This work also meant the fulfillment of a dream I had cherished for several years: as soon as I retired, I would drive around the world. In fact I made plans for it, and tried to get a car and money from a car maker to help along..., to discover the project had been made already a lot of times in twos or individually, and car makers no longer were interested on the matter, even if the publicity generated by one of their models touring around the world would always be welcomed..., for nothing, as they were not willing to pay for it. I did not let that discourage me, and I decided then to fulfill my project with my own car, the brand of which I am not telling. But if I did not accomplish my world tour it was not because of money or car problems, or lack of interest, but the cause was a news story I watched on TV in those days: some Spanish NGO volutnaries had been kidnapped in Mauratnia, and the Spanish Government (Zapatero was president then) had to pay a million euros to have them released. I had just toured around the world virtually thanks to Google Earth, and I had discovered something worrying: between the South of Morocco and the North of Mauritania there is 25 kilometer section every internet road planner avoided, but recommended to go back north and drove a 1500 stretch, instead. That was strange, and made me watch attentively that part in the photos Google Earth provided: I saw just a fine solid road flanked by thick forest..., a forest where a full army of robbers could be waiting for the naive tourist without the police of either country being able to control them, and therefore they advised the desert instead of that nice piece of road. Yes, Africa became dangerous to me all of a sudden, insecure, and it was not sensible to drive along there on your own, unless you go by plane or withing a travel agency planned trip. Also, I saw a photo from a little town in Ghana in which there was a mud street with humble huts on either side and yet there were some men in rugs, with no shoes, who had a Kalashnikov at thier shoulders. So they could still wait for me, but sitting down...
That's why I took the decision instead touring the world myself in my car, it would be Indalecio García, a retired teacher from a nearby town in Murcia, Cieza, who would do so with his old Ford Fiesta, a car I liked when it first came in the seventies. Indalecio was not kidnapped, if not Vanessa's intelligence and bonhomie, as he left Africa for the end... From Europe he drove into Asia, following the seafront, and when he as already in Chennai, Indian Union, by chance he met that strange woman, Vanessa, born in Tartessos, who he mistakes for a Tamil, local girl, and from that shallow relationship comes the knot of this story, very dense indeed and however explained as plainly as it was possible to me, which is extended along the world and our satellite, and also along ten million years.
Chronist has three parts: Training,
Development and Transgression, which is the
part naming the whole trilogy. In the first part we witness
the relationship between the two main characters, the
retired teacher and Vanessa, the time woman who shows her
world along the first 20 chapters; in the second part
Indalecio starts running on his own, he falls in love and
has two children, and then he goes around the world not one,
but three times, in ten chapters with varied length; in the
third part, much dneser, in only three chapters we see the
real matter transgression, achieved by our hero and his
helper, who appeared on the second part. In all there are
429 pages full with dreams, chores and targets fulfilled
little by little, the chief one being, I hope I achieved, is
to entertain the reader.
I am including the
Character Census which there is at
the beginning of the book so that the reader can follow
their doings in an easier way, and an
excerpt where there is the crashing of two
mentalities, which even if they are very unlike, are still
much closer than those of Indalecio and Vanessa:
Andrea: expert in Old History. She lives in Athens.
Alexia: the mother of Myrna. Expert in Old History.
Amytis: the wife of Nabucodonosor. Queen of Babylon.
Anselmo Selenio: the first child to Indalecio and Myrna.
Cándido: astronomer. Living in Caracas.
Karen: Burman waitress and call girl. She lives in Yangon.
Conan: expert in sysmology and vulcanoloy, a friend to Lupe. Living in Hawai.
Damil: medicine doctor in Old Babylon.
Edgar Allan Poe: novel, tale and essay writer. Living in Baltimore, USA.
Eleazar: secret agent for Nabucodonosor and merchant. Master of Srat and Sarfa. Living in Babylon.
Enrique: Indalecio's friend. Living in Filipinas.
Ibáñez: corrupted policeman. Living in Manila, Filipinas.
Indalecio: retired teacher who drives around the world. He was born in Cieza, Murcia, Spain.
Isabel: ex-wife to Enrique. Living in Manila.
Jesus: visionary. Apostle of non-violence.
Jehoiakim and Ann: parents of Miriam. Living in Galilea.
Joseph from Nazrt: the pupil of Yeshua from Caná. Husband of Miriam. Living in Galilea.
Julian: favourite grandchild of Indalecio. Living in Murcia.
Jules Verne: science fiction novel writer. Living in París.
Lizzy: Mario's girlfriend. Living in Manila.
Lupe: geologist and geographer, friend of Damil. Living in Mexico.
Manuel: the son of Rodolfo, husband of Alexia, father of Myrna. Expert en Planetology and Celestial Engineering.
Mario: the son of Enrique and Isabel. Living in Filipinas.
Miriam: wife of Joseph. Living in Galilea.
Myrna: Vanessa's friend, second wife of Indalecio. Daughter of Manuel and Alexia. Mother of Anselmo and Rose. Living in Athens. Expert in Old History and Restoration, like her grandfather, the work of whom she continues.
Nathan: senior carpenter at Yeshua fom Canaan's.
Rodolfo: grandad of Myrna, father in law of Alexia. Expert in Classical Culture and Restoration.
Roman: Sheba's husband and Vanessa's father. Living in Italica, Tartessos.
Rose: daughter of Indalecio and Myrna. Chronist.
Sahib de Tutub/Srat: the slave Eleazar sells Damil.
Sarfa: Sahib's mother. Living in Babylon.
Sheba: a doctor, Damil's colleague.
Shostris: scribe in Old Egypt. Living in Tebas.
Tennerian: Vanessa's teaching tutor.
Teresa: first wife of Indalecio. Living in Murcia.
Tim/Thet: young Burman murderer. Living in Yangoon.
Vanessa: Indalecio's guide. Without her there would be no story to tell. Living in Greece. She is the chronist.
Yeshua from Canaan: senior carpenter.
Yeshua from Nazrt: Miriam's son.
Zuma: Eleazar's wife. Living in Babylon.
Along this story the retired teacher evolves and grows as a persona, and there is a moment when he learns to transgress matter, a process you see? He never called me dear or child. You are nice with your explained in detail along the almost 430 images the novel has. The sotry comes to a logical and unavoidable end, but I had thirst for more on this topic, so I went on in which would be volmes 2 and 3 of this trilogy, which I called because the basis of it all is the transgression our hero achieved, in spite of everything, the consequences of which appear on the Second Volume, Tricrony, a concept I devised on myself (even if some other writers may have come to it on their own, even if I am not aware of), which is basically the same person being in the same place and moment three timeswith three different ages. That idea I saw in the film The Kid, acted by Bruce Willis, in which we can see a conversation of the hero when he is 30 with his two other selves aged 7 and 70. There is also that concept in a tale I read a lot of years ago: Me, Myself and I, but neither in the film or the tale there is a name for this fact, and that is my contribution: it is named in the very title of the book, once and for all.
The third volume is not so related to the other two, even if the heroes are now suporting roles to the story, and the main ones are new and there is a new Solar System in which two planets, Irkil and Rodio, are revolving in neighbour orbits and thier inhabitants are at war, the former to eat the latter, and the latter to fight what they believe to be devils from hell. But gods get in between... I cannot tell you more so taht you enjoy the pleasure to discover.
But not to let you down I'll add an excerpt of my work, of which I ama really proud. It is the ninth part of the 14 in Chapter 22 out of the 34 the novel has. You'll see the culture crash between Indalecio and a Babylon slave.
On the way back home, I questioned her:
«Tell me, Srat: why were you so serious when you were Eleazar's?»
«Master, From Eleazar I got only beatings and scolds. He liked nothing I did. Everything he ordered me I did wrong, according to him. He is not like you».
«How am I, my dear child?»
«Can servants, and if you dislike something in me you tell me in a way I cannot feel bad about it. I noticed that the night we spent together, master».
«I can't see why you say that, Srat».
«You never called me names, master, your manners are nice. I like being with you».
«Oh, yes..., well, I have to tell you something which annoys me a lot, now that we are talking about it: I do not want you to call me master».
«Don't you?», she said, surprised. «I am yours, that is what I am saying when I call you master. How must I call you, master?»
«Call me Damil, which is my name».
«I can't, master. That would mean that I am a free woman, and I am not. Or that you are a slave, and may Marduk never permit that, master».
«Ok. Would you feel uncomfortable if you called me Sir?»
«It sounds better. But it is not our custom... In front of others I should call you master. When there is nobody else I can call you anything you decide, provided you let me express I am your slave, not your equal».
That was not going to be easy. I thought I could not change her mind just because I ordered her to do so. That would be cruel. So I had to think fast:
«Ok, slave, would it be all right for you to call me boss?»
«Of course, master. I will be honored to call you boss».
«Ok. It sounds much better, and I like it much more. Do you know why?»
«No, boss. Why?»
«In my country I was a teacher. But colloquially, among friends we called one another Boss as a token of respect. But also I am going to teach you all my art, Srat. When you have learnt it all, you will also be a doctor . And you will be free. I promise you».
The poor girl was not ready for the news. She knelt in front of me, she hugged my legs and said:
«Boss, don't do so: where shall I go if I have not you? Please, do promise you will never get rid of me».
«Stand up, Srat, and have no fear. I promise you will never be any worse than with me».
«Nor better, master», she said going back to her custom, «I want to be with you. I am yours. I do not want to be Eleazar's again, or belong to anybody else like him».
«Why are you so afraid of him?»
«I told you, boss: he bit me and was never happy with me».
«Ok, ok, do not suffer, girl. I am not selling or giving you away. And I will never beat you».
«Master, hit me every time I upset you because of what I do or not do, because only in that why I'll know what your will is, and I will never lose sight of what my place is».
This was worse than I feared. But it was another culture, much more regressing than mine, no matter how much it was praised at school in my time, where I was told about it for the first time in my life.
I held her shoulders and pulled her upwards, till I made her stand up. I smiled at her, and she smiled at me through her tears.
«Also, boss», she added with a bit of slyness, «there is another thing I like about you: you are taller than me».
We both laughed at it. Yes, I had already thought that Eleazar's aversion for this woman could come from the fact that he was much smaller than she was, and that made him angry. Even if that could not explain why he had become my first and best friend in town...., since I was much taller than she was.
We walked on and after a while we came home, where we entered in silence. Other strange thing of mine, she told me later, was that instead of locking her inside my house, I gave her the keys and trusted her to go in and out, Never before she had been trusted so much, and she was really thankful for that.
«Where would you go if you ran away, Srat?»
«While I was Eleazar's I thought of doing it more than once. But now I am yours, and you are right, boss: nowhere I'll be better than in your home».
I was moved at her devotion and pondered on the matter. Indeed, Srat was a very well educated slave, as she didn't dare say anything I did not ask her specifically. She never spoke without permission, other than carrying out an order or obligation of hers, as for example when she needed to know what I wanted to eat the following day.
Then I realized I did not like my slave's name: Srat was much like rat, a nasty sound to my ear, so I said:
«Slave, I dislike your noame. Were you always called like that, Srat?»
«No, boss. I was given several names so far. As a child I was Sahil, but Eleazar changed it to Srat because he had a nanny with that name when he was a child, and he said I reminded him of her».
«Probably he did not like her, considering the way he behaved to you. That scar on your back was made by him».
«Yes, boss. With a whip».
«Ok. Well, I'll change your name again. From now on, your name is Sheba».
«As you wish, boss», she said with a smile. «But remember you must do a new certificate to state the change, as if you sold me to yourself again, to state the name change, and leave a copy at Ishtar's temple».
When the scribe left my house, the next day, I gave Sheba the document for her to keep it: a beautiful baked mud tablet where you could read a text very similar to the previous one, but no buyer's name. It was a declaration stating that the slave Srat, the physical description of which was included, from that day was called Sheba because it was the decision of her owner, Damil from Ur, Medicine Doctor. Because she was sensible she never asked me why Sheba and not another name, and so I avoided telling her an explanation she would not understand: because her demeanor, her composure when talking and walking she reminded me of and actress I once saw in a film, in the role of Queen Sheba. Only that access could not dance even half as well as my new slave.