I went on a trip with my mama and my beautiful daughter, to a stunning city a long way away, across the ocean. I had never been that far from home.
We ate bitterballen, and cheeses made by hand, in cafes beside the canals. We drank Grolsch, Amstel, and Heineken. And, once, oude jenever, which is really just fire water, and which made my mama say, “my esophagus is hot!”
We explored every little alley we could find. I helped three guys hoist a bed up to their fourth floor window using a rope and pulley. I learned to use the tram. I saw a hundred famous paintings up close, and felt starstruck in the moment, standing face to face with Vincent—his self-painted eyes are so desperate.
I met a guy who uses this windmill to make peanut oil. With ropes, the wind, and his hands. A curly-haired kid wearing trendy glasses used two huge machines to make a wooden shoe in about three minutes. Beautiful people were everywhere.
I want to move there immediately, to fill a room in the attic of a Golden Age house with books and art, and then sit in the window writing poetry every day until the bells of the Westerkerk tell me its time for bed. I want to paint things now, and ride my bicycle, and get some of those fantastic round tortoiseshell eyeglasses I saw everywhere. I will even eat herring. There are no lovelier, kinder, more pleasant people in all the world. Amsterdam, I love you so.