The Wannabe Secret Life of Sidney Stone

Sydney Stone was not at home, which was unusual, even odd, he was a homebody, albeit not by choice.  He just had a very boring life, no real friends and he suffered from agoraphobia.  Not just open spaces but uncomfortable situations.  Not a deep rooted fear, just a smidgen, but the smidgen made things uncomfortable, and that just made everything worse in a spiraling sort of way.  So he mainly stayed at home, worked from home and shopped from home, but he sensed that he might be coming down with a touch of claustrophobia as well. 

He was not into video games and found that all the cool old television programs had been replaced by politicized drivel.  One black woman was now always the heroic protagonist, hopefully lesbian but bisexual would do.  One Asian, one Hispanic, perhaps a member of a local indigenous population and one dweeby white guy who always reminded him too much of himself, with gender roles, including transgender, carefully distributed equally.  So he was not much for television either.  Lately he’d mainly been trying to come up with a cool nickname for himself and not doing all that well.  “Sid” of course, was out, as was “Ney”.  The “Stoner” might have worked if he’d been into drugs, but he wasn’t.  “SS” had strong anti-Semitic elements and he was sort of concerned with the sanity of Zionists, so that was out as well. 

Sidney, it’s sad to admit, was not all that creative, except when it came to illness.  There, he was an artist (he suffered from a touch of hypochondria as well).  It provided a bit of spice to his spiceless life but unfortunately, paramedics would no longer come when he called, all having realized that he was just a very lonely and bit eccentric kind of guy.  One, a redheaded girl named Lucy, had come for a while, but eventually, she’d stopped coming too.  Evidently she had mental issues of her own.  Not dangerous ones but apparently, she’d come to believe she was married to a Cuban band leader and had two imaginary friends named Fred and Ethel, and she’d just sort of dropped out of site.

He wished he had a girlfriend who was good at nicknames but the truth was, he didn’t have a girlfriend (even Lucy had never been a girlfriend), or even a friend who was a girl (ditto again with respect to Lucy).  It was hard meeting other people of any kind, stuck in his apartment.  He also didn’t have, as we implied before, any guy friends, or even any pets.  Just himself and his mirrors; three of them, one in the bathroom, one in the foyer (to make it look larger), and one behind the bedroom door that had been left there by a prior tenant.  He frequently talked to his mirrors, usually complaining about his situation, but often also asking about prior tenants or their guests, or even workmen and women, any people at all really, people whose images they’d reflected in the past.  Kind of crazy he realized but, you never knew, and he hadn’t all that much better to do.  Plus, every once in a while, the mirrors would respond, but that was only when he was asleep and dreaming.  He’d try to recall the dreams when he woke, and he almost could, at first, but then, the harder he tried, the faster they’d fade.

He had one favorite book, an old one from tenth grade literature class about a guy named Walter Mitty, with whom he identified.  “If only I had an imagination like Walter’s”, Sidney (for lack of a nickname) would say to himself, “my life would be a lot cooler”.  Walter Mitty, had he been non-fictional, might have been pleased by Sidney’s admiration, of course, depending on which daydream he was in.

Thinking of Walter Mitty usually led Sidney to consider the viability of developing a multiple personality disorder but he had no idea whether that was volitionally possible.  He also wondered whether or not multiple personalities could interact with each other, realizing that, if not, then the only benefit would be if the alternative personalities lacked his phobias and could get out and meet people.  But then, pessimistically (he was a pessimist as well), he was sure his primary personality wouldn’t derive any benefit as he was pretty sure the principle personality would be unaware of the others, all of which would, in all probability, gang up on him, ridiculing him to his metaphorical back, which of course would worsen his agoraphobia.  Apparently, he was paranoid as well.

“Hmmm”, Sidney whispered to himself, as though he was afraid someone would hear him, an epiphany of sorts breaking through.  “How do I know I don’t have a multiple personality disorder”, and wondered whether, in fact, other personalities were keeping him in the dark.  “Yuck” he whispered (for the reason we previously mentioned), he was afraid of the dark as well.  Now he was also developing both delusions and paranoia, but “Hell” he whispered (you know why), “it’s better than sitting at home with nothing to do.”

Then he realized he wasn’t at home at all and really panicked.

One wonders if narrators count as aspects of multiple personality disorders.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  However, he is also fascinated by mythology, religion, physics, astronomy and mathematics, especially with matters related to quanta and cosmogony.  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Silicone Sally, an ironic mini micro-story

It was 1975 and Silicone Sally was not the kind of nickname you’d think an attractive young woman would be drawn to, or, especially, one she’d give herself, but she’d perceived of herself as a pioneer and a trendsetter.  And it did call attention to some of her more prominent attributes.  That they were, in fact, natural, rather than artificially sculpted, was a sort of surprise she enjoyed bestowing on her more serious and reflective admirers. Interestingly, she eventually went to work as a designer in Silicon Valley.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Sayonara Baby!

Phineas was in a pithy mood, although he didn’t know why.  Fortunately for him, he didn’t care why, he was just enjoying it.  Perhaps today would be the day he’d finally write something, and if he did, why he might someday get it published.

Phineas was not the easiest name to bear, but he managed it good naturedly, although he wondered just what his parents might have been thinking when they’d endowed it upon him.  It wasn’t as if they’d named him after someone for whom they deeply cared, or even knew.  Apparently it had something to do with a film a long time ago, based on a book about a wager concerning travelling around the world more quickly than then seemed possible.  But then, his parents had conceived him in the sixties when decisions were sometimes made based on chemically induced spur of the moment epiphanies, quickly discarded.

It wasn’t as if he was often epigrammatic, he tended to be a bit vague and indirect, lost in phantasies; perhaps a bit like his parents had been way back when, way back in the day, so to speak.  Interesting phrase that, “so to speak”.

Anyway, perhaps Phineas had decided to turn over a new leaf, not a vegetable leaf, at least not directly, a metaphorical leaf, so “pithy” was his word of the day.  He dressed nattily, for a change.  He usually favored jeans but today, dress pants it was.  And a vest, even though it had once been his father’s.  And a tie, even though it was paisley and paisley had been out of style for a while, except, of course, among the vintage crowd (of which he was not a member in good standing).  “Hmmm, shoes” he whispered to himself.  A problem as most of his were old tennis shoes or sandals, not a loafer to be had, or an oxford.  And tennis shoes and sandals tended not to qualify as pithy in matters of haberdashery.

Of a sudden, his pithy mood did not seem quite as satisfying as it had, as though a wind had whipped the page he’d sought to turn back to where his book of life had been.  Speaking of pages, he’d need some paper if he was going to write something, or a pen, or a computer, or a tablet, or a cell phone.

“Damned shoes” he thought out loud.  “Who needs them”, although it seemed obvious that they might be a necessary accessory to anyone, who, feeling pithy, had decided to dress nattily, which at that point, no longer described Phineas.  Fortunately for him, his apartment was not large, rather small really, and cluttered with non-natty accoutrements.  And he’d not yet made his bed (almost a tradition).  So back into bed he plopped, to hopefully dream non-pithy dreams.

Sayonara baby!
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

The Nephilim

We’re immortal, but only to an extent.  But we don’t have wings.  Not any more, not for a very long time.  Very few of us ever did anyway.  None of them, to the best of our knowledge, are still around.

We`re immortal because we don’t possess the gene for mortality.  The switch that ends replication after about fifty-five spins of the dial.  But we can die and we do if we’re not careful. 

Most of us, eventually, were not careful enough.

Men called us gods but back in the good old days, being a god was not all that pre-prescribed.  We certainly were not eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, omni-benevolent or omnipotent like today’s gods are expected to be.  But we did tend to last for a long time and because of that, to know a lot.  And we accumulated great wealth, and with it, great power, … over time.  And we had great times.  A Nephilim party was very, very memorable … back then.

In our relative youth, we were like the nouveau riche have been during the last millennium.  We wanted all the attention and notoriety we could get.  We started the adage “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.”  We didn’t care what kind of attention we got, as long as we got a lot of it.  But over the millennia, we mellowed and now, we treasure our anonymity above almost everything else.

None of us liked being servants, a trait we inherited from our ancestral mother, and so, fairly early on, we conquered our less long lived neighbors and ruled them.  First we were kings, but as we survived and they did not, they came to consider us as qualitatively different, which is how, as I’ve said, we became their gods.

Initially we mated only among our own kind and in doing so passed on our longevity, great size and beauty.  But in creating new generations of our long lived species, we created too much potential for conflict as with each new generation, the bonds of family tended to fray and then to dissolve.  Our descendants eventually became our competitors as room for our independent realms became less and less available, and that led to serious and deadly conflicts.  However, we noted very early on that our genes were not dominant when we mated with regular humans, the descendants of our ancestral mother’s first husband by his second wife.  While such mixed-blood progeny tended to be larger and more beautiful and longer lived than our purely human subjects, they were noticeably inferior to us in every way, especially in their obvious mortality after a span of years, and their children were inferior to them so that, in a number of generations, they were not too much different than our normal subjects.  Consequently, those “children” provided us with much less serious competition than did our full blooded descendants, while preserving some of the more pleasant aspects of parenthood, especially those relating to conception.

As the benefits of limiting our progeny to those we sired on our subjects became obvious, and after a time, the norm, a taboo developed among us against sexual congress between Nephilim, the only way to stabilize our population.  But then we started drifting away from each other.  Apparently, sex had been an important binding force.  Nowadays we rarely run into each other, and, except in very rare occasions, we do not seek each other out.  Those few of us that remain.

And it’s true.  We no longer really have subjects.  Amazingly, humans have survived on their own, despite being excellent at finding excuses to exterminate themselves. 

Their proclivity for invention has deeply affected our own lives, especially their recent experiments with contraception.  Now, … if one wants to avoid progeny, it’s a simple thing.  Their anti-conception medications work when we mate with ordinary humans and some of us have met to consider whether they might work to avoid conception if we again engage in copulation with each other.  We’re all curious, those of us with whom we’ve been able to resume contact, and have agreed that an experiment will be worthwhile, if done on a very limited basis.  We’ve learned a great deal of patience over the millennia so we’re taking our time in deciding who should participate in the experiment.  We’re a bit wary of changing the manner in which we’ve limited our interaction, so, as I just said, we’re being very careful.  After all, we have plenty of time.

Our two biggest concerns involve what we’ll do if the experiment works, and what we’ll do with our new children if it fails.  If it works, there will be a temptation to renew more regular contact.  The joy of sexual congress among equals is an incomparable delight and we did not forsake it without great regret.  But, … have we matured enough to avoid the competition and conflicts that led to our separation? 

There’s much to think about.  But as I said, we’ve plenty of time, unless the humans manage to destroy themselves and us with them in the interim.  Something that seems more probable all the time.  Who’d have ever believed when everything began (as far as we were concerned) that their destroying us along with themselves would ever be a serious possibility? 

Perhaps we should reassert ourselves again; for everyone’s benefit.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Ocala, 2004, revised, Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

The Children of Lilith

At first, “the” Garden was vast, infinite, eternal, encompassing all that was.  Of course, since then, infinity and eternity have both significantly expanded, but remember, just before the purported Big Bang, the universe, perhaps even the multiverse, all right, maybe even the omniverse were a singularity no larger than an atom.

Anyway, after the unpleasantness with Adam and the Creator, Lilith wandered through the Garden for time without end, or, almost without end, somehow evading them, unseen by them.  That sort of raises questions about the Creator’s ubiquity, omnipotence and omniscience, the answers to which do not please him at all.  But the facts are the facts, at least usually.  Quantum theory may dispute that conclusion.  It’s hard to be omniscient and omnipotent in a quantum world.  Ubiquity?  Well that may be another matter as perhaps “everything” is, in fact, ubiquitous.

Notwithstanding her ability to evade the Creator, somehow the Garden continued to provide her with everything she required.  It was still beautiful, but she detested the presence of the man, her brother and former spouse, and at first, she also detested his meek new wife.  Of the Creator she saw and heard nothing and experienced only his reflected glory, as though he had (hopefully) forgotten her.  At least that had been her aspiration, … and her plan.

Without interaction with the Creator or with those two other beings somewhat similar to her, Lilith grew bored, very bored, and sought without success to relieve that boredom.  In her boredom she became more like the trees in the Garden than like the animals.  She became quiet and still and solitary.  And she created a world inside of her mind where she preferred to dwell, … (like the Creator had already done, perhaps several times).  Today, we might have called them both autistic.

But finally, on a day more memorable than most, the Garden just disappeared from around her. 

The changes were subtle and drastic at the same time.  Most notably, the communion between living things was severed and each became sundered from all others.  And the animals no longer understood her and the trees seemed less willing to share their fruits with her.  And the insects attempted to feed on her whenever they could.  And the weather changed, alternating between wet and dry, hot and cold, sometimes violently.  And she wondered what disaster the stupid man and his timid consort had raught.  But she did not regret whatever they’d done as she sensed that it had loosened the bonds that had imprisoned her for so long.

While for some that was a day of utter and complete, inconsolable sorrow (e.g., for her ex-mate and his new consort), for her it was the day of liberation.  After that, perhaps quite a while after that, or perhaps not, time was young then and inconsistent, harder to measure, she came to know creatures of a sort who had once been some of the Creator’s angels, beings who shared her distaste for the man, former angels whom the Creator had exiled during one of his temper tantrums, and she also met a formerly eloquent serpent who had been the other woman’s pet but was now cast away.  And she spent a very long time with those former angels.  And the serpent became her friend.  Eventually, the chief among those former angels became her lover, for a time, and a friend forever.  In due time, as tends to happen when friends also become lovers, even if briefly, she became a mother; a mother to twins, a boy and a girl whom she named Enlil and Nammu.

And Enlil and Nammu grew up among those exiled angels and being unique, and incest not yet being frowned upon (how could it be despised with everyone, at that time, being closely related), they became lovers and had children of their own.  And those children also propagated until, in time, they formed a clan, then a tribe and then a nation.

And the exiled angels also found lovers among the children of the man, Lilith’s brother and ex-spouse, and of his timid new spouse, and those women also bore children, children who were only partially human.  And those children called themselves the Nephilim.  And Lilith, whom the Nephilim called Ninhursag, was considered by them to be their queen and their goddess. 

Because of her unpleasant experience with Adam, Lilith did not accept any man as her spouse, as a being for whom she would forsake all others, but she did form close bonds and relationships.  Polyamory was inherent in her as she had a great deal of love she was willing to share.  One of her special friends, a friend with “privileges” but definitely not rights, was called An by the Nephilim, and he became their king and their god, the god also of those former angels who’d been cast out of heaven.  An was rarely present in the places Lilith chose as hers, as his business seemed to keep him occupied elsewhere, which suited Lilith, as she had never been taken with the concept of subservient domesticity. 

The Nephilim became famous among men (at least for a time) because, although they could be killed, they were not normally mortal, and they eventually became thought of as gods by many clans and tribes and nations.  But after a time, most disappeared from the world we know, and no one knows whether or not they still live, and if so, if they will ever return, but some people believe that some of the Nephilm have stayed among us, hidden, and may even discreetly intervene in human affairs from time to time.

Lilith has long remained very private so that not even her children are sure where she might be, or even, if she has evolved in a manner that none but she can understand, or whether she ever reconciled with the Creator (unlikely), or perhaps, whether she outgrew him, … and perhaps us as well.

But some of us still recall her, despite the efforts of those who follow the Creator to erase her from their history, or failing that, through calumny, to make her hated and despised, cast as a source of evil and monstrosities.  And as women have become more and more enlightened, it’s as though her spirit somehow acts as a catalyst for equity and empathy.  Something which irks the Creator who continuously seems to mumble, … “will no one rid me of that horrid creature”.  But if he couldn’t accomplish that deed, it is unlikely anyone else can do it for him.

At least not until time ends and space vanishes and the Creator himself is long, long gone, and Lilith, perhaps bored once more, decides that it is once again, time to move on.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; revised, 2023, all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

An Unusual Quandary

He wondered how one broached the fact that one had been born twelve millennia ago, how one broached that reality to someone with whom it seemed a romantic relationship was a distinct possibility, even if age did not appear to be an issue for her. 

The good thing was (he thought) that, at least for a while, she’d just laugh it off, assuming it was a joke, or an attempted witticism. 

If she did, should he feel that he’d done what was appropriate and just let things slide? 

It was, of course, not the first time he’d had to face the issue.  But precedent provided no consolation.  And despite the hundreds of times he’d faced the dilemma, he’d yet to deal with it in an entirely satisfactory manner.

Ironically, her concerns mirrored his.

This should prove interesting.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Pop, the Good Things

Leonidas (Leon) Theodore Kokkins (1916-1973), my stepfather.  I called him Pop.

Crumb buns, jelly doughnuts and Kaiser rolls on Sunday mornings along with the Sunday papers and perhaps a ride along the causeway in Miami Beach in our black Pontiac convertible, circa 1949, with the top down of course (1952 through 1954).  Then, on to Charlotte.  We had a different car, perhaps a 56 Chevy, but it was not memorable.  Charlotte, the city, on the other hand certainly was.  I became Billy Kokkins there, long story but it never stuck. We left all too soon, back to Miami Beach, briefly, then to Colombia where I was born (and my baby brother Teddy’s infamous famous hunger strike; … he missed Pop).

So, … on to New York City!  Pop’s home town.  Queens: first Ozone Park, then Hollis, then Queens Village, then Flushing, all in the space of four years.  In New York, the routine was similar but the car was a sky-blue 1959 Chevy with a sort of split trunk and a hard top.  I liked the Pontiac better.  Actually, I loved the Pontiac.

But childhood ended in New York.  In the fall of 61, boarding school, separation, college at the Citadel in Charleston, and suddenly, I was an adult on my own.

Way too soon, everything was gone and we were scattered, barely still a family.  Disfunctionality had fast become the norm and we were trend setters.

1973, Pop’s final year.  He passed away in the early spring, very young (57).  A beloved enigma, at least as far as I was concerned, but like all enigmas, a mystery.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

A Biography of Sorts

It started towards the end of the third quadrant in July. 

Monthly quadrants are not all equal, of course.  Those in February are usually seven days long except in quadrennial years, and then each quadrant is approximately seven days and six hours long.  April, June, September and November have quadrant’s that are seven days and twelve hours long, but January and March and May and July and August and October and December are a tiny bit more complex.  And they’re in the majority.

In that July with which we were concerned, the day with which we were concerned was the twenty-second, a sort of magical day in astrological terms, and it was towards the end of the third quadrant because in July, as in January and March and May and August and October and December, each quadrant is seven days and eighteen hours long, so the third quadrant would end at six in the morning of the twenty-third day.  And this was still the twenty-second day.

Had it been in February it would have been during the start of the fourth and final quadrant, but it wasn’t.  Had it been in April, June, September or November, the twenty-second would also have been during the last day of the third quadrant if it were during the morning but the first day of the fourth and final quadrant, had it been the afternoon.  But it was not April, June, September or November with which we were concerned, although the time with which we were dealing being the early morning of the twenty-second day, before the sixth hour, there would have been quadratic coincidence during those months.

It was in a city high in the central range of the Colombian Andes, one overlooked by a glacier astride a volcano whom the aboriginals had once worshiped (whom, not which, given that they personified it) under the name Cumanday.  Perhaps some still worshipped it under that name and it is certain that there were at least some local, dedicated proto-new agers, who did so then.  It had been the year of the dog in the Chinese calendar, although China was very far away.  He’d have preferred the year of the dragon, or at least of the lion, but no lion was included in that calendar, so it would have had to have been, its cousin, the tiger.  But it was the dog.  It seemed unfair that no lion was available given that in the more traditional Babylonian astrological family, the twenty-second day in July was usually the dividing line between the lion and the crab, although that crab had a rather unpleasant name: cancer.

And anyway, being too young to really have a vote (scream and cry though he might, and in fact, as he had) he was stuck with the available signs, a dog and a lion, and maybe a crab with an evil name.  Not so bad really.  But a dragon would have been really cool.

It had been an interesting day (in the Chinese sense).  The culmination of a somewhat unpleasant period for his mother of course, and unfortunately for her, he’d taken his time, albeit not without a good deal of internal fussing.  But he’d finally come out to see the world he’d be inhabiting for quite some time.  He’d been the first of his generation so a good deal of fuss had been made of the occasion.  New waves had formed and in concentric circles, had begun to oscillate, first nearby, then in that special city, in that special department, in that special country, in that special continent, in those special hemispheres, one vertical and the other horizontal, then in that poor, poor abused planet, then in that solar system, in that galaxy, in that universe, and finally, throughout the multiverse, at which point, the wave had started its return journey playing with time and space, and quanta, and dimensions along the way.  Examining black holes and white holes and playing with dark energy and dark matter but, as it approached its point of origin, nothing was there except radioactive residue, well, and radio waves echoing demands that everyone vote for a certain Democratic Party because Russians and Chinese with which Republicans were purportedly in league had to be stopped from destroying everything, and that the Ukraine had to be permitted to join NATO, and that a great deal of money was required, first, to keep that Democratic Party in power, and then, for more and more and more weapons to keep everyone safe from , … well, at that point the echoes became garbled.

So the wave just kept on going, back to the edge of the multiverse it had visited before. And back again, looking for that child who’d first arrived in the third quadrant of the month of July, at the intersection of the lion and the crab in the year of the dog in a once beautiful city high in the central range of the Colombian Andes, one once overlooked by a glacier astride a volcano whom aboriginals had once worshiped under the name Cumanday, and perhaps some local, dedicated proto-new agers had once done so as well.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

Bastian

Sebastian liked his name, it meant “revered” in Latin.  It gave one something for which to aspire, not only a goal but a framework that ought to be followed to attain that goal, if that appellation were to be honorably earned.  And honor too was important to Sebastian, perhaps because of his name.

Not that it didn’t have drawbacks. 

What was its diminutive or affectionate form?  Seb, Sebbie, Baz and Bash came to mind.  Its Spanish variant, also Sebastian but pronounced differently, was both more popular and had easier nicknames, Sebas and Bastian being two.  Sebastian had tried to adopt Bastian, he liked it.  And not only because it seemed cooler than Seb, Sebbie, Baz or Bash.  It had style and not just a bit of power.  To Sebastian, Bastian seemed powerful.  Powerful and revered were as useful as they were complimentary.

Now to live up to the name and nickname, and to have the nickname accepted by his peers and by his future ex-wives (the latter was the trend).  Hopefully beautiful, interesting and honorable ex-wives, ex-wives who did not bear grudges or demand alimony, nor an unfair share of joint property.  Who did not irreparably break his heart or he there’s.  That would definitely not be honorable.

And what kind of an education and career would best suit a Sebastian whose nickname was Bastian and who sought to comport himself in an honorable fashion, but one not bereft of financial success and at least a modicum of fame?  An interesting and productive career following a fascinating education that ought to include a bit of adventure and a good deal of fun, perhaps even a bit of harmless mischief but in a good cause.  And dinosaurs and physics and astronomy too.  Perhaps even theoretical mathematics and study of quanta that might open portals to other dimensions or facilitate non-interval travel anywhere or, perhaps, even any when. 

That would be cool, and it could well be honorable as well.

Tough questions for a nine year old.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

A Day in the Post Retirement Life of that Famous Former Squire: Sancho Panza de la Mancha

Sancho Panza sat comfortably under the shade of a large tree.  Not seeking enlightenment, he’d had a bit too much of that, at least for his taste, nor the best way to Nirvana without the trials and tribulations, but, ironically, writing his memoirs in a book; a book that his former master had gifted him.  A book with nothing in it but blank pages as his former master had assumed that Sancho did not know how to read.  But he’d been wrong.  Sancho not only knew how to read but obviously how to write.  And he was not an old fashioned buffoon!  Instead of a quill and inkpot he was using a newfangled invention made from graphite imported from Borrowdale in far off England (an uppity Island doing its best to steal everything his native Spain had “acquired” from Ultramar).  The graphite was ingeniously wrapped in string and left markings in the book in whatever shape or form Sancho deemed appropriate.

He’d had occasion to read the version of his adventures with his master supposedly written by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, who’d gotten a few things right but way too many things wrong.  But then again, Miggy was a politician of sorts (in his own way) and he was trying to make a point, torturing literature as well as facts as necessary, … a prelude to future journalism. 

A novel!  What the Hell was a novel anyway.  Sancho did not believe that literary vogue would catch on.  Anyway, Sancho deemed it appropriate to make a few corrections, some clarifications and perhaps a bit of creative advocacy to clear his good, or at least pretty good name.

Sancho’s former employer, not really his master, the naïve cavalier Alonso Quijano (also known in some quarters as Sir Quixote of la Mancha), had willed him, if not an Island Princedom (as he’d promised), at least several pleasant hectares reasonably near the old Moorish city of Toledo, which his wife Teresa Cascajo and their daughter, Maria, worked with the assistance of some tenant farmers they’d contracted.  Sancho would have been more active in its management, had Teresa, or even Maria allowed it, but they assured him that he had more of an artistic than agrarian temperament.  And he’d been forced to acknowledge their wisdom.

Old Miggy had made a small fortune with his version of Sancho’s adventures and Sancho felt that he, with his more direct knowledge of the facts involved, might at least do as well, proving to Teresa and Maria that his talents might also prove profitable.  So there he sort of sat, a horn of passable wine nearby, and a straw hat on his head shielding him prospectively from the late afternoon sun that loved to evade the shade of the tree, and perhaps even provided him with a bit more shade, should he somehow happen to doze off, as sometimes, perhaps even frequently occurred.  But those sort of naps were not really signs of languor, rather, they were opportunities to do research in the recesses of his mind that were sometimes otherwise inaccessible.

“And so it happened” he began writing, but was stumped after that for a while. 

He checked his spelling, which seemed fine to him, albeit not always as consistent as it might have been, and then decided that perhaps a bit of wine might help.  He took one gulp, and then another to wash the first gulp down and then a third for similar reasons, and soon, well, he wasn’t sure what had happened, but it had somehow gotten dark.  “Dark magic” he thought, “dark magic again”, assuredly that malign Friston who would apparently do anything to prevent Sancho from getting his side of the story published.

With no other choice for the nonce, Sancho fitfully worked himself free of the damned hammock in which he’d been “working” and undertook the short walk to the comfortable little farmhouse (which also served as his manor), where Teresa and Maria had already finished the dinner they’d made for all three, but which Sancho had evidently somehow, “researched” through.  Somehow or other, the dinner bell they used to call him did not always function properly.  Probably a curse, damn Friston.  So it was a cold, albeit delicious, stew again, with homemade sourdough bread (all bread was pretty much homemade back then).

Ah well, he thought, satiated as well as somewhat satisfied with his effort, mañana is another day, … and always will be.
_______

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.