ExcerptsVolumeonE

~

from Sanzibar

~

(soundtrackmusik)

~

Eduardo Tomas San Lupe Cruz was a poor fisherman in the Yucatan many, many years ago. He fell in love and married the daughter of Juan Carlos, another fisherman. Her name  had been Maria Laurinda Vargas Flores. She had been blessed with a beautiful soprano voice, lighting candles every Sunday before mass as she sang in the choir.

Together, they had a son, Eduardo Tomas San Lupe Vargas, among several other children. He too was a fisherman, born into a poor fishing community. He too married the daughter of a neighbor. Her name was Anna Azura Espinoza Delgado. She too was musically blessed. She played the piano beautifully. She too lit candles every Sunday before mass.

One  harvest moon early morning,
While Eduardo had been out on his fishing boat, he saw something floating in the water. It was a dark mass, bobbing gently with the calm ocean waves, about thirty yards out from the bow of his boat. He made his way closer to see what it was. There are whale sharks in the area and although Eduardo wasn’t prepared for a catch of that size, he had always been curious about the ocean and its many creatures.

He was about ten feet away from the mysterious object in the water before he realized that the dark mass was in fact a man’s body, floating face down in the water.

Eduardo Tomas San Lupe Vargas went numb with shock.
He paused…breathed…felt a deep pounding in his chest.

He shouted out to the man.

“Senior!”

He got no reply. Eduardo quickly pulled the boat up closer and reached out to grab the man. He was unresponsive. Eduardo heaved him up over the side wall and into the boat.

“Amigo?”

Eduardo’s heart was racing. He had been fishing these waters for years. Not once had he ever encountered something as strange or as disturbing as this.

“Senior?”

He tapped the man on the cheek. He was cold, but didn’t have the look of death about him. Eduardo checked his pulse. There was one, however it was faint and fading away rapidly. The man was not breathing.

Eduardo pounded on the man’s chest a few times, tilted his head back, plugged his nose, breathed a few deep breaths into the man’s lungs and waited.

Nothing.

Eduardo’s own heart was pounding heavily in his own chest.
His hands were shaking. He tried it all again.
No.
He wiped the sweat from his brow.
Again, he tried. Again, nothing.

The man’s lips were cold.

He looked toward the heavens and said a prayer.

“Lord, if it be Your will, save this man.”

Once more, he tried…and…wouldn’t you know…?

“GhughhhhK!!”
The heavyset man came up hard, coughing loudly and for quite some time.
“HhHHHuHHUUHH!”

Eduardo threw a towel around his shoulders and the nearly lifeless man back inside the small fishing boat.

Neither man said a word while they made their way to shore.

Eduardo carried the heavyset man all the way along the trail back up to the fisherman’s home.
The man had a large lump on the back of his head and his suit had been torn to shreds.

Eduardo gave him some dry clothes. Anna wrapped the man in blankets.

They sat in silence before the furnace, eating the rice and beans that Anna had prepared.
The man’s name turned out to Tobias Sulley. He had been an unsucessful business man from somewhere other than the Yucatan.
He described himself as being, “a man with his hands in many different jars.”

He never explained precisely how he had become stranded out in the middle of the ocean.

“Listen friends, it’s for the best if you don’t know too much.
Let’s just say I had a “falling out” with a few people that I shouldn’t have called “friends”
…”

Eduardo didn’t pursue the matter any further and conversation fell to silence once again.

Anna made a makeshift bed for Tobias in their small living area out of a few quilts.
Eduardo handed the man a pillow and the couple retired for the night. Anna lit a candle on the mantle place and said a prayer before going to bed.

“Father, please protect us all this night. Amen.”

Eduardo rose early the next morning, as he did every morning.
He walked quietly into the living room, expecting to find Mr. Sulley still asleep.

He found, instead, the quilts and blankets were all nicely folded and placed neatly in one corner of the room and the floor had been nicely swept.
On top of the stack of quilts was a note.

“This is for saving my life. Whether it was a life worth saving, well, that’s up to me now. Thank you both for opening up your home to me. God bless.”

Next to the note was a very shiny, very heavy, very, very fancy golden pocket watch.

Eduardo and Anna never heard from Tobias Sulley again.
They just went on living their lives the only way they knew how.

Every day, Eduardo went out early in the morning to fish, keeping an even more watchful eye on the water from then on.
Every Sunday, Anna lit candles before mass.
One was always now lit for Mr. Sulley, that he may find his way.

They never had to worry about money again because of Mr. Sulley’s generosity. Eduardo had taken the pocket watch to a jeweler in the city, who had nearly fainted at the mere sight of it.

Eduardo handed the man the watch. The jeweler, in return, handed Eduardo a large sum of money. With it, Eduardo bought himself a nicer, although still very modest, fishing boat. He bought his wife a beautiful old piano so that she could fill their small, quaint home with beautiful music. The rest of the money they wisely decided to save.
They had three children; Eduardo Tomas San Lupe Espinoza, Azura Maria San Lupe Espinoza and Javier Tobias San Lupe Espinoza. Their first-born died of pneumonia while he was still an infant.

“Lord, if it be Your will, save my son.”

It wasn’t to be this time.
They bought him a beautiful tombstone with some of Mr. Sulley’s money.
Anna now lit another candle every Sunday before mass.

It was three years later to the day that Azura Maria came into the world. She had beautiful eyes, the color of the ocean that her parents had known so well. She grew up to become a breathtakingly gorgeous woman who, like her mother, played the piano beautifully and lit candles before mass. She married another fisherman, also named Juan. They have four lovely children of their own.

Javier Tobias greeted the world two years after Azura.
Eduardo and Anna named him “Javier” after Anna’s grandfather, who had been a very kind man. They named him “Tobias” after Mr. Sulley, who had been so kind to them as well, in his own way.

Javier grew up to become a very intelligent man. He had the privilege of enrolling at the University in Mexico City, thanks to the money from Mr. Sulley’s pocket watch. He was the first San Lupe to ever leave the Yucatan. He made his parents very proud. After graduating near the top of his class, he decided to move from Mexico to find work in his chosen profession, which was mechanical engineering.

He got hired on by a factory in Bristolbury that made recreational vehicles.

His son, Javier Tobias “Tobey” San Lupe Torres, became Mikael’s best friend.

…   …   …   …   …   …

Three Little Monkeys

Three little monkeys were sitting in a tree…one fell out and scratched his knee…one looked down and scratched his head…the other, in a fit of rage proclaimed, ‘The gods, they must be dead!”

The fallen monkey looked up and realized just how far he fell. The one looking down proclaimed, “That must have felt like hell.” The other little monkey, being now without a God, looked over at the other saying, “Isn’t this whole life business just the slightest bit odd?”

The fallen monkey looking up now through the jungle canopy, saw the splintering rays of sunlight and in awe said, “All praise and glory Be.” The downward-looking monkey scratched his downward-facing butt. He responded to the question with an uninterested, “What?”

Inspired by the light above, the fallen monkey began to climb. The atheistic monkey sat and charged the gods with neglectful, hateful, awful crimes. The little monkey looking down enjoyed the newness of this scene. Before this day, each day had been the same repetitive thing.

The climbing monkey thanked the gods for providing him with limbs both on trees and on body to use. The godless monkey began to wonder what in life could be considered the truth. The monkey looking towards the ground laughed at the other’s serious tone quite loudly. The little monkey without a god took this gesture badly.

The monkey on the climb was nearly back to where he started. The little laughing monkey laughed so loud and hard, he farted. The other, now having enough of this bafoonery, left in search of more sensible company. The fallen monkey return to his perch and sighed, grateful for his place in destiny.

The other little monkey laughed and laughed and laughed again. Making light of everything in life became his definition of life in heaven. The other little monkey, without a god but now a mission, carried on his path seeking truth, learning lesson after lesson after lesson.

Until one day too he fell down from his perch and looking up, saw through the tops of the jungle canopy.

He smiled and as his soul did rise, his final words were,
“Truly, God is me.”

The Sleepwalking Sheep

*This is script for an up-coming picture book…drawing on the way soon =) *

For Shoshanna…
Whoever you are.

Shot 1 – A far shot of a sports car as it turns a sharp corner on some remote, scenic highway.

“Her name was something like Shoshanna. She was a part-time, quasi-artist from somewhere in the south of France.”

Shot 2 – A close up of a well-dressed sheep driving the sports car, sunglasses on. Shoshanna laughs in the reflection from the rearview mirror.

“Her plush ivory wool danced on the breeze as the car sped along.
He held the wheel firmly with one hoof. He smoothly caressed her thigh with the other.”

Shot 3 – A side shot of the car, two very fancy sheep nestled inside. They look happy.

“His name was something like Julian and he owned the convertible Leopard-print Lamborghini that they currently found themselves nestled cozily within.”

Shot 4 – A far shot of the car driving closer to a picturesque mansion on the outer stretches of nowhere, on a cliff.

“She sipped on only the finest of the driest French Champagnes and said things like, “Love is all.”

He drank only the finest of the driest vermouth-ed martinis and said things like, Spin for me doll.

Shot 5 – A shot of a muddy foot mid-kick in freeze-frame motion. Real “BAM! POW!” style

“And then sheep #132 awoke abruptly with a swift kick in the ribs.”

Shot 6 – A wide shot of a pasture, other sheep, a dilapidated old shed and “Julian” sprawled out behind it.

“Yea, I found him. Dumb sheep passed out behind ol’ MacGregor’s fruit stand again…”

Shot 7 – A shot of “Julian” reaching out for Shoshanna, who seems to be falling away from him.

“The shepard reached down, scooped up sheep #132 and hauled him back to the pasture.”

Shot 8 – A shot of sheep #132 standing in the pasture watching the shepard.

“His name was certainly not Julian….
and who’s ever heard of a sheep named Shoshanna?”

Shot 9 – A close up of #132’s face. He looks ugly, dumb…pathetic.

“No, in this silly place called “real life” his name was #132. The tag in his ear said so.”

Shot 10 – A 3 side-by-side-by-side shot of his patchy wool, janked up hoofs and of his gnarly snout, burping up a gnarly belch.

“His wool was all patchy, nothing like a nice alpaca’s. His hoofs stuck out so that when he walked it looked like he was doing gymnastics…and his breath smelled terrible, even by sheep standards.”

Shot 11- A shot of the other sheep in the flock, all “baaaa-ing” in distain of the ugly #132.

“There was little else to be said about him. The rest of the flock ignored him most of the time and went along doing whatever it is that sheep normally do.”

Shot 12 – A very close in shot of #132’s eyes. In them, we see the pasture with faint reflections of the scenic cliffs from his dreams.

“#132 rarely ever thought about the kicks or the sneers. In his waking hours sheep #132 walked, sat, ate, shat and spent the rest of his time staring off into space.”

Shot 13- Now, grand and extravagant scenes of Julian and Shoshanna dancing off into the sunrise of whenever.

“In his dreams, however, he explored the outer realms of the universe. That was enough for #132. It was good.”

Shot 14 – A shot of a letter laying on an otherwise empty desk in a nicely furnished bedroom.

“I leave you this story now for I fear we have been but witless dreamers and little more…”

Shot 15 – A shot of an attractive woman looking out over a fancy balcony, crying.

“Perhaps if we were sheep, dreams would have been enough to make us happy.”

Shot 16 – A silhouette shot of a well-dressed man leaving a fancy villa on a cliff.

“I think it’s out of some strange tribute to this conundrum of love which has made it so…so that the dreams of dreamers are always remembered.”

Shot 17 – A far shot of a leopard print Lamborghini driving away from the picturesque mansion.

“Adieu I’amour, Adieu.
-Julian”

Shot 18 – A wide pan shot showing #132 sleeping peacefully behind MacGregor’s old fruit stand. Dream bubbles show the scene that he’s dreaming.

“Would you mind pouring me a bit more champagne, love?” She was wearing satin lace and pirouetting on the patio.

“Not at all dear.”

The Miser’s Miserable Miseries

The miser spoke of his miseries to a thief convicted of thirty thieveries in a dimly-lit jail cell on one particularly humid, summer night.

“Oh, miserable, miserable me!”

The thief listened patiently, allthewhile keeping a keen eye on something heavy and circular that was weighing down the miser’s left pant pocket. A stratagem began to emerge. The thief dripped thick nectar from his tongue.
“Tell me more, good fellow, if you please.”

The miser’s bellowing belly bounced boarishly.
“Take from me my m-misery!”

The one lightbulb in the hallway flickered. A full moon watched from the other side of the cell’s one cast-iron barred window.

“Why…friend, that is very easily achieved…” The thief casually mentioned that he could save the miser from himself…
“for a simple one-time fee.” His voice dripped like ripened honeycomb.

The miser leered at the thief…unknowing…
“Are you trying to rob me?”

“May such a thing never come to be!” The thief recoiled in disbelief.
“In the past, yes, I was a thief…but must this current summer’s heat be subdued by the chill of a long ago whispered winter wind? My friend, the suffering you speak of is very easily remedied.”

The miser felt miserably about his present situation and the perspiration intervened on his behalf in stating the obvious masterfully, yet he tried his best to defend his nonexistent honor. His hand was drawn to his pant pocket almost magnetically. His thumb and middle finger caressed his last and only coin.

“You had b-better not take me for a fool. You speak sweat-ly…I mean, ‘sweetly’, but look where your wisdom has le-led you to be…you who s-sit here, imprisoned just the s-same as me!” With his last shred of resolution, he bluffed…just a bit too loudly.

“Quiet in there, you fools!”
The warden rattled the cold iron bars with his billy club.

The thief “shhh-ed” the miser.
“Shhhhhh!!!”

The miser continued…at a whisper,”But you speak like a man who knows something worth knowing…be a true friend and do not charge me for your words…for I have nothing left to be taken from me…nothing to give that won’t yet be owing…” The miser barely squeaked out the last few words. He had come to his final reservoir of inner strength.

The wind blew coldly through the iron cell bars and a rebuke shook the thief’s soul. His stratagem, though flawlessly effective, began to dissolve.The thief turned and looked out the barred window.

“I would eventually become just like you if I held on to this wisdom that you seek. I realize now how easily we all may fall into holding onto the world as we perceive it to be, thus becoming miserly.” He saw the moon. It smiled freely down at him. A smile infected the thief’s heart. “This world is nothing to be held onto so tightly.”

The miser looked out that same barred window and saw only a world that was being held just out of his reach. He was reminded of all the things that had been stripped from him. He became impatient with the thief and his nonsense.

“Well, are you going to help me or not?”

The thief turned back towards the miser, moonlight embers burning now in his eyes. The thick, deceptive honey had been stripped from his voice, leaving it true, elemental now.

“It is my belief, you see, that a miser holds only onto his own misery.”

The miser’s perspiring hand grasped for the coin again, which slipped through a hole in the lining of his pocket, fell to the floor and rolled under the cell door, rattling loudly as it settled out in the hallway.

The thief looked at the coin…the miser looked at the thief…the coin lay silent now…the dead president on the face-up side of the coin looked at the bare light bulb in the hallway…the bare lightbulb looked down on it all and hummed with electricity….

“Lights out!” shouted the warden and the lightbulb fell silent for the remainder of the night.

The coin was gone in the morning, as was the thief.
The miser felt miserably indeed. He clutched the iron bars, the only thing left to hold onto…
“Oh woe, oh woe is me! Miserable, miserly me!”

THE END

– Josephus Vice