South Of North / Netherlands / 2020
Together we went to visit Annie's in Leiden once. I brought a recorder and a keyboard. Annie told stories and we sang songs. Later when we had to sit inside and I recorded a lot of music at home in The Hague, friend Kim told me to make an album of it. I thought back to Annie who had been inside for years and listened back to the recording of our visit.
Annie met her husband at De Camera cinema in Leiden, about fifty years ago. Where they both worked. One day, Annie had to grab something from the projector. It is dark there, so she didn't see much. Suddenly she felt a hand on hers. Strangely enough, she wasn't shocked. She just felt something special inside and that feeling has never gone away, to this day. It was the hand of her future husband. He told her at that precise moment that he loved her and did so from the first time he saw her. Which in itself was quite remarkable. Since Annie thought he was a nice guy, but otherwise she didn't really know him well either. Moreover, she was a few years older than him (his name was Seban), he was Moroccan and Muslim and it was somewhere in the 60s. Not bad things in itself, but unfortunately in the 60s they thought otherwise. They got married after all and moved in together, in a brand new flat in the Merenwijk in Leiden. A flat and a neighborhood that have since lost their glory. Annie and Seban often went on holiday together with the caravan. They went to Morocco together, where Annie met his parents and family. Annie has converted to Islam. But in her own way. She does not wear a headscarf, for example, but also does not eat pork. Annie and Seban have unfortunately only been together for ten years. The short duration was absolutely not due to their love for each other. It is still there, even though Seban has been dead for some time. In the living room there is a black and white photo of him sitting on the football field downstairs by the flat, next to their German Shepherd Camar. They both look beautiful. Annie looks at it every day, for the happiest time of her life. "If I could, I would take them right back."