When you look out of the window, you would recognize him in a blink of an eye, his white beard, the smell of his wooden pipe. Most of the time you can see him walking around by himself through the car-free street. The houses on the street are so high that the street hardly see’s the sun. When he opens the door to his house he is greeted by a pair of bright eyes, a friendly look from somebody who is happy to see him home.
In 1965 Daan and his wife moved into their two-room apartment in Oostenburg, located on the east side of Amsterdam. In the beginning the two had a hard time blending in. Daan and his wife were different to the rest of people in the neighborhood. Daan was working as a painter and frequently painted nudes. This was new to the people in their neighborhood and they became the talk of the town, and not in a good way.
As years passed by more like minded people moved into the neighborhood, it started to feel like home for them. Life happened and time flew by, their son moved out, Daan retired, and the love of his life, his wife passed away. The house became quiet, and Daan doesn’t paint as much as he used to. Daan spends his days outside when the sun is out.
Four years ago Madeleine died after being sick for some time. After spending about a year and a half in the house, Daan decided it was time for a change. With the help of some of his neighbors he managed to get a young cat, and named him Jaksie. The house was no longer silent, there was some young life there, and a pair of friendly eyes to welcome Daan back home.
The days are not as dark anymore as they used to be, Daan even picks up a brush from time to time. But only when he feels like it. Daan still leaves the house to be out and about, all the neighbors see him come and go. But everybody now knows when he comes home, he has someone to come home to.