ROUGH ROMANCE COLUMN: FLOOR SOESBERGEN
Dutch-born storyteller Floor Soesbergen likes to mix myths,
legends, with true stories and presents them with poetic fury.
Her librarian mother fed her words and tales whereas her
spiritual father told her about places where words just aren’t
enough. Floor graduated with an M.A. in English literature
and worked as a high school teacher for six years. Yet, with
every ring of the school bell she became a little smaller. Before
the school was out for the summer, she had taken her stories out
of the classroom.
I lend him my car and he came around to return the keys.
Unfortunately I hadn’t slept very well the night before;
I’d rather have met him with an immaculate 10+-hour-sleep
skin. But I make up for it by wearing a little flowery dress
and not bothering about the bra. The record player plays
one of my dad’s old classics and it helps to calm my nerves.
There’s a loud knock on the door, “because the bell doesn’t
work”. Same outfit as always, black jeans, camel-coloured
coat, a pink oriental scarf, and that damned semi-shy smile.
My heart races as he clumsily hands me the keys.
“I’m about the smoke a cigarette on the balcony, would you
like to join me?”
We chat and I’m surprised how easy it is, normally I’m crap
at this. Although I do hear myself telling some extremely
colourful anecdotes and I want to slap myself across the face,
but I don’t because that’d look silly. Am I that insecure that
I need to spice up my life like that?
After a while he has to go “to a friend’s birthday party”. He
heads for the door, opens it, but before he can step through it,
I grab him by that pink scarf and pull him towards me. His
lips are soft and deceptively tender. He pushes me up against
the wall, I boa constrictor my legs around his waist and rub
my nose in his neck. With one hand he awkwardly closes the
When the excitement has sufficiently scorched the wall and
moistened my underwear, he carries me down the hall. “Left
or right?”, sofa or bed, “right, no wait, your left, sofa”.
Afterwards, we smoke another cigarette and then he really
needs to leave; “he’s a good friend and it’s the right thing to
Dammit boy, with those words he makes himself twice as
attractive, my heart shivers, starts to purr and then crumples
because he’s leaving.
He kisses me gently at the door. Don’t go. I watch from the
5th floor as he cycles into the night, without looking back.
Text by Floor Soesbergen