he continues to look, I see a lot, he does not see and hear anything.
Hans is just deaf and dumb .
His assistant asks whether he is coming.
Hans is startled.
He cannot go again, but he is pulled along.
They have to watch out for me.
I may not let myself go anymore or I will be moved to another ward.
I have won the argument for myself, I will certainly be careful.
The ward is quiet.
The nurses have tidied everything up, the children are playing.
Old Piet has a story.
He wants us all to take part.
We have to give each other a hand and play in a circle.
Walking round and singing songs, but I am dead tired.
About eight people from the ward take part.
I look at them.
No one dares to take a seat on my chair here in the corner, they are so afraid that I will bite them.
I have suddenly become afraid and they have sacred respect for me.
Doctor Franciscanus, the man from my dream, asks me whether I would not like a powder to get to sleep.
I say: please.
He rummages in his pocket, playfully puts an invisible material in his hand, puts a piece of paper on it, turns his left hand round and catches the powder with his right hand.
He folds it very firmly and says:
‘First four drops of water, then have a sniff and a snort, just like horses do, and then immediately under the blankets.
Tomorrow I will come back, if you promise that you will not bite me.’
I say: ‘No, doctor, I will not do it.’
He reaches out his big hand towards me.
We are friends.
The poet wants to know why we are behaving so confidentially.
He will make a poem about it.
He starts to lament, but the doctor cannot understand him.
Now the poet whistles in his ear.
The doctor grins, he laughs, he splits his sides laughing.
The long thin poet – his nose is terribly long – is also laughing.
I think that he has not been able to do that for months.
What a good laugh that man can have.
You should see these adult children.
Are these what you call mad people?
They sit on each others’ knees.
First the doctor on the poet’s knee and then he has to get off to let the poet sit down.
Old Piet stands still for a moment and looks.
The circle, which he formed is standing still and is also watching.
When I put up my hand, put my fingers together and make a small claw from them, old Piet runs round like a possessed man and does not dare to watch any longer.
I shout: sit, and they all sit.
I shout: walk!
– They walk.
I say: lie down!
– They lie on the ground, but at that moment the nurse comes in and sees what is the matter.
I say: stand up ... greet ...
There is your general.
They salute decisively and consciously.
They let their arms hang and go through their knees.
They go ... withdraw, rest, rest, rest.
Think about everything.
Everything which is good.
Think about your child, about your youth, about your life, soul and bliss.
Think about tasty things, which you do not like anyway.
The nurse has gone again.
However, I quickly go and sit in my corner.
The learned man has taken my seat, but when he sees me coming, he rushes off.
He greets me politely and says:
‘What do you think of my suit?
Am I not beautiful?
I am Napoleon Bonaparte.
Professor Van Scherm.
I have let the world dance.
I am an academic.
May I introduce myself?
What is your name, colleague?’
When I intend to yelp, in order to keep this customer from my body, Hans is standing in front of me for the umpteenth time today.
The academic shuffles off.
I sit there and do not look.
I put my left leg over the right one, put my right hand under my chin and think.
Hans is not there.
Hans stands and looks and goes away again.
‘Watch out for everything and continue to warn me for the moment.’
I will not make it too difficult for Hans.
Just before nine o’clock he comes back again.
I am still sitting in my corner, I think of everything and am busy sorting out my science.
I already know the names, I know why they are here.
I also know why they succumbed.
They are weak personalities.
There is some longing, I just call it physical sorrow, but the remainder have weak bodies, weak brains, weak nervous systems.
We have a theologian, I think he is the weakest of all.
The man just sits thinking, but sometimes he talks at the ears of the men and says, that at any moment God can come and judge them.
He has overtaken Jehovah and got stuck on the way.
He is a pathetic wretch.
I would say he was forty; religion has got into his ears, eyes, mouth and nose, because he pulls faces that an orangutan could not compete with.
Sometimes he utters raw sounds, they sound biblical.
He is talking about the Scriptures, about Golgotha and thousands of other things; I remember that now, because Hans told me, long ago, that he had got a patient, that was this theologian, who had succumbed from sacredness.
Hans still thought that he would soon leave again, but I cannot see it.
Franciscanus is sitting there and is counting smallpox notes which he typed and wrote today.
You can see it, the skulls become tired, the heads drop, but a twinkle has come into those human eyes.
The nurses are gaped at.
I would not send my daughters here for all the money in the world.
Those women are weighed up at least a thousand times a day, considered too light and too heavy, dressed and undressed, fitting the saucepan lid again and rattling the saucepan and then looking to see if anything has changed.
How naked those children are, all of them are courted.
I think a man is a huge wretch.
You would be better to be a woman.
However, if you see how such a palace is admired, you will feel sorry for these lives, where blood flows through and childish simplicity with the harem manners of a South-African beauty do the amiable and let it rain together.
Sister De Zwager knows what to do about it.
She has already spoken to me.
I have to watch out or I will get crazy thoughts.
She asked me:
‘Zeultjes, are you okay?
Are you not tired?’
‘Me, little sister?
No, not me, I am as fit as a fiddle.’
‘Good grief, how you can dance.’
‘Yes, I can, can’t I, sister?’
She looks at me and thinks, that is a good answer, but it is the answer of a child.
She asks and continues:
‘Will you not come and sit at the table?
We are going to bed soon.’
‘Okay, sister, okay, but I want to stay here and sleep.’
She thinks exactly what I feel.
We are not apart for a second, she brushed past me and I met her bang in the middle of her mind, or because I am here.
She only smiles and I approve.
However, she wants to talk.
I am beginning to understand that Hans is behind this.
I wait and she asks:
‘Where did you live, Zeultjes?
You are called Gerhard, I believe?
‘I am called Lammetje, sister.
My late mother called me little Lamb and father Gerritje Flapper, because I was always flapping about in the universe.
I caused them a great deal of sorrow, sister.’
But where did you live?’
We are now the such-and-such of the such-and-such of the year 1900 and such-and-such.
Oh, we are playing.
The stage is this room, this ward.
The men are on stage.
They behave madly, they are playing tag.
Old Piet is tired, he cannot carry on anymore, and the doctor is sitting there to write his smallpox notes, tomorrow we will all be vaccinated.
Flowers came just a moment ago, but they were not for me.
Doctor Hans was also there, he kept coming in and thought that there were mad people.’
She looks at me in amazement and says:
‘Do you know, Gerhard ... that you are playing?’
‘I am not called Gerhard, but Gerrit, little sister.
I am called Gerritje.
And I have another name, little sister, but I can no longer say it.
Did you see that, sister?
Can you hear how the people in the hall clap?
I knew, this play is well set-up.
Just ask me.
I will answer you and then the tension will remain.
Did you see those masks?
Did you see how all those people are enjoying themselves?
They have never seen such an intense play before.
They had not thought either that I would ever end up in a madhouse.
Well, the things people do.’
‘I saw it, Frederik ...!’
‘Didn’t I know, sister.
I believe that that Frederik is also mad.
I once met him.
But he has nothing to do with this play.
He was a swindler.
That man was always fortunate if he saw another person suffering.
He knows me, sister, but I do not want to see him again.
I always had arguments with him.
Then I just went hunting, you see.
I can hunt as the best.
Well, even if I say so myself, I am a good hunter, little sister.
But where did I buy wool?
I do not know.
Where did I live?
I do not know.
I lived everywhere, sister.
Where people happened to live, I was there.
I was really the closest to home.
I was never away so to speak.’
‘And do you know where you lived?’
‘Where I lived, sister?
Yes, I remember, but that was so long ago.’
‘Do you want to go for a walk with me, Gerrit?’
‘Would you do that for me, sister?’
‘Of course, come on, we will go outside.
It is nice weather.
But be careful, the others may not hear it.
I am whispering, can you hear?’
I am like a child.
I hang on her arm and go with the nurse outside.
I felt it right, Hans is behind it.
She talks, she holds me firmly.
We walk under the moon.
I tell her:
‘Did you see that, sister?
Did you see that sweet moon?
Now people say that people like us were born there.
I do not believe it.
Do you believe it?
May I give you a kiss?
Like that, on your half-moon?
That comes from the moon, sister.
I will just take my beard off.
She holds her cheek towards me.
‘You would like that, wouldn’t you, sister.
I am not here to kiss.
I am hear to find out whether God has put His wisdom in madhouses.
I am here, because the snakes and bears speak to my life.
Can you hear them, sister?
Will we sit in the little summerhouse ?
Will you go with me?
Do you know, sister, that I am really rich?
That I am loaded with money?
That I have a palace and my own horses?
But I am not married.
You look nice.
But why are you actually here, sister?’
‘I have to help the people.
I have to take care of you.
Can’t you see that?’
‘I can see it, sister.
Yet I would like to give you a kiss.
But now one on your lips.
With my eyes closed.
Like this, for example.’
I kiss her.
I have given her a kiss.
I am under the influence of all those mad people there, who long to be able to give the sisters a kiss.
I am ahead of them.
I kiss her again and again and she also likes it.
When I look at the moon, she is lying stretched out in my arms.
She almost succumbs
I think that I can hypnotise.
My God, where did I learn those skills?
She is lying dead in my arms and her eyes are tightly closed.
Sister, wake up.
She continues to sleep.
I lay her on the ground.
I sit next to her and look into her eyes.
With the moon shining on her face she looks like a queen.
What a beautiful face she has.
I kiss her lips again and those same lips react, but this body cannot stir a muscle.
I think it is really crazy and I do not like these things.
What should I do?
I get it into my head to blow into her nose.
But I do not do it.
I like it sitting talking to my own adventure and looking at the moon, it was her idea.
But that can be dangerous, they will look for me.
I therefore blow.
Piesssst ... it sounds.
She opens her eyes immediately and looks at me.
She jumps up and runs away.
I let her go.
I will go back to the ward in my own time.
She walked in the direction of Hans.
She will give her report to him.
I am expecting Hans.
I sit and think again.
I am not aware of any guilt, but what comes out of me is not so nice.
I put people to sleep.
It happens of its own accord.
If only she had not talked about the moon.
How can it be, did you expect that, Frederik?
I think that I can now help René, gifts are awakening in me.
There is Hans again.
He looks at me.
I look at him.
I am as always, I am certainly not mad.
However, he cannot see it.
He wants to penetrate me again, but he stumbles.
He falls and I remain upright.
I sit and he lies on the ground.
I help him to stand up.
However, I do that while still sitting down.
Then he whispers in my ear:
‘Are you there, Frederik?’
I cannot hear him.
‘Exactly, captain, it was there.
Then there were victims.’
Hans tries again:
‘Are you there, Frederik?’
‘Exactly, superior, then the roof fell in.’
Hans looks again and goes away.
We are commanded to go to sleep.
We go to the sleeping quarters.
I am under the blankets within a few minutes.
I am dead tired.
I am already sleeping when they come to me.
There is also the nurse.
I think she is looking at me.
However, I am sleeping.
I will not waken again, I will sleep until the morning.
Yet I can see the nurse, I see her coming to me a few times and looking at me.
She does not pay much attention to the others.
Yet there are some who ask for a goodnight kiss.
They call for their mother, they want to be tucked in.
However, others do that, female hands have better things to do.
I sleep until the morning.
When I wake up there is a lot of noise in the ward.
I have a stretch, I first have to know where I am.
I thought that Anna was standing next to my bed and had brought me tea.
Then I realised that I had been admitted to a madhouse and that I had done four and a half years.
Where did the time go.
A year is an eternity.
I am now wide awake.
It is sacred seriousness, I am mad.
We get washed, we eat and drink, we sit and walk around.
We do nothing else.
I ask whether I can go outside.
They say yes.
The nurse goes with me, but I see that it is a different one.
I ask for a paper and pen.
The nurse gives me her pen and I get an envelope and paper.
It is nice paper, I can write something on it.
We sit on a bench.
I start and write:
‘Well, what does a person think of, who left home and went into a strange world?
I am here alone and there are masses of people around me.
The nurse of the hotel where I am – I found a rest home – is sitting next to me and is thinking.
She just asked me whether I was a writer.
I said: yes.
She is a pleasant girl.
The journey was quite arduous, because there were many mad people on the train, who were going with their doctor to Switzerland to get better.
That couple came into my carriage in Belgium ...
What do you think of that?
Not so nice, was it?
However, because I am quite interested in mad people, I learned to understand many masks.
There were also beautiful masks.
I am now sitting in nature enjoying myself.
In front of me is ‘Neu Karelshof’.
That is a great big hotel where many foreigners pass the time recovering.
There are sick people on board.
People exhaust themselves in this society.
Where you go, you see misery everywhere.
I cannot cope with all that suffering.
I will not go into it either.
I intend to recuperate here.
That is possible, because these people do everything for you.
Yet I think that I will carry on, I want to go to Italy in a few days.
You will not hear anything from me for the time being, I will walk for a long way.
It must be a beautiful walk, over the mountains, a guide is going with me.
I tell you honestly, that I want to have a rest first.
I am really tired.
But you will hear from me again.
How are you all?
I miss my tea!
Anna, Erica and Karel, I miss you.
I hear that René is still the same, but there is good hope that a change will come.
Hans called me.
I was so happy that you would not believe it.
I told him that I will do everything to come back strong and healthy.
Well, my loved ones.
I will see you soon again, Frederik ...’
I close the letter.
I felt that it was difficult to write a letter.
I had not thought that I was so far from home.
But I am finished.
I ask her to post this letter.
It has a Swiss address on it ... Dr Schuman, Lugano.
I am in Obersfehler ... come to the health resort, where I am well-off.
The nurse looks at me.
She knows what I want and I know what she is thinking.
This letter will go to Hans.
Hans will read this letter and I am not bothered either.
When he comes now I am mad again.
But I am tired.
Within a second I am lying stretched out on the bench sleeping.
A nurse, I heard, takes my letter.
Within three minutes Hans is already standing in front of me.
I am sleeping, but he wakes me.
I open my eyes and I say:
"Can you not watch with me for ten minutes?
Just let me sleep!’
I want to go to sleep but they want me to stay awake.
Hans drags me to a piece of veranda and puts me on a sort of a wheelbarrow.
At least I think it is one, but it appears to be a reclining chair.
I am already sleeping.
I am dead tired.
I do not think that I will stay for long in this sanatorium.
It is too busy for me here.
How long have I been here?
Three years at least.
I have to see that I go somewhere else, or go home.
I cannot continue to travel about for ever.
I am so tired, so tired.
When it is almost dark, I awake with a fright.
I remember that I went out this morning to write a letter.
I am dead tired.
However, when I think about it, my strength returns and I feel as fresh as a boy of twenty years.
I jump up.
The nurse is there.
She asks me:
‘Did you have a nice rest?
Are you no longer tired?’
I do not know what to reply, so that another tiredness enters me.
However, that also goes away again.
Yet I do not yet know for certain whether I should act the fool or give her a sound answer.
I decide to go back to and say nothing.
When I come to the ward the men are at the table and having their evening meal.
I have little appetite, but I eat something.
When I look at my corner, my chair is still in the same place.
I have been away from here for a long time.
So much has happened to me.
I know everything, but it is so heavy in my head that I can not see things lighter.
However, that is also changing.
It does not take long more when I am myself again.
I eat and drink for four.
I get bread and cake, coffee and tea and a glass of milk to follow.
I can get what I want.
How good they are for me!
I am sitting in my corner again and thinking.
I think about everything, I start to make comparisons again and follow the patients.
I know their diagnoses, their troubles.
I know that I can take myself back to society, they cannot do that.
They do not have the strength for it.
I now feel that I was in that situation a moment ago.
They got me this morning.
It oppresses you, it knocks you down, you are dead tired and they are as fit as a fiddle.
I was covered, but now I have come away from it.
I will stick it here for a while longer.
They are in another world, not ours, but in which life, sense, thinking, feelings, personality, everything of soul and spirit are not yet awakened and have lost themselves as a result of the material life.
There is no more to it!
Now we enter fatherhood and motherhood.
Some feeling for the urge to procreate, it is to undergo the task of procreation which makes them long for the mother.
They call them sexual maniacs, but are they not children?
Is that so terrible?
Are conscious people like us different?
Is that not the essential thing for which we live and as a result of which we awake?
Can we experience life outside the thought of procreation?
They are not ready to accept a normal life.
For this reason there is marriage.
However, what do you do if you are not ready yourself?
I understand them.
I will follow them, these children, I will learn through them, experience a lot, I am in the sacred truth, I am in the middle of it.
Hans can tell me another one.
The day passes with thinking and a bit of talking to the mad people.
Hans comes to look, but is tuned into me in a different way.
He gives up and waits and sees.
I sit here and stay here in my corner.
The minister came to grief as a result of his studies and religion.
The man dissolved in his studies.
The inclination to act the apostle, played tricks on him.
The ounces of feeling which he possessed for it, had decayed and the man was faced with an emptiness.
At that moment he had to prove what he could do.
However, the life was too deep for him.
He disappeared into that depth, dissolved.
Too weak a head for this violence?
No feeling to keep going?
I know for certain that brains have no significance.
It is life, it is feeling.
This situation is no different for the poet, for the doctor no less.
Intellect has no significance.
Old Piet is no different.
All of them lack the feeling to deal with social life.
There are millions of these people walking the earth, all the nations possess this mentality.
Now the human characteristics speak.
Anyone who is short-tempered, has a difficult existence as a result of this short temper.
This people can be attacked, if demons live between life and earth, spirits.
However, I do not yet know that.
I was shocked by old Piet.
I follow him and I am starting to understand why he felt pain.
Old Piet possesses feeling, otherwise nothing would have happened.
One person is open to it, another life is closed to it and cannot be reached.
I did not know that I possessed these powers.
Yet I calm a human being by a gentle conversation and with my hands.
I let myself believe that I possessed magnetic powers.
You would think that it is the case, but what old Piet did, was his own fault.
To me this was nothing less than a suggestion.
Since old Piet is half conscious, really thinks that I am an animal, this brought fear to his life and there were physical phenomena.
Those scratches disappeared of their own accord.
Hans did not know what it was, but he will find out.
I followed those matters in The Dutch East Indies, they just play with them there.
Fakirs and magicians hold themselves up as a result of them, they live alone and abandoned and appear now and again to behave madly.
It costs you a few cents there and they also dance for you if you want, just as madly as I did.
They call that inspiration.
The more soberly you see all these things, the sharper you see that they suffer from a weakness of personality and have no knowledge of everything which God created.
The young man here with all his languages.
He succumbed because he wanted too much of a good thing.
If that man had taken it easy, nothing would have happened.
He should have worked on the land.
Now that soul and that whole physical system is mixed up.
If some imagination is also added – today he feels like Napoleon, tomorrow a great professor – this soul goes so off the boil that he no longer knows what he is saying and becomes all these personalities as completely as possible.
An actor can do that also, they have just lost a bit more feeling.
Also this one dissolved, disappeared behind another mask, and became it, because he forgot himself.
Poor dogs, more appropriately.
I have achieved what I wanted to achieve, after all, Hans thinks that I have lost my mind.
I must have let rip yesterday and in all honesty, I am still tired from it.
However, that does not matter, I will make it.
He has me guarded separately, I am really no longer alone.
Now it is the male nurse and then the female nurse again, who wants nothing more to do with mad kisses, because she has tasted that it happened outside her will.
She is friendly, but at the end of the day, I am just a madman.
I only wanted to experience that someone would become completely mad and absolutely wild, I would like to experience that.
Actually, I already know that study, because they rebel against themselves and behave wildly.
They are then put in straightjackets; a lovely cold bath works miracles, after which they come back of their own accord to their people.
Hans has explained all those degrees of madness to me.
There are no wild people here, so to speak.
Or it should be me.
I do not believe that the nurse thinks that I am particularly wild.
I rather believe that she thinks: that old fool is not so bad after all!
What a pity that a human being can forget himself like that!
Well, he could have got up to all kinds of things, you could have lost your life yesterday.
I believe that she got quite a row from Hans.
I will hear about it later.
In any case I will watch out that I am not treated too firmly, I want to be here and remain here, until I know all about it.
I do not know yet what I will do then.
The poet makes up poetry, the theologian talks about Christ and the bible, old Piet talks about his cousin, who loved him so much and whom he wanted to marry so much; at the moment it is the case that all of them come up from under the water to get some new breath of life.
However, then they sink away again and they are unrecognisable to social life.
Money and possessions, everything has to do with it.
Languages and learnedness, love and happiness, clothes and poverty, the list is endless, as a result of this lives came to grief.
I had not thought that it was so simple.
Hans, I know, cannot help these patients.
He is not capable of it, because all these illnesses came about as a result of the inner life.
They have not yet created any herbs for this.
What they do is messing about.
Hans can make sure that the physical systems recover, he can try all kinds of things, but the material does not force the life to start to think more keenly, because the material cannot do that.
What Hans tries are simple makeshift measures.
He is not fifty percent powerless, but a full hundred percent.
Completely new paths have to be laid.
I do not know why they are making him a professor.
I do not understand why they have the title of doctor and yet are nothing at all.
It is not clear to me what those people make such a fuss about.
I do understand that this faculty has yet to be born.
There is nothing which possesses any consciousness as a medicine.
These people here, all these mad people, have more consciousness than their nurses.
Hans does not see through it.
They search, but they are faced with a deep pit and Hans does not descend into it, because he knows that he will not come out again.
How does he wish to put his thread through the needle there in that darkness in order to put a piece of material on that hole?
He cannot do that.
It is after dinner when he is suddenly standing before me.
I am, I believe, busy thinking aloud and then they warned him again.
I continue and do not let anything disturb me, but I see that Hans is sitting next to me, because he thinks he can do something for me.
I talk to him, to the doctors, but I do it through the universe.
He will probably not understand any of it, but I am talking to him and his academic kind.
‘You have to turn these souls around’, he hears.
‘Also me, but I am involved myself.
When I continue, I see that they live more in the souls, more in the spirit, than all of them who think that they are on top of it.
They are geniuses!
For that matter, they have been geniuses for a long time.
It started when the very first people were released from the material, physical laws.
I was also there, but they do not believe me.
Now it is just like a circus.
That one there, the man with all his languages, he should have been a bit more careful.
If this boy had not got those mad airs and graces, then he would not have been here.
He should have gone to the women, he should have learned all about it, then there would not have been the opportunity for him to say such strange things in the street.
Then they picked him up and they brought him to Gibraltar.
Now he is shooting.
He shoots with his languages and never hits his target.
However, old Piet could have helped him!
I would like to see the women.
Good heavens, how will they pay their bills?
Och, if I should ever see them, may spend some time there one day, I believe for certain that I will have worked it out quickly, worked out this supernatural nonsense.
Would the doctor want it?
If I was to write a request?
Then I can start my own lectures.
Where is the doctor?
If only the doctor was here, then I would certainly ask him.
Let me prepare myself, I will put on another suit, because doctors look at your clothes.
If you begin to neglect them, you are thrown to the sharks.
Where is the doctor, the man was supposed to be here at seven o’clock.
Where is the doctor?’
Old Piet calls to me that he does not know.
However, Hans falls for it.
I just continue, because I have suddenly got the longing to be able to spend time amongst the women, I will probably learn even more there than here with all these dopey men.
However, Hans does not fall for it, he does not take the bait.
Yet I continue.
‘Oh, if I was able to stay in that state of purity?
I remember that I went fishing with my friend Doctor Van Hoogtensteintenhovebroekman, before we were to give a lecture.
Every fish which we fetched out of the palace of the king, talked about the conceited and unconceited madness.
I said later that professor Wolffhans saw better what the consequences were for a skull fracture than we did, who understood about it.
When later, years later, we both entered the high chair, he saw from me that I had done it wrong and I saw from him that he did it wrong!
Then we just had some fun.
However, amongst the women we really settled down again.
I think that I will build the tower as a result of this.
However, permission is needed for this.
Where is the doctor anyway.’
‘Do you not know where the doctor is, doctor?’
Hans looks as if he has been struck by lightning.
He looks attentively, but he does not see through me.
He thinks that I am far away, but I am not even a metre away from him.
What strange things a human being can imagine.
Old Piet comes and tells me that the doctor has gone riding.
‘Good grief, if only the man had taken me along, I want to go to my cousin.
Could he not have warned me now, bear, snake, tiger, lion?’
Old Piet greets me now.
‘May we go out today, bear?’
I tell him that he may go out.
I will give him the confirmation for it.
He first has to have a medical from Franciscanus.
He hears it and is ready to offer his help.
We are a real pair of comedians, but Hans does not know that.
I just continue, because I want to go to the women.
When I would be there, I believe that they would evoke memories in me of a rich and pure conscious past.
Oh, how good I can talk.
Do it again.
I believe ... I believe ... wait a moment ...
Woepje ... wait a moment.
This is my third name.
Aunt Tresia called me that.
Von Trudeheim ... you know, that teacher with the freckles, always laughed about it, when she called me Woepje.
However, I continue.
I want to go to the women in order to talk to the women of Uncle Hans.
That Uncle Hans was a forefather of mine.
He left that gold and silver behind for me, as a result of which I let rip so much, so that I lived in thousands of cities at the same time.
I do not like those women.
I only want to see the women who have forgotten their forefathers precisely through intellect.
I want to get to know the nobility!
Precisely that nobility!
I want to share out sweets and nice things, I want to have tea.
Old Piet will take care of the Chinese biscuits.
Doctor Franciscanus will take of the good result and the recipes for the flea blowing ... which meanwhile grows and blossoms, but which the doctor knows nothing about.
‘Will I get out?
Piet, will I get out?’
Piet waves to me, as sure as can be that he is allowed to come along.
Hans looks and continues to look.
I believe that I have won it, he thinks in my direction.
All the mad people here can do that.
We think towards the people?
Not at all, we think precisely away from them, but since we think away from them, we come closer to their lives.
Then you hear that voice telling you: just give that child that longing, he will be better for it, won’t he?
I hope so that I will be better for it, but I know!
Hans is not yet biting, I have to put another piece of bait on my fishing rod.
‘Will I see Erica there?
Was she not the child of my mother?
She will help me there.
However, if there is betrayal.
I know her.
I know her all too well.
Oh, I know her so.
I have known her, let’s see, at least four weeks.
That is a long time.
Well, then she left me alone and I remained behind alone, with everything, with eight poor little children.
Who else was there?
Oh, I remember that name ...
No, it was different.’
I keep sticking to sounds.
‘Hanna ... precisely ...
It was Hanna.
Now I hear Enré ... the name of my God.
Enré, do something for a poor little man.
Will you do it?
Send me to the harem of doctor Van Hansesteintenhovebroekman!
I want it.
Otherwise I will put you under my power, because I am a power giver.
I am a power giver.
I want to go to the women.
I want to go to Erica and Hanna and to my Enré ...
No, it wasn’t that!
René sounds better.
But that was a different sound.
Enré is better.
I see that Enré before me.
I was there before.
You can be buried there and you can come back to life again, all for the same money.
However, Hanstenhovebroekman knows nothing about it, he was sent off none the wiser.
He was not fobbed off but fell in and old Piet got him out again.
Did you think that Piet got a reward?
Not at all.’
‘Piet, did you get a reward?’
‘Not at all, they cheated me, those devils.
I should have got four guilders and forty cents.
I thought’, Piet says, and he immediately made a big story of it, ‘that I would get that money for later, for my old age, but they spent it on drink.
I think they are rotters, if you wish to know.
However, I will get my own back on them.
If Aftalia comes first.
Oh, she is so beautiful, isn’t she?
What a woman!’
‘I have to see and speak to Erica, she is there amongst the women of Doctor Van Broekmantenhovevansteinwolff.
That is how it is.
If I see her, I will ask her whether she has seen my God.
Enré ... the God of life and wind.
The God of me and you, the God who sheared voluptuous fragments as if he thought that it was a newly-born lamb.
No, I am wrong, you do not even shear newly-born lambs.
The sheep, which I mean was already twenty-four years old and marriageable.
I gave her the name of Erica ...!
How how how pleased that girl was!
I start to stutter, only because I want to see the women.
If only the doctor was here.’
I look Hans right in the face and ask him:
‘Do you know, spawn, where the doctor is?
Can you take me to his court, so that I can see the nobility of his followers .
Come on, young man, go in front of me.
Take me to his harem.
Come on, go in front of me!
Get up, young man!’
I pull Hans out of his chair.
Old Piet has to come, he also wants to see the court.
All of them are imploring to be able to go along.
They have linked hands and stand in a row, like old Piet was playing with the childish men yesterday.
They want to follow me.
They do not know the doctor, but they know the doctor, he is a nurse who gives injections and hands out commands.
We are ready, but I have to go away alone.
The doctor has to go with me.
Hans is starting to show his colours.
I have already known for five minutes that I will go to the women.
I want to rummage around there like a madman.
I want to see, want to watch what they get up to all day.
I want to see his harem and experience his harem.
Hans separates me from the others and we go outside.
When we are outside, he walks with his head towards the ground directed towards the ward where the women are sitting, living.
Spass machen (Having fun).
I go with him.
He suddenly asks me:
‘Do you intend to play the fool for any longer, Frederik?
Do you wish to let me believe any longer that you are crazy!
I will give you this opportunity, but if you do not stop, you will get such a scandalous beating from me, as you have never had before in your life.
I will teach you, Frederik, how it should be.
Do you hear me?
Can you see me?
Do you know now?’
I understand everything.
I know, but I do not say anything, I shuffle along next to him.
I do not go into anything.
He can see, for that matter, that I am not here.
Hans tried it, but I do not fall for it.
No, Hans, too cheap, I can behave madly and be mad if I want and then you do not know me.
However, I still have the strength to get out of it again, which the others here cannot do.
Just do what you want, I want to experience alone and under my own strength what it is like here with you.
Just shout at me, just put me on the funeral pyre, I will undergo everything, I am so sure of myself!
Did you not know that, Hans?
‘I am no longer acting like a ghost, as long as you know’ ... I utter, as an answer to his threat.
He stands before me and looks me in the eye.
He pulls me towards him, he wrenches himself into my soul, but he does not find me.
That lasts a moment.
Then his head drops and he says in intelligible Dutch: ‘Completely mad, and it is my fault.
Then we will just go to the women!’
Today I am amongst Hans’ women.
I count fourteen of them, but there are more, I know, who live yonder.
These are enough for me.
Just look at those ladies.
There are some who could tear me.
What hatred these souls must carry.
Just look at those eyes.
If this will end well.
I get a chair and sit in a corner again.
When one comes up to me and stares at me, approaches my life too closely, I bark, as I did amongst the men, with which I dazed them.
I now see a pair of bulging eyes before me, the frightening mask of a woman of approximately forty years old.
She is a beautiful woman, I see.
She looks again ... I meanwhile miaow.
She throws herself at me and wants to scratch me.
I roll off my chair, crawl along the floor and pretend to be a brown bear.
I roll along the floor, but in the direction of my chair.
Then I climb onto it again, to wait and see how she reacts.
She stands there, hands on her hips ... staring at me.
It lasts a moment ... but these are moments of making it or going under, I feel.
I do not know how I must hide myself.
Suddenly I know.
I will not achieve anything here with animal-like carry-on.
I know how I must conquer them.
I start to cry.
I am bothered by childishness.
I have lost my mother.
I went to school and got lost.
She looks at me and I see that relaxation enters the mask.
You are not it, are you?
You are not it, are you?’
‘No, I am not it ... not me ... I am not it.’
What does she do?
She strokes my cheeks.
‘No, you are not it.
I could have killed you ...
Just be happy that you are not it.
Do you know yellow Trui?’
‘I do, mother?
I am happy with yellow Trui.’
She looks at me again.
She looks me in the eye and says:
‘Did I kiss you this morning, Wimpje?’
‘No, yellow Trui ... I have to go to school soon, but I am lost.
Oh, if grandmother sees me.’
‘Do not be afraid, I am still here.
She takes me in her arms.
A nurse comes in.
The nurse sees what is happening.
Yellow Trui says:
‘This is the child of my grandmother, Wimpje, he is lost.
But I am here.
Come on, mother, look at Wimpje.’
She crushes me to a pulp.
The nurse says:
‘I will take him to school.’
But the male nurse who comes in says that I have to wait here.
Orders from Hans.
But there is Hans.
Hans looks at me.
What is going on inside Hans?
I am Frederik, Hans.
I am your friend.
Did you think that I am Frederik!
The woman is snatched away.
I now sit and watch as free as a bird.
The nurse remains, the others leave.
The nurse remains in the ward.
I look around and can deal with everything.
I go from one mother to the next.
However, they are just like men!
Those who are full of hatred have lost their possessions, their love.
What I see is as with the men, only these bodies are different.
What I felt there has been replaced here by the longing to give something, to receive something, which always takes me back again to the human castle.
I see the religious maniac, the bible tourist ... she climbs up that big building and cannot get down again, because she has forgotten the stairs.
It is a ladder which is not there now!
She shouts for help and no one can help her.
I know all of them from before, when I was here for a while for my pleasure.
There is a girl of nearly sixty years old, who has lost her husband, because he went off with another.
That one there, that grey child of fifty, has sixty bats in the belfry, because she connected goodness to passion and finally came to grief herself as a result of it.
What riches can do!
She wants to do good ... she wants to love everything on earth.
She has a basket hanging on her arm, where all her good things are hidden.
She shares out those good things day and night.
They have put her under legal restraint, she will never leave here.
I bet, if I got the time, that I could bring the souls here and yonder back to society, because I live and want to live under and in their hearts, because I want to let them live.
It all concerns loss.
One person has lost money, another love.
Child or mother, partner or whatever it is, the love for people is like the black plague in the East.
They cannot deal with that love, they go under.
Only because they are too weak for this material life.
I see some who are homosexual and flapper about the potential partners like turtle doves.
They get precisely the pure colour out of it.
They are so sure that two times two is four.
They are well-matched.
Those who want to possess love, just like old Piet and the others want that, look at me like wild cats from the jungle.
I do not dare to defy those eyes.
I know beforehand that it will go wrong.
Just look behind those masks and you will know.
Thick or thin is no longer of significance here.
However, I believe that I set fire to this life.
Fire comes from those masks.
I see a great longing in those eyes.
Seven masks stare at me, but I am afraid of those claws.
As long as it turns out okay.
I keep an eye on the door, in case I want to escape ...
I already agreed that to myself.
Just look at that one there, she is sitting about seven metres from me.
Approximately fifty, a nice figure, round, her face a bit swollen, still beautiful teeth, a nose like Homerus.
However, her movement are anxious.
I hear that she is a captain’s wife.
The women treat each other differently to the men.
I do not think that they play here, boys do that more than girls.
I follow them, I go from one to the other, but I only meet longing and the powerlessness to think normally.
A few hours have passed.
I have not yet seen Hans and the nurse has not left the ward for a second.
Then the male nurse comes back.
The female nurse and the male nurse disappear.
Is he giving me this chance?
I do not know.
I do not dare to move a step.
I am afraid that they will throw themselves upon me unexpectedly in order to tickle me, which I never could stand.
I have to watch out for myself more here than amongst those terrible crazy men.
I feel that they are really crazy and dangerous.
Women are more serious than men ... the jungle blood cannot be denied.
They are tigers!
This is why I will not achieve anything here with business or black magic.
They do not see it, they ignore me completely.
They only look a bit too wildly at my castle, nothing else.
There is also a Sonja.
Sonja can dance.
And she dances!
Sonja came to Hans as a result of her dancing, now she is part of his harem.
I do not care a jot about this lot.
They are worries.
They are misery!
I never want to have his harem.
I do not want to be a psychiatrist, they are a big pain in the neck.
Sonja skates as I did yesterday.
She has the knack of it.
She comes too often and too close to where I am.
I am starting to think that she is courting me.
I already know.
Sonja is thirty-five, I estimate from the wrinkles around her eyes. I think that you can establish the age of these souls as with horses, better than looking at them and absorbing the whole castle.
I see horsy faces amongst them, because this crumbling castle is decayed.
Sonja continues, around the tables; she has funny antics.
She sways and she pulls up her skirts skilfully.
I could not have improved upon her.
Meanwhile I establish what the needs and worries of all these women are.
I have already have a note of my diagnoses and will later give them a place in my album.
The logbook will be wonderful, we are now not in the jungle, but we are right amongst the savages.
I am, at least, because the others no longer dared to go into the woods.
As long as I am not baked by those masks, I do not like that.
When Sonja has shown her skills playfully for a few hours and she is tired, dead tired from her tripping and trapping, swaying her hips, she comes over to me and asks:
‘Eh, baron, how was it?
Will I get my kiss?’
I thought so.
It always comes down to that.
I have to play.
‘Well, dear child, that was wonderful.
Can do you do anything else?
I am watching.’
Sonja races at me like a furious duck and flaps with her little wings right in my face.
I push her off me and ask if she wants to dance.
I manage it.
She plays dominoes again, she lays down all the stones, she crawls over them.
Skirts down and skirts up, tripping as she has learnt, legs up and back out, she just makes something of it.
However, that goes wrong.
I can see it in her eyes.
She is becoming wilder.
She incenses the others.
The women gain strength, it is inspiration.
Where must that ship strand?
Sonja dances, she wants to imitate Carmen, she spits and screams, the others go along with it.
Three do not get involved in anything, they withdraw and think it is shameful.
They are in search of God.
They cannot participate, they hang on their high wall and cannot leave.
However, the others – it does not matter whether they are old or grey – reach ecstasy and are just thirty years old.
Where do those old people get life from?
I am enjoying it!
I cannot really understand it.
I understand them and I do not understand them!
I already know, people like us never use all our powers.
Those women here have enough of them.
They lift them up from their subconscious.
People do not know where they come from; I see that it is possible.
They open themselves to it ... they tune into it ... and that happens of its own accord.
Sonja screams, she looks forbidding and she plays a game with me and herself.
She is stressed out, makes a dash for the women and pulls them along with her.
Now it is the same here as in our ward.
Sonja in front, the others behind her.
I get a pain in my chest.
My heart thumps as far as my throat.
That is not going well.
I suspect that I have been here a few hours, I know nothing about time.
Then the climax comes.
She gives a scream, throws herself along with the others in my direction, wants to crush me with her kisses.
I take a leap and am almost out of danger.
I hear myself screaming.
When I race towards the door they are just ahead of me.
The women overcome me.
I lie underneath and she is on top of me, one woman is kicking the other.
I feel that they want to tear me apart, there is nothing to hold onto.
They fling their love at me ... they are stones.
When I feel that they realise, understand, that they cannot undress me with each other and on top of each other, because they want that, one releases herself from the other.
Four at the same time ...
Supporting Sonja’s embrace ... I have nothing more to say, they are in charge of me.
I think that nothing would have be left of me if salvation had not come.
I am released by the male nurse and a female nurse.
The women are chased away.
Sonja does not accept that, she has become wild.
Other female nurses come and also Hans.
I do not look at him, the male nurse takes me away.
We go straight back to old Piet.
The man does not ask me anything, the man does what he was ordered to do and I have nothing to say.
However, I did not see Erica, or Anna, my study there was pitiful.
I am back again with old Piet, who is asking me questions.
He wants to know whether I saw his cousin.
I say that she was not there, but that she will come soon.
That is okay.
Piet subconsciously understands the art of keeping a person talking.
When Hans is standing before us, Piet is having a nice chat.
We pretend the doctor is not there.
I say to Piet:
‘Well, I could not tell her anyway that you had lost all your money?
Could I tell her, Piet, say so yourself, that you were robbed?’
‘No, not that, that is not possible.
But what did she say?’
‘That she would come.
I did everything to tell it.
What nice dogs she has.
What nice dogs she has, Piet.’
‘Yes, but I do not trust them, they bite.
I became wild because of them.’
‘She says, Piet, that you should never have done that.
Did you see those bones on the table?
What a good cook she is, isn’t she?’
‘Certainly, she is a good woman.
Oh, she is so good!
I will get her, I bet on it.
I will go to the tailor on Sunday.
She will do well with me.
Now, let’s see, we are getting married in four weeks’ time ... and you will be page.’
‘Yes please, Piet, please, I will take care of it ... you will have no trouble with me ... no, certainly not, Piet.
I do not stamp on bows.
I will take care of it.’
Hans hears and sees us, but cannot understand it.
That a person flies from one misery to another and is still himself in all that misery, that is impossible.
Frederik is definitely mad!
I take over his thought that he cannot play such comedy.
Only mad people can do that.
Hans has gone!
Hans has gone and stays away the whole day.
As long as that turns out okay.
I think that he will not keep his word and good heavens, what must I do then?
I sit quietly in my corner in order to think.
I ask the female nurse whether I may speak to the doctor.
I do it as consciously as possible, because she will think that I am well.
However, she does not react.
‘But can you not see that there is nothing the matter with me?’
‘They all say that here, Zeul.’
‘So no one here is mad?’
‘No, no one here is mad, neither are you.’
‘Oh, but then I will go home today.’
‘You would like that, but that is impossible, Zeultje.
You do not have all your marbles.’
‘Do you not know that, Zeultje?’
‘What did you say, sister?
Am I mad after all?’
‘Zeul is not mad, but Zeul has bats in the belfry.
The doctor is not here.’
I can say what I like, but it does not help me.
I am in a bad way, I am a lost man.
They now think that I am mad.
Where is Hans?
The doctor is not there.
I think that Hans has gone to Karel and Erica.
My God, now what?
As long as I get out of here again!
I sit and think, but I no longer know what to do.
We eat, we drink, I am here and I am not here.
Hans does not come again.
I ask the male nurse, but he pretends to be mad.
I do not get an answer anymore to my questions and am treated completely as a madman.
I am beginning to regret my research.
I sit in my corner thinking.
I did not see René.
Then we go to sleep.
Hans is still gone.
I lie and think and I am completely quiet.
The female nurse does not come, but the male nurse does.
However, that one leaves me ice-cold ...
I only know I have to accept that Hans has either forgotten me or he has gone to Karel and Erica to tell the sad news.
Frederik has not gone on a trip, but Frederik is mad.
I can see them before me.
My God, what must I do.
I am calm.
I start to see it differently, I get dressed again.
I dream that I am walking outside.
The feeling lives in me that I am at least thousands of years older.
I am in nature, I am sitting on my bench.
I have René with me and the child is playing.
I sit there and he is not there.
I ask him about particular things, but he does not answer me.
However, he says unexpectedly:
‘I heard you, Uncle Frederik.’
‘So, did you hear me, René?
Why did you not answer me?’
‘I have been here for so long, but you are not.
Why did you stay away from me for so long?’
‘Was I away for so long, René?
That is true, my boy.
But did you not get my letters?’
‘You just wrote once, Uncle Frederik, and in French as well, I cannot read that.’
‘Did I only write once?’
‘Yes, you were on a trip, after all, Uncle Frederik?’
Then I came to see you.’
‘Now we are walking again in our neighbourhood, Uncle Frederik.
Will you come back to me soon?
Will you not stay away too long?
Will you come soon?
Or we will go home.
Mother is waiting.
Come on ... we will go back home, that is better for me.’
René takes my hand.
We wander homewards.
We go up and down, but do not see anyone.
Then we hear them talking in the back garden.
I hear Karel saying to Erica:
‘Isn’t it terrible?’
What is terrible? I thought.
René also looks and listens.
‘Oh, it is awful.
My God, what have we done?’
Karel and Erica go inside, I do not see Anna.
Erica is weeping.
She falls to the ground.
Karel takes her upstairs.
She is lying there.
Now I can also see Anna.
Anna is also lying in bed.
I see through a thick mist.
Anna is lying behind that mist.
‘Since you are away from home for so long.
Just come soon, then everything will be okay again.’
We go outside again.
René says goodbye to me and says that he can find the way on his own, I have to take care of myself. I go back to myself.
I know how to find myself in Hans’ institution.
From the light coming up I think it is five o’clock.
I start to think, I have to think, Hans has betrayed everything, he thinks that I am mad.
I have played with fire.
I will be home for Christmas.
I will be home sooner than all of them expected.
I have been conquered.
I am myself, I have experienced amazing problems.
What more do you want?
However, I have to try and think calmly.
I have plenty of time.
I think that Karel and Hans will come to me.
I did not dream it, but I was there!
I lived there.
But it is René who saved me!
He supported me.
He sent me home.
I will make a decision.
Erica and Anna are really upset.
So is Karel.
Hans gets a row.
Oh, Hans, how could you have approved of it?
I have to go back home.
I have been on a trip for long enough, I have been travelling for months.
The places I was.
Didn’t I know it?
I get cake with the coffee.
Two ginger nuts, dressed as doctors.
Hans and Karel.
Good day, Karel?
Karel looks me in the eye, he wants to see how I am.
It lasts a moment, I undergo his searching and gauging, I know what he wants.
Meanwhile I have decided for myself how to act.
I have to leave here or I will never get out again.
I did not mock all these people, I behaved as I had to.
Or was there another way?
I do not yet know, but I have to leave.
‘Do you recognise me, Frederik?’
Now I look at him.
Our eyes meet, I just move one muscle, Karel at least seventy and waits tensely.
I could have talked nonsense immediately, but there is a limit.
I have to leave this environment, I have to leave here!
I say to Karel:
‘Have you come to get me?’
He asks again: ‘Do you recognise me then, Frederik?’
‘Why would I not recognise you?
You are Karel Wolff.
How are things at home?
How is René, Erica, Anna?’
Karel races over to me, kisses me.
Hans grabs me, I am simply being pulled away from my loved environment.
Piet wants to help me.
The doctor calls:
‘Let my patient go, bastards, you have made enough victims already.
Go away ... pests!!
The minister talks about ‘Christ, who knows His children’, the academic translates it into Italian, French, German and English and is just a bit late to add Spanish and Russian, because I race out the door.
There they are, my friends.
They stand by the door and want to help me.
There is a rebellion ...
A loved one is leaving, they feel that one of their own is being threatened.
Hans and Karel take me with them.
I walk between the doctors to Hans’ sanctuary.
They do not talk, they cannot say a word, they do not know what to do.
A moment later I am sitting in Hans’ office.
Karel looks at me.
‘Do you know who I am, Frederik?’
‘Of course, Karel.’
‘Do you also know what happened?’
‘I know everything, Karel.’
‘Then come home with me.’
‘I would like that, Karel.’
Now I look at Hans ...
I can smile.
Hans does not yet believe me, but he says:
‘See that you leave, Karel.
I will come this evening.’
I just go back home with Karel.
When we reach the door, Erica and Anna throw their arms around my neck.
‘Oh, Frederik, what is the matter with you?
Oh, Frederik, come in.’
Now I walk between the women.
I only have to take a few steps, but their heat makes me sway.
They put me in an armchair.
Anna comes with coffee.
I sit there and do not know what to do.
Karel comes in.
Karel examines me, he takes my pulse.
‘Everything is great’, he lets fall.
How you can scare people silly.
Are you sure where you are?’
Erica looks at me as if she sees a miracles or a ghost.
She does not know either.
Anna looks at me as if she perceives Our Lord, she worships me.
They do not know, but I have worked it out.
They long for me to say something.
They have not yet heard my voice.
I could fool about again, because I learned it.
Yet I do not: I may not do that.
I have to say something.
I will also say something and then wait and see.
‘How is our child, Erica?
All three race over to me.
They lie at my feet, they kneel at my feet and weep like little children.
How these people love me!
My God, what have I done.
It is terrible.
They weep for a long time, they tremble.
I cannot bear that.
You should see Karel.
Just like a little child.
I have never seen him like that before.
What a nice boy he is now.
It is as if Anna is broken.
What a reception I get.
I stroke their heads one by one.
I bring their heads together and kiss them.
I feel the bodies trembling, the hearts beating, the eyes weeping.
What beautiful people they are.
I had not thought that we were so far for each other.
I elevate them, I look them in the eye one by one and ask them whether they could stop behaving so strangely.
Karel looks at me and asks again: ‘Are you okay again, Frederik?’
‘I am okay again, Karel ...
I have been for such a long time.
You are also okay again.
René was always okay.
We may thank God.’
When we are back in our seats, one person after another has drunk in the miracle that I am okay again, Erica says:
‘Do you know, Frederik, where you are?
Is it really you?
Do you know what you were like?
Where you were?
Do you still know Hans?’
‘I know everything, Erica.
Everything, and I am as fit as a fiddle.
Just give me a drink and a good cigar, Karel, then I will be completely back to normal.’
They rush already.
I smoke and have a stiff drink.
That will do me good after all those tricks I got up to.
However, I am not yet separated from my friends.
Those good old boys.
However, I will work it out.
Just wait, thoughts come to me, which send me back to Hans: I can probably be of service to him.
Karel says: good health.
I also clink glassed with him, the women also have a drink.
Then Karel asks:
‘Do you really know what happened, Frederik?’
‘I know everything, Karel, everything.
We will talk about it when we are ready.’
I have not yet finished talking when Hans is standing before me.
‘Good day, doctor.’
‘Frederik, Frederik, are you really back to normal?’
‘I am back to normal, Hans, and thank you very much for your good care.
How well-off I was.’
‘Do you mean that, Frederik?’
‘Of course, I mean it, because I am back to normal myself!’
Hans races over to me.
Hans is weeping!
How can it be, that harsh Hans is also crying.
He also falls to his knees, he also lays his sturdy head in my lap; I also kiss his head, he experiences it, he is in seventh heaven.
Hans looks, cannot yet believe it.
He asks: ‘Frederik, are you completely back to normal?’
‘Am I the academic or is it you, Hans?’
Everyone is weeping, no one can hold back their tears.
They let themselves go completely.
It is too much for me.
Then I think the time has come to say something.
I do not yet know what I have started.
However, I say:
I have to believe that I have come back from a long journey.
Yet, Erica, I did not meet any bears, snakes, any scorpions.
Oh, how well-off I was.
How well-off I was on my journey.
I certainly did not see any jungle.
I sailed over white seas, took in some Indonesian culture, visited harems, Hans, I associated with academics and people with titles, I worked on the land with farmers, danced my joyous dances for princes and princesses, knelt before Temples and I wrenched myself into all those sacred things, about which I learned a prayer.
I was overwhelmingly busy, I spoke all the languages of the world, I embroidered beautiful cloths and drunk a liquid which was created by Him, I kissed Sun and Moon, received love during my journey, which frightened me, to knowingly enter the ‘nirvana’ at the end of my trip, where I now am.
Did you really think that I was mad, Hans?
That I had lost myself for even a second!
I wanted to get to know myself and those by whom I belonged.
I descended into all those beings and gathered treasures there.
I was the same as they were!
Believe me, we will talk about it.
You will find so much to talk about, Hans, but I tell you, many people can be helped.
You will never make it, not like this.
I have discovered, Karel, that you can achieve a lot with hypnotism.
Of course, Hans, I take this gift home.
I took in that gift somewhere on the journey.
It did not cost me anything, I got the gift for nothing, God gave it to me.
I have awakened!
I have made it!
I made it a long time ago.
I was never away.
The reason I played the fool was because I could not think outside their sphere.
However, you see, they are not far from us.
They are in their own world and are more sure, more sensitive, more aware than normal people like us think.
However, I know, I have lost a lot in your eyes.
Soon, when the logbook is finished, only then will you know that, you will know that I was able to experience heavens, received heavens, so did little René!
René is coming back!
He saved me?
He sent me home!
Little René can do that!
The rest then?
I will have to think about that first.
The day after tomorrow I will go back to your boys.
The girls cannot be helped, or I would have to lock myself up for a few months.
I have to talk to the girls, I have to elevate them to my life, but you do not believe that yet either.
I know how they attacked me, I know everything.
What did you think of my dance, Hans?
What was I like as Carmen?
What did you think of my skating skills?
What was Mr Van Tenhovebroekmans like?
Mr Van Steinwolff?
Did you go to London to Sir William Scor?
Were you at the Rijswijk Pyramid, Hans?
In Vienna, Paris and Naples?
I was there as well.
I was there, I rushed through my whole life for you, but you did not understand.
I experienced miracles, great matters, even if I was lying in the dirt for you, even if I behaved like a mad person, I was as normal as anything.
However, I wanted to behave madly on purpose, not be disturbed in anything, in anything at all.
Now that gift came out, when I hit Piet with my fire.
Now I can and will bring René back, where this soul should be.
Now I could make a circus out of your hospital, if I did not know what it would involve.
I am not yet that far, but I will do something about it.
I will probably never make it ... because it is not my task.
For I feel that I only got that for a moment, although that also awakened in me.
Did the nurse tell you that I hypnotised her while walking?
I will reward her well.
I kissed her, Hans.
And what a kiss, good heavens, I enjoyed a kiss for the first time in my life.
What love I discovered on my long journey!
I experienced so much, Hans, Karel, Erica, Anna, that it appears as if I was away from home for years.
How good all those children were for me and what can I do for them now?
I will think about it.
Pour another drink, Karel, it is doing me good.
I am coming back to myself completely.’
Hans asks me nineteen to the dozen.
Karel, Erica and Anna likewise.
I give an answer.
‘What made you think of it, Frederik?’ Erica asks.
‘It is simple enough, my child, I wanted to get to know all those patients.’
She shakes her head and says:
‘You could have died, Frederik.’
‘That’s what you think.
I know, it will take some time before you know and can believe that there is nothing the matter with me.
I tell you, I am as fit as a fiddle.
However, Hans can quite easily spoil his people a bit more.
Hans, it is a terrible scandal that there are still people there who have been put under legal restraint.
Or did you think that it is not the case?
You have made immense mistakes, Hans.
You believe the people.
You look too much at the patients and too little at the society to which they belong.
For example, they broke down Sonja.
That child is stuck there and she is as healthy as can be.
The family is keeping her prisoner.
She does not behave like a baroness, she is possessed by suffering, if you wish to know.
I saw others.
There are women there, Hans, who are locked up by their husbands.
Because they were cheated on by those devils, collapsed from suffering, they started to snivel.
Mrs Van Soest, for example.
Mrs Van Lakenstein is no different.
The gentlemen spend all the money ... the women are behind bars.
Because of you ...
You are the guilty one!
You thought I was mad?
You are mad!
I heard the word Christ!
Hans ... you are a lost man if you do not begin a new investigation into this.
The men are guilty themselves or they came to you because their weak personalities did not want it any other way.
I will bring charges against our society!
If you wish to know, as soon as possible.
I want to free those women and I will free them!
I saw enough in those brief moments; what would take you years was placed in my hands, eyes and heart just like that, it gave me a fright, it is so awful.
Did you not see that?
Did you never see through that game with life and death?
You are afraid for me, you want to help me, but what do you do for those darlings?
Do you believe those dirty bastards?
Since the baron of Sonja declared her mad, she was broken!
Hans, did you not see what love she will give if she gets the chance?
I will talk to that child.
I will take her back to this rotten society and I will get the two others out.
You are guilty, Hans; I came back to help you, to save you, if you wish to know!’
Hans is really upset by it, but it is the sacred truth.
He talks to Karel and I go upstairs to have a rest.
Erica and Anna follow me.
However, we will talk, this situation must change.
I saw the mask for our justice.
What a cursed mask it is.
‘People write letters, human letters, which break your heart’, I say to Erica and Anna, who sit with me, ‘but those letters never get conscious human judgement.
I will research those cases.
I will help those children.
There are some who have been put under legal restraint for fifteen years, in one institution, out another institution.
Now they are there with our Hans.
Hans does not see that.
Hans believes everything.
There are some whose family pay the expenses.
There are some who have their wife or husband locked up, in order to be able to experience a life themselves, rotten through and through.
There are some ...
However, I am too tired for it ...
I will rest, people ... I will come downstairs again soon.
How thankful I am to you.
How happy I am, Erica and Anna, that I was able to get to know you in this life.
We are not there yet. We complain, we have a child to take care of, but try going to that misery?
Then to have to see that sound-minded people are locked up there, because they are enslaved by devils?
My God, is that still possible in this century?
That is why I acted the fool, children, and Hans fell for it.
I let nothing slip out, not a word, but I had discovered that within a few seconds.
When I visited Hans’ patients with him a while ago, I did not see it.
You have to descend for that, descend as far as their hearts, you have to be part of their lives, their sorrows, their suffering, otherwise you do not feel or see anything.
I will get them.
All of us must want to give ourselves for that purpose.
Especially Karel and Hans!
I am going to sleep!’
I had a lovely sleep until ten o’clock the next day, when I opened my eyes.
Erica and Anna came and brought me tea.
I dash into the bath first in order to shave off my beard, to freshen myself up, only then do I come back to the people.
There is talking again.
We cannot stop talking.
When I feel that they know enough, I start on the logbook.
What I now experienced is awe-inspiring.
I played the fool for a few days.
It was me and it was not me.
I discovered a lot, for which I do not yet have foundations, because the depth of overcame me.
However, I will make it.
It has to be said that dreams do not always mean deception, because Franciscanus is there and he is a doctor.
He sees bats in the belfry, because he is a weak personality, just like the others, who do not know what to do with themselves for this life.
I now believe that I was promoted to hypnotist as a result of the strong powers of Franciscanus, because these powers emanated towards me from his life.
I think that I became that through him!
However, I do not yet have certainty about that either.
Of course, there is also a part of myself in it as well.
Piet is someone who can be cured immediately.
He is a born actor, for that matter, they all are, even if there are some who possess true phenomena of madness, inner destruction.
It occurs to me that we can do more for these people.
I must not let myself be seen too quickly there or I will disgrace Hans.
There will be talk and that must not happen; he would only destroy himself as a result of me.
I must prevent that happening.
Franciscanus, I feel, has let me dream.
That influence was already with me before I met that life.
I call it spiritual telepathy, and it is no more than that!
I now know that the soul as a human being is extremely deep.
Piet will get out!
I am so sure of that, as I believe in myself, as the show I put on there.
There is not much to be done about the others, because those brains are full to the brim, crammed with sawdust like a study or language, as a result of which the personality lost itself.
Deep suffering lives within me.
I saw misery which is not necessary.
Oh, those poor mothers there.
That Hans did not see anything, even if he is right on top of it.
Psychologists are also cheated.
They look in the wrong direction.
Everything is devilish!
I am so far advanced for myself that I can say: I would not have missed it for all the money in the world.
And I feel that I have grown years older.
And now those poor people there?
I am broken from suffering.
I can almost no longer carry on, I will have to weapon myself and watch out more for René, although I know that this matter will also last for years.
However, we will see.
But what brutes live in our society.
You should now look behind those masks.
And that says good-day to you in the street?
Oh, how dreadful!
As far as I can see Hans is a nurse, there is no more than that for him to do.
He helped the people in order to be able to butcher a fellow human being.
That was in good faith, without him knowing it.
The sickly phenomena which are present, have come about through the human suffering.
I have escaped a scaffold, as it were.
It is incredible, yet I was already on the familiar vehicle, but on the way my dove came to free me from those claws.
I believe for certain that Hans had kept me according to the laws of his teachings.
I got out again, others remain there for life.
And that because of their money.
Isn’t it terrible?
I will have a serious think about it.
Piet can get out!
Piet has some money; the poor boy is as good as a saint, but people do not understand that.
I will help that life.
The nonsense I came out with was nothing more than getting back to my own life.
With some crazy carry-on and some sympathy from another, I got to see that other world.
I knew all those people.
I also knew well the man in London with all his naked statues.
Also Madame Surié, whom I would rather not be involved with!
I no longer want to think about that being, although she was very sweet to me.
We were really in Egypt, we sat at the foot of both the Pyramid and the Sphinx ...!
They sent me to climb the Pyramid, but I took off and left that crazy lot behind.
They thought that I was thoughtless, but I knew better.
I strung everything together and enjoyed myself when Hans lost his learnedness as a result.
I knew what I was doing and especially how far I could go, without exposing my brains to decline or destruction.
The pressure which I felt in my head, was my limit, at that moment I felt how far a soul can go before the material fibres succumb.
Now I am back in my room in order to think.
I have to honestly say: my head is a bit tired, but that will change.
All in all, I may not complain.
However, I will do what I can for the patients.
Hans and Karel will help me, those rotten parts have to be cut out.
However, when I think how many institutions we have in our small country, where people live who are kept behind lock and key by their loved ones, because they are in love with the money, I fall off my chair from shock, these circumstances are so outrageous.
Now doctors and people act like devils.
They are not the servants of Christ, but of Satan!
Whether those people shout, claim that they are sound of mind, they will not get out again.
I want to know what all of that means.
They are pitiful pages of our logbook, but very worthwhile reading, in my opinion.
You now look behind the masks, which I did not yet know.
They will be the worst, I think, which we will meet.
I cannot say much about the mystic of our sisters and brothers; I will first have to get to know the laws for them.
Most of them are weak in spirit and personality.
I do not yet know whether this is the same thing.
One thing I do know: I have come closer to little René and that is our gain!
My God, how can I thank!
I now do not believe that I should have stayed there any longer.
Despite the uncertainty in which I lived, I have to say that all those people represent an own and conscious world, which is more and more keenly conscious than ours, about which we think that it is the highest.
I could have put it differently, but I understand what I mean.
We created this misery, people like us are to blame for our unhappiness!
Our society has to change.
Such evil is the worst thing there is.
The weak are faced with devils, they have the right to help.
If you can believe in a Father of love, then fight for these lives, dear Hans, only then will you have the right to call yourself a human being.’
I go for a walk.
It is enough for today; I cannot think clearly yet.
However, I have to try to save old Piet from his funeral pyre.
Everything is fine here at home, I am soon myself and little René is being taken care of.
What we heard about him must make all of us happy, he is making progress!
Now I take care of the flowers myself.
The female nurse gets her compensation as a token of sympathy.
How should I otherwise express that?
The male nurse gets a box of cigars for brushing my back and the sick men ten boxes, really good ones, so that they feel happy.
The women get cake and lots of cream cakes, because I love all these people, I feel their misery, their being living dead, under my heart.
It is terrible!
The female nurse gets something else from me.
When she gets married soon, I have a nice little house for her, completely ready, she can move in just like that.
I have to do that, because I kissed her, the stolen happiness requires me to make up for what I did wrong.
I would not be able to sleep peacefully for another hour.
I think that this child would pursue me, because I know how sensitive I am.
For the rest there is nothing more.
I only have to make sure that I come in harmony again with my small dove.
I will now inspire her life, as I have never been able to before.
Is it not amazing, I wonder, that a hypnotic power awakens just like that in you?
I think that Franciscanus possesses the same soul as I mastered, or has God split both our lives without them knowing?
You would say that it is possible, because where did I get that life from?
Did we have contact with each other in our subconsciousness?
Or are we flowers of one colour, one life, have I an ounce more feeling than he has in order to keep this life going?
It is all so remarkable.
I thought it was a miracle!
Anna comes to see me regularly.
Love and happiness radiate from her eyes, because I am back with her.
We believe it, we look for nothing, we have known each other for so long.
I only do not have any courage to tell her.
We will first finish the task given to us.
However, I am grateful that I may admire her appearance.
Erica is not any different.
Just a moment ago she flung her arms around my neck and she says:
‘It is incredible, Frederik, good heavens, how afraid we were.
How we suffered in those few hours.
It is hard to understand: I thought that I would bleed to death.
Precisely, this is how it was.
How wonderful friendship can be.
How can people, who possess spiritual contact, break off such a bond?
I do not want to miss you for a million.
Then she flung herself at Anna, almost choked her with kisses, with a love which shone upon the day conscious life straight from her heart.
Because I am back again.
However, now I am going ... children, see you later, I will be back soon.
Oh, do not be afraid, I will not come to grief again and I will not do those crazy things again.
You do not need to give me a guide, definitely not, I will now take care of myself.
I will give you that certainty.
Isn’t it amazing?
They are afraid, because of me, because of that foolishness of before.
I have received a father, a mother, a sister.
I am no longer alone, I now possess everything, everything which God can give His child.
I will prepare myself for old Piet’s sake and both women.
I will do it, my God, because I am so happy!
I will make a few masks harmless!
I am myself, I will give my blood, everything I possess, in order to see everyone happy!
I will be serious and not lose another second!
The flowers are already on the way, my first deed for all that love.
Oh, little nurse, if it was not for Anna, I would not yet know!
I just mean ... our hearts are one!
Is that not amazing as well?
I continue, thinking, see you later, Frederik!