‘If people were to insist I tell them why I loved him, I have to admit the only possible answer would be: because it was him, because it was me.’ - Michel De Montaigne -
Augustijn is 8. He speaks French. When he talks, he does so really quietly. You’d think him shy, but maybe that’s just a façade. Maybe he is different when he is with his friends.
He says: ‘the first time I saw Stef I went: eeehhhhm in my head -
And also: ‘Mum will go on about him having the same hair colour as mine again! He’s the one I’ll be doing this show with. Why him? Why not? He’s a great guitar player. I’m not. I wouldn’t know where to place my fingers nor how. Playing the trumpet is much simpler. You have three finger buttons and you can choose. Stef has a beard too. He lets me pull it, which I love. But when he pulls my hair, as he did last time we played, it hurts. Then he regrets doing so and keeps saying ‘sorry’. He’s sweet. He says hello to everyone. Stef is older than me. When you’re old, you can’t walk very fast anymore. Sometimes he does catch up with me, but that’s because I’m absent-minded at times and slow down. I don’t know if I can be Stef’s friend. I don’t say to my mum: ‘you’re my friend’ either, do I?’
Stef is 36. He doesn’t speak any French. He cracks jokes. He enjoys making other people laugh. He laughs a lot himself too, even though his music sounds rather grim. He plays the banjo, piano, drums and tambourine, but his favourite is the guitar. He says: ‘The first time I met Augustijn I saw this little boy with huge copper curls. All he said was ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Or he would shake his head and nod. But he also plays the trumpet and adores 'frère Jacques'. And he can jump holding tiny fighter planes (space) and crawl across the floor with toy knights in his wake. And he can go off the road with his matchbox cars and roar with laughter when I ask him to kick me.’
Together with Stef and Augustijn choreographer Seppe Baeyens is creating a musical dance duet. A show about the (im)possible friendship between a boy and a grown-up man. Maybe the two will become friends, maybe not. Maybe one of them is too young and the other too old.
Maybe they are too different, or maybe the reverse.
Who can tell why people become friends? Nobody really knows.
Maybe because one is one, and the other the other?