'Hey columnist!' A colleague from the Transitorium greets me in the middle of the Dreijen. 'Your agenda item number 8 goes ahead, right?'
'Yes, the move to the Born.' I sigh at the thought of having to move all those lab material.
'Nothing will happen for the time being. We'll still be here the next few years, won't we?'
'Well, we thought that the big lecture theatre would be suitable as a cinema', he drifts on. 'And the lunch corner in this chemistry complex can...'
'Stay, I hope', I added quickly.
'Of course. That would be some kind of conversation room. That's a usual thing to have in such institutions.'
'Institution?' I felt a pull in my stomach.
'Home for the aged', he wafts on, completely unaware of the turmoil inside me. 'This is excellent accommodation for well-to-do old folks.'
My fantasy begins with a rebuttal. 'If that is so, all retired scientists can be together in the Dreijen.'
'Absolutely right. What do you propose for the old central storeroom in the basement?'
'An internet café', I suggest.
'Good idea. They can stay tuned in to all the developments.'
I hesitate. 'Do they want that? Won't it be time for other hobbies?'
'OK, we'll have a billiard room too.'
Suddenly, I see before me: Dreijenpeace Home.
'Hey Marelle, it's been nice talking to you.'
I walk on to the chemistry complex. Suddenly in my mind's eye, old folks are playing cards in the lunch corner, engaged intensely in discussing the rules of the game. At the lecture theatre, an announcement of the newest film could be hung up. And I can't control myself from taking a peek in the basement.
Then all at once, I feel it: a lumpy feeling high in my throat, combined with a melancholy which has no place in science. I will be moving to the Born soon. Homesickness is upon me and making me weak now already. I don't want to leave here at all.