He was a dreamer. And preferable about massive changes in his life.
Far away countries, buzzing cities with restaurants, clubs, fun! And above all freedom.
Oh, he liked where he was born; a village near the sea on a remote island in the northern hemisphere where the winters are long and dark and the summers a sea of light with mild temperatures.
It was a nice community where people knew each other, being helpful where ever possible.
But it was sooooooo boring! So predictable! Apart from modern facilities, they still lived the same live as many generations before them and most likely, many generations after them. And he did not want to be part of it.
He planned an escape but then the Corona pandemic started and all his plans were put on a hold.
He saved enough money to leave the Isle and to travel for a week or so. In his fantasy he found temporary jobs during his journey to what ever thriving city he was going to arrive.
He thought of London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris..... Somewhere he could have fun, meet other young people. A girlfriend maybe who was not some sort of relative. He sighed, everyone on his Isle seemed somehow related to some one. Family traditions and stories were woven like a carpet into all families.
Stories in which cousin so and so 'you know, daughter of so and so who was a grandson of so and so, also a cousin of your grandfather from mother's side....' had done something incredible good or bad (the perfect example of who you should be or never become).
It bored him all to death. Speaking of death.... he did not mind living here for a while but being buried.... Never!!! Once leaving, he would never return! He preferred to be burried some where grand, a large Tumb at the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, to name one. Close to his idol Jim Morrison. Or even Frédéric Chopin, speaking of famous musicians. How cool would that be!
He imagined that during spooky nights, Frédéric and Jim composed music together with him listening to it.
This triggered another thought. Would he be possible after his death in 60 years time or so, to look down on his Isle and it's people? Would he be able to hear them? Would they still talk about him as the successful runaway who managed to leave the Isle in a time of world wide lock downs and restrictions?
Maybe he was famous too by then with the whole Isle proudly telling his stories to their offspring. Another cool thought.
Well, if famous, he might have been returned before his death. Smiling, a man of the world, tapping the heads of the children who asked for his autograph. Being the hero and example of courage to others who wanted to leave but never had the guts.
He would tell hem that dreams can come through. 'Just look at me!'
Thinking of all of this he watched a foreign ship entering the harbour. Their harbour wasn't exactly the world famous harbour of Rotterdam but funny enough, the ship was called The Rotterdam II.
A small container ship with indeed small containers. He did not recognize them as such although they were bright orange. And they were bundled, strapped. Not at all like the large ones he watched from a far distance. No, these small ones had white roofs with what looked like, little chimneys.
And red and white stickers with black and white letters of which he did not understand the meaning.
Not important, he thought. More intriguing and above all important, were those chimneys.
They tickled his already thriving fantasy. What if.......... and how........ and should I, and when...... Thoughts tumbling around in his brains like the laundry in his mother's washing machine.
He left the small rock on which he sat and walked home.
He sat on a toilet seat, very comfortable. At his feet his bag with food, drinks and power food bars, his e-reader and mobile phone stuffed with music of Jim Morrison. Oh yes, and of course solar panel chargers for his gear.
Sufficient to survive for a week. And how convenient having a WC under his bum! And a chimney with fresh sea air above his head. He praised himself for this brilliant idea and successful mission to hide in what seemed a portable loo.
Maybe he would be able to escape from his voluntary and temporary prison during the night when most of the staff on board was asleep and the ship deck empty. To stretch his legs to keep the blood circulation going. That much he learned from the internet when his escape plans were all of a sudden within reach. Thanks to the engine problem of The Rotterdam II which stayed in the harbour for more than a week.
He had carefully observed the hundreds of loo's, all commissioned by one and the same Dutch company and on their way to Holland. It exited him tremendously that he would start his city hopping in Amsterdam and from there he could always travel to Paris to visit Jim at the cemetery. Because once settled in his head, this seems very attractive.
He noticed that one loo wasn't fastened too tight and he was not tall nor fat.
When most of the crew was in the local Pub, he managed to climb on board to try if he could access the loo and he could.
Back home he started with the preparations and wrote a note to his parents not to worry as he was safe and sound travelling to his new future.
The night before the ship left, he climbed on board to hide in his shelter, his Adventure Room as he called it with a smile. And the ship set sail.
He felt sick, very sick. The journey was not at all what he imagined. Not at all!
The sea was rough, the waves sky high and he needed all the muscles in his arms and legs to squeeze against the walls so he wouldn't tumble around like a little ball in a gambling machine.
What first looked like a lucky coincidence - a not so tight fastened loo - was now a nightmare!
He knew he would be bruised all over when the weather would finally calm down. If...... because in is mind this already lasted for days although it started only a few hours ago.
And even worse, the content of the loo produced a terrible smell which made him even more sick.
He prayed for forgiveness, for being so stupid thinking that escaping was a piece of cake. The word cake emptied his stomach, sweat was running down his body, what was left of his food and drinks bounced against the walls of the loo. His mobile phone flew around his head, underneath his feet, the voice of Jim Morrison died with the battery.
He lost track of time and slowly escaped into the phantasy that started long ago. Holding on to his destination dream; the buzzing cities of Europe......
|Photo: Klaas Keizer (Instagram)|
Passing the route above the Dutch Isles, The Rotterdam II lost a few items of it's freight due to the heavy storm. Orange loo's were swallowed up and spit out by the high waves that rolled between the isles towards the mainland.
All but one sank. The waves were determined to deliver this one to the mudflats where it stayed for over a week, straight up and lit by the light of the late sun.
The helicopter hovered above the loo that was surrounded by coast guards, police and journalists and even TV stations. Everybody had to leave their cars at higher dry grounds and walked through the mud in proper wellies.
There was a lot of excitement when the helicopter lifted its freight to fly it to the mainland for further inspection. Apart from being too battered to be back in use, it first was going to be examined by a forensic team.
He would have loved it as a TV series but now he was the subject. He was famous, talked about, people guessing his name and where he came from. Helicopters, news papers, broadcasted... all he wished for.
But not in Amsterdam, London or Paris. No, in an area even more remote than the Isle he left.
Unfortunately he wasn't aware of all the excitement.
Maybe by now he talked to Jim and Frédéric. About music, dreams, travelling........
We will never know.