(part two of Impa and her stuff)
On the day of the move, we needed nothing short of a miracle and it presented itself in the shape of Friend M. She made her way through the boxes and furniture on the pavement and passed the moving troops who were looking from the van to the things and from the things to Impa with sweaty brows and questioning eyes. She got in the back of the van and spoke the liberating words: 'Here, let me. I'm good at this.' She took a good look at the furniture and the boxes, rolled up her sleeves, pointed at the big book cases and said: 'Those first.' The moving friends stirred. Hope glistened in their eyes. The book cases were lifted into the van. Friend M. stood in the back of the van like a general eyeing the battlefield. The moving troops dragged and lifted according to her precise instructions. She had them turn and shift furniture until every piece fit and for every hole an crack found a box or board to fill it. She didn't leave a single centimeter unused. And that is how the army of Impa's things was beaten under the command of Friend M. and the big, yellow doors of the van eventually fell shut.
I said goodbye to my friends at the old home in the old town. I started the motor of the big yellow van. The diesel engine roared and I rolled down the window. Friend A. stuck his head inside and said: 'I only realise just now. Just a few more minutes and you won't be living in Utrecht any more.' I nodded and swallowed. My sweetheart was sitting next to me in the van and put on a CD. I started to drive. The friends of the moving team started walking along with the driving van. They waved. I can't be absolutely sure, but I'd swear they were walking in slow motion.
I drove to the end of the street.
I rounded the corner.