Uit: A Man Leaping Into the Future
“In the aeroplane there was still the semblance of an ordered existence. I was flying from Rome to Palermo on a Thursday evening in March – that much was certain. I sat in the window seat I had been assigned, I had watched the stewardess when she indicated where the life jackets were kept and demonstrated how to place the oxygen mask over one’s face, I had used my safety belt when we took off, I did not smoke, since it was forbidden in this section of the plane, I made no unnecessary noises – in short, I submitted completely to the order of air travel. The impression of an ordered existence was strengthened by the appearance and activities of my fellow-travellers. I was surrounded by businessmen in elegantly cut suits, all immaculate. Most of them were working: an expensive attaché case full of papers on their knees, a calculator on the arm of their seat, a fountain pen in their hand. A stewardess walked down the aisle, bending to left and right, and made herself useful by pouring tiny cups of mineral water – a sobriety that seemed appropriate to this cool world of calculating brains, calculators and controlled lust.
I drank mineral water and leafed through my travel guide, I looked at the sea which lay glittering in blue and gold tints after the setting of the sun, and slowly but surely became full of anxious presentiments, because if I try to be a model passenger, if I keep eagerly to every rule, if I have the urge to pluck imaginary bits of fluff from my jacket, madness is lying in wait for me.”
Oek de Jong (Breda, 4 oktober 1952)