It was noted down in my little agenda in capital letters: DINNER REUNION HOEPERTINGEN! And even just reading those three lines made me smile. What Hoepertingen was all about would take me a seperate entry. But to cut it short it were for me the best youthcamps ever. If you ever have been on a camp you know that the memories you create there can stand the test of time.
Thanks to D and L who put some time in retracing the hard core members we ended up in Leuven for a dinner. L had chatted a few times with me and the last few days we started to get a bit anxious. Needless to say that the three men that we were going to meet seemed to have made it in life. Even the mails that we got sounded rather serious. L and I even had a backup plan if our dinner companions seemed to have changed too much. A Parking Party in one of the underground parkinglots with a bottle of 'Wissels-Jenever'.
I was the first to arrive. Hate that but someone has got to be that number. While sitting there with the menu I had numerous flashbacks of how we were in a very distant past. I am not going to tell you even those details but I can assure you that we did some things that you hope your own children won't find out for quite some time.
A half hour later the dinnercircle was complete and we were off for a night to remember. I guess that the other guests thaught we were annoying. We talked (some more then others) and listened to find out what had happened to us in our personal lives. Beamed up old memories and people and tried to catch up with the new lives that we are living. Most of all we laughed out loud!
D, the one who tried get us together, managed to travel to the South Pole and proposed to his girlfriend in the elevator of the notary. B still loves to sail to unknown destinations and and has now two children running around. He also is not scared to work all over the place and to admit openly that kids are hard work. R is still left handed (a creative mind) and for sure a dotting husband and father. He also still has this amazing mysterious smile and sparkling eyes that can leave you behind mystified. L still has a very bubbling personality and has some jobexperience in the sky! Her laugh is still deadly contagious. And I? Well! I was of course the one who asked the too indescrete questions and ended up telling too much classified information.
While sipping from our glasses and our goodtasting food passed through I started to feel quite happy. And it wasn't the spare alcohol that I got to drink. It were those four familiar faces that seemed not too have changed too much. None of us had undergone radical plastic surgery or had adjusted their behaviour in order to get here tonight.
Before we knew we were ordering our last drink and noticed that we were the last to leave. It was about midnight and this in combination of being 30 makes head for your car. Kids, early Sundays, work assignments, family lunch, other parties to attend, all things that we did not have to consider when we met before this evening.
D had to leave because he had to pick up the international sunday papers at the airport in the early morning and have a coffee at Starbucks for work! R and B were heading for a birthday party and tried to convince L and me to join them. R is a lawyer, so he can be very convincing and B just told us that we were going to be the party crashers of the succesful evening. I felt tempted but this time I declined. At camp those two got me in trouble more then once! So L and I walked back to the parking lot. 'It was fun! ', she said. 'Sure it was! We didn't change that much!' After we paid our parking ticket we kissed goodbye and drove off.
While driving home with Lara Fabian 'Je me Souviens' in the background I started to reflect if we did not change? Well, perhaps our lives have changed some things. But in the end we are five individuals who still try to keep focused and suck out of life the best there is out there. All of us have our own story but because there was a time that we spend summers in the most fruity corner of Belgium, dressed up as Romans, designed our own code of arms , danced a menuet in a castle, biked through the Limburg hills (even at midnight to find a 'frituur'), played poker under adult supervision, drank liters of Looza fruitjuice and Bink Beer, listened over and over to the Beastie Boys and were able to discover the beauty of life in the fullest dimension we ended up at that night at that one table and smiled!
More then ever the lyrics of this rather so corny song of Lara Fabian can touch me. It was nice to be back and hope that we will be able to create together some new memories to cherish as much as the previous ones. Last night was for sure a damn good start!
To end the final lyrics of 'Je me souviens' by Lara :
Je n’oublie rien de rien,
Je me souviens
J’aime tes blasphèmes, ta foi, ta dignité
Tu es comme une île
Que l’on ne peut pas quitter
J’aime tes poèmes, ton coeur, ta liberté
Tu es comme une île
Que l’on ne veut pas quitter
Des paysages qui mélangent au plus que parfait
Des dessins que la nature ne refait jamais
L’impression d’être entrée au jardin de la paix
Je n’oublie rien de rien
Et je reviens (hopefully more then once!!!)