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ENCHANTÉ – Once Precious Loves call on the Heliphone

Once you reach a certain age the heliphone starts ringing. It always does around or a while after midnight. Nowadays, it rings more often. Past loves are calling in from the afterlife. The other night it was Amalia.

“I didn’ t see you at my funeral. Why didn’t you come? Why not bring me any flowers? After all, we spent some good times together.”

“Oh, dearest Amalia! Your voice sounds just like before. Australia was a bit far for me. Where are you now?”

“Much farther than Australia. You remember that day in the dunes?”

“Wonderful. I often dream of it.”

“So how come you didn’t marry me?”

“Blame it on my immaturity. I didn’t realize how good you would’ve been for me.”

“That figures; you were proposing all over the place after you left me. Are you any happier now?”

“It would’ve been nicer to share our lives together. If I’d had more than one life, I would’ve done it.”

“I’ll keep a seat reserved for you here then. Till soon.”

The heliphone broke off. That “soon” gave me the shivers.  I got up and made myself a stiff Martini. What did she know?

Earlier this week, I got another call, from Irene.

“Nobody came to my funeral. Only Cindy, you remember, our bridesmaid, and that bloody husband of mine who’d left me by myself most of the time. Why did you divorce me? “

“Probably for the same reason your second husband left you alone.”

“We had so much fun together, don’t you remember that sofa?”

“I do, delightful, but you embezzled my money.”

“Come on. All that paper’s just monopoly money. You can’t take it over here.”

“What’s over here?”

“The purgatory. I don’t know why they put me here. It’s always cold. I spent time enough in jail.”

“Terrible. It surprised me you got yourself married again.”

“I got him the same way I got you.”

“How’s that?”

“By pretending he’d made me pregnant.”

“Yeah, I remember that. I think the purgatory is fine for you.”

The line broke off. I shivered again and took another Lorazepam. Was I lucky I got rid of her. She took all my money and still keeps calling me.  That heliphone is a nightmare.

Mid-week wasn’t any better. It was Marilou, the fat girl from Switzerland, who I heard via the grapephone had suddenly passed away.

“I got heart trouble because I was overweight.”

“I’m so sorry, Marilou. I guess you’ve got plenty to eat now and can’t die anymore.”

“I still hate you. You only made love to me in the Alps because you got high rubbing my big boobs. You were a pervert.”

“I remember your telling me that. I broke my back lifting you up all the time because you couldn’t stay up on your skis.”

“I offered you my millions of Swiss Francs, but you only wobbled in between my boobs, said ‘Ahhh,’ and left me.”

“You told me the Swiss tycoon you married did it for you boobs too.”

“He was supposed to go before me. Now he’s got all my money and married an ultra slim pin-up from Vanity Fair.”

“Are you calling him too?”

“His phone is off the hook. I hate Vanity Fair.”

The heliphone died away. Marilou was one of those sad moments in life you want to forget but keep being reminded of. How did she get my number?

Last night was the worst ever. It was Anita, my biggest regret in love life.

“I wish I’d married you.”

“A bit late to tell me that now. What happened?”

“My husband murdered me.”

“Oh no! Why?”

“Because I kept dreaming aloud at night mentioning your name, saying that I loved you.”

“I hope they put him on death row.”

“Death row does not exist in my country. But hell does here.”

“Awful. You think I could do anything?”

“Go to his prison and poison him. I want him in hell right now where they’ll knife him with red-burning forks every second.”

“But they’d catch me and put me in prison as well.”

“Don’t worry. I’m told we have our ways up here and I’ll protect you.”

“But I won’t get you back, Anita. What’s the point?”

“You’ll be here soon enough, darling, and we’ll live happily ever after.”

That was enough to whip me into a frenzy and I swallowed two Lorazepams, but nonetheless, I stayed awake all night, shaking.

I’m on my way to Oslo now with a dose of cyanide wrapped in foil paper and my heliphone in my pocket to get word where that prison is. Pray for my soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ENCHANTÉ: Still Waiting for My Norwegian Goddess – A Repeat Call

To Cecil: You are my biggest regret. When you drove me in your yellow BMW to the Alps near Geneva I knew I loved you dearly. When you slapped me softly on my cheek because I said I wanted to stay with you, you hurt me badly, even though you were right: you were engaged to marry. I had an on-and-off girlfriend but when I met you – and your sweet and funny sister – I knew you were the one. Then you said your father was only a train conductor. So what? OK, my dad was a beer brewer and my mother from nobility. But who cares? You were IT, and it would have been beautiful. For me, you were just the most beautiful and most lovely girl I ever met, and you had this great stamina and presence.

That’s why I wrote Ingrid the Magnificent Viking. Of course, it’s imagination of what could have been. But you are still in my mind. When I met you again at the coffee bar down at your Norwegian Embassy in Geneva, you seemed less happy than I would have thought, after your marriage. Well, I hope you had a beautiful life with lovely children, as you were the most beautiful girl I ever saw.

You will remember that tape with the Beach Boys, Good Vibrations.  You loved that tune so much that I left it in your car.

I was at a diplomatic party in Geneva and they said, “We hear you are going to marry a Norwegian girl. Who is she?” I don’t know who spread the rumor. Maybe my boss did because he was Norwegian too. He naughtily told you I was “in love” with his secretary, but I was not. We liked each other, but not for life.

I wish I could have said, ” Yes, I am going to marry Cecil.” I would have learned to speak Norwegian. It can’t be more difficult than Dutch.

But you were already taken and I had to leave you behind.

Kiss-kiss, my dear: my greatest wish is to see you again before I die.

Your loving John

INGRID THE MAGNIFICENT VIKING : http://amzn.to/2jZf6Is

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Open Letter to My Norwegian Viking

Paul skiing on Swiss Alps

 

To Cecil: You are my biggest regret. When you drove me in your yellow BMW to the Alps near Geneva I knew I loved you dearly. When you slapped me softly on my cheek because I said I wanted to stay with you, you hurt me badly, even though you were right: you were engaged to marry. I had an on-and-off  girlfriend but when I met you – and your sweet and funny sister – I knew you were the one. Then you said your father was only a train conductor. So what? For me you were just the most beautiful girl I ever met, and you had this great stamina and presence. OK, my dad was a beer brewer and my mother from nobility. But who cares? You were IT, and it would have been beautiful.

That’s why I wrote Ingrid the Magnificent Viking. Of course, it’s imagination of what could have been. But you are still in my mind. When I met you again at the coffee bar down at your Embassy in Geneva, you seemed less happy than I would have thought, after your marriage. Well, I hope you had a beautiful life with lovely children, as you were the most beautiful girl I ever saw.

You will remember that tape with the Beach Boys, Good Vibrations.  You loved that tune so much that I left it in your car.

I was at a diplomatic party in Geneva and they said, “We hear you are going to marry a Norwegian girl. Who is she?” I don’t know who spread the rumor. Maybe my boss did, because he was Norwegian too. He naughtily told you I was “in love” with his secretary, but I was not. We liked each other, but not for life.

I wish I could have said ” Yes, I am going to marry Cecil.” I would have learned to speak Norwegian. It can’t be more difficult than Dutch.

But you were already taken and I had to leave you behind.

Kiss-kiss, my dear: my greatest wish is to see you again before I die.

Your loving

 

John

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ALL THESE WOMEN!

John 2  Cover

 

Yes, that’s how one writer friend reacted when reading the manuscript of SOME WOMEN I HAVE KNOWN – http://amzn.to/1QIL94B (If the link does not function, which often happens with WordPress.org, simply paste it into your url). My writing friend, was he jealous? Perhaps!

What made me write that book? Clairaudience, clairvoyance, clairsentience in the Library of the Maarten Maartens House in Holland, during a family reunion in 2002. As infidels in the medium-world, my cousin Anne and I did not believe we were in trance with Maarten Maartens, our Great-Uncle Joost Schwartz, who wrote so many novels and short stories in English that made him famous in the USA and the UK at the turn of the 19th/20th century. Under the pen name of Maarten Maartens. But we were! He died in 1915, leaving a wealth of literature behind: 13 published novels and four collections of short stories, plays, poems and even a detective story, the first ever written in Holland.

One short story collection was entitled Some Women I Have Known. Uncle Joost whispered: “Write your own!” And indeed, Anne and I decided to write our own “Some Women”, in memoriam of our Uncle Joe. When the trance dissolved, we looked at each other and laughed. When we told some hundred family members and guests, they laughed too: “Hah! You will never do that! All talk, no doing!”

Anne and John at lunch

Unfortunately, Anne passed away before we got underway. The project seemed doomed. But Uncle Joost kept working on me. You have to write your version, he kept telling me. And, I did as he did: I began by writing ten short stories about some of the women I had known and found important enough  to commemorate, from my early years on. Then I turned the short stories into a memoir/coming-of-age novel, giving the narrator a fictitious name: John van Dorn, to create some distance from myself.

The novel starts with Audrey Hepburn,  who came to play at my grandparents residence where I stayed on vacation, as a 13-year old girl when I was 7. She lived close by us, near Arnhem, during World War II, with her mother, Aunt Ella, her mother’s sister,  her two half-brothers (who were taken prisoner by the Nazis but later found alive). They stayed in the house of her grandfather, Baron van Heemstra, formerly the mayor of Arnhem. We could, of course, not imagine she would become a wonderful film star ten years later. And I did not know I would meet her again much later in life.

young audrey

Lady Audrey

Young Audrey at about 13  and a few years later taking ballet lessons in Arnhem, around 1947 (family pictures).

Audrey Hepburn 5

Audrey, when she was 21 modeling in London, in 1950/51, acting in cabarets, not yet “discovered”. A picture given to me by her mother that stood on our grand piano at home.

The novel continues with my funny adventures with two Anns during my early years of puberty, testing the waters with the other sex.

two-anns

The next chapter is about my grandmother,  “Lady D,” who left an indelible impression on me and whose wisdom and personality guided me through life. I like that chapter because people who knew her will recognize her manifold qualities as a wonderful human being  who stood out above many.

Lady D

“Lady D”

The novel continues with my boarding school time when I, as a piano player, got to know a lovely cellist and started making music with her, a story that may surprise those who remember Catholicism in the nineteen-fifties because it took place at a time of strict Jesuit discipline that forbade any contact with the other sex!

John en Marijke  Lucy

My picture with the charming cellist taken by two courageous friends in the lobby of the boarding school. A most risky undertaking!

Then my naughty story about Tisja the Village Beauty, the seductive help in the house who became my “first” when I was serving in the army. Oh boy, the pitfalls of growing up!

Tisja and John

I skipped the girls in my student time. One remains a painful memory, too painful to describe. It imploded during a brief but intense and emotional love affair with student pianist Geneviève at a Paris conservatorium.

GenevièveFrom that adventure I returned brokenhearted to Holland to take on my first job and, vulnerable as I was, fell into the hands of a smart but destructive beauty. Irene Femme Fatale, I called her.

Irene

I am so thankful to the gods for having saved me from her tentacles. Why are males so naïve? Our libido, the male’s most dangerous flaw! Female scorpions kill their mates after the fun. In the case of us male humans, we fall into the trap, kill her before she kills us, or keep paying alimony for the rest of our life and even from our coffin after it’s over.  OMG!

I fled Holland to take a job in Geneva, Switzerland. I thought I had found a marvelous girlfriend there. We shared some beautiful and passionate years until it broke on philosophy of life. Then it did not work out in my job either. It was boring, and I wanted a change. I think it was mutual. To  sooth my losses, I went skiing but got lost in the woods. I almost froze to death. In half-delirium, I found my way back to my lodge and ran into that magnificent Viking, by pure accident.

Ingrid

Ingrid and I spent some wonderful days together, but again, it was not to be. Out of pure frustration, I took a job in Central Africa and swore to stay out of the female tentacles. In Burundi I met a Tutsi woman refugee, and you really have to read the story to know what happened!

Nyira

Purified from all my failures, I took a job with the World Bank in Washington D.C., where I finally met the woman who brought me love and peace.

John married to Joy (1974)

I personally feel that my version of Some Women I Have Known is a good read. We all live different lives but encounter similar moments. Several good 5 star reviews on Amazon.com attest to that.

Read it all in

http://amzn.to/1QIL94B,

Kindle or Paperback, and enjoy it with a cappuccino in the morning or a brandy in the evening.

By the way, the cute and stylish cover designs of the short stories are by Melanie Stephens of Willow Manor Publishing in Fredericksburg Virginia (www.willowmanorpublishing.com), who also published the novel.

———

PS:  Don’t forget my novel Enchanting The Swan we showed last week: also a perfect Christmas gift!http://amzn.to/1LPFw5o

Enchanting-cover

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