Column | My feelings and thoughts on this matter are of no importance to me at all

I’m scrolling in the Zandvoort kitchen. I let the songs pass me by. “Someone with my platform needs to respond to this,” one says importantly. “If it were up to you, Nelson Mandela would still be in prison,” says the next. “If you don’t post anything about the situation of the Palestinians, I will unfollow you,” another claims in capital letters.

My pants are being pulled. “Mama,” says Cheese in a low childish voice. “I mean: ma’am. Are you open yet?” I look down, see his static fluffy hair, the freckles on his cap nose and put my phone away. “Certainly, sir,” I say. “Take a seat.”

With a lot of groaning and groaning, he climbs onto a high chair on the other side of the kitchen island. I pick up my phone again and scroll.

The whirlpool of horrors immediately chains me. The feeling is almost familiar, as if by reading everything I have some control over the misery.

“Dear madam, what a nice restaurant this is,” Kaasje now sniffs. “I would like a cup of tea. And a piece of bacon cake,” he whispers. “Of course, sir,” I say absently. “Consider it done.”

I put water on and start scrolling again. I haven’t posted anything about it yet. I consider my feelings and thoughts on this matter to be of absolutely no importance to anyone. These weeks I would sometimes like to speak to my virtual audience in the same way. But then I remember that there is no such thing as a virtual audience and that we are all standing on a stage shouting, while the others shuffle past, themselves on their way to a stage, a moment to be seen.

“THERE ARE NO BAKERS HERE AT ALL?” screams Kaasje. Disturbed, I look up and realize that he has been asking me this for a while, because I don’t respond. “It’s an expression, it means it will be okay,” I tell him and look back at my screen. Omar and Sousou, the girl looks so much like Cléo that it makes me nauseous and then suddenly I don’t feel anything at all.

“Hello, am I speaking to my mother?” he now tries. He holds his rain boot to his ear. “Certainly,” I say. “I would like to work for you,” he says.

“Well, that’s convenient,” I say cheerfully. “We still have a vacancy open.” “I don’t know what that means at all,” he says, looking cheerful.

I get lost in thoughts again. This maelstrom of assertive hyper-individuals in the West, who cling to only one certainty in their lives: that they can open their confident heads at any moment to scream whatever they want, without realizing that their voices serve no purpose, help no one, but are only drops in an overwhelming tsunami of dissociated souls, on the way to even more anger, to even more societies without foundation, to even more loneliness, abandonment and fear.

“Great analysis,” I think with satisfaction, and pour myself a cup of tea.

Kaasje is now staring into space, looking a bit bored.

“I’m back, sir,” I tell him, throw the tea towel over my shoulder and lean on the kitchen island. “But I’d rather draw now,” he says and slides from his chair.

For a moment there is a sense of guilt.

But then my phone starts pulling at me again.