Cycling through the streets of Amsterdam at night after a few beers is one of the great wonders of the world. It’s a great liberation to cycle without a helmet down canal streets. Your heart jumps straight back to childhood and that first moment you managed a whole hundred yards without stabilisers, without your father.
After a few minutes of cycling and singing and nearly hitting people we arrived at his studio. We crashed our bikes gently into the walls and stumbled off them. He then unlocked the warehouse and swung the doors open. He outstretched his arms and shouted, ‘Tada!’
I walked into the empty space but could see no paints, nor any paintings, but on the wall in bright red letters from the ceiling to the floor were the words:
ALL ART LEADS TO MADNESS
‘What do you think of my work?’ he asked and I looked at him. Clearly this man was sick.
‘There’s nothing here,’ I said, thinking maybe it was time for me to go. Although I was unaware of it the mushrooms were making my heart beat and I was becoming restless.
‘What do you mean nothing here? There is everything here. Look at the colours. The blazing orange sky. The autumnal hues and here white linen across a snowy field.’
I noticed a church with highly arched wooden doors. I went up to the doors and started to push them open. The slow long creak was a violin concerto to me. I pushed it open further and peeked my head through. The space inside was immense and the bright light of the moon poured through the stained-glass windows.
I walked into the church and its silence was like entering into the womb of God. So much space and so much silence. Quite the opposite for Amsterdam. At the end of the church was a fifteen-foot high cross with Jesus nailed to it. I tiptoed towards the cross. A cartoon character in the making.
He stretched out his left hand looking at the wound and then rested it on his chest. I then went to work on his right hand and nearly pulled my nails off trying to get that sucker out but it came out quick and clean. He looked at his right hand and the wound.
He then curled up on the floor and put his hands together as if he wanted to fall asleep. I looked around for a blanket and found one lying on top of one of the pews. I placed the blanket on his body and he fell asleep. I was tired too, Weren’t we all?
I took the crown of thorns of his head and walked outside the church. I threw his crown of thorns into the canal. ‘Haven’t we all suffered enough?’ I said to myself and then walked home.