280 people live in Kootwijk. I know one of them – a woman. She’s twenty-five years old and beautiful, so I know a beautiful woman in Kootwijk. Right now she cries a lot, her husband has suddenly and unjustly left her. Both of them work at the same secondary school, she teaches Dutch, he’s a mathematician. The unexpected split is the result of the seductiveness of a Bulgarian cleaning-woman who mops and polishes the school. She’s beautiful too, I have to admit it, the mathematician has good taste. That doesn’t alter the fact that he ought to have kept his mitts to himself. Already in the first week of their sinful relationship he has fathered a child in the Bulgarian woman, and then used this as an argument that he is morally obliged to marry her. Whenever the word morally turns up, I get as suspicious as a hissing cat. My Dutch-teaching friend is intelligent, derisive, sporty and generous. She resigned from the school and now works in Apeldoorn. I visit her to give her regularly to bring her some solace. I have the feeling that I won’t need to do this much longer, she hasn’t told me anything, but I suspect that a new love story is in the making. I’m not an expert on such matters, but I suspect that love possesses a highly recuperative effect.