Copyright © 2001 – 2016 Frank Desmedt
All Rights Reserved
Finally! Yes! Finally I met him!
But, let me tell you all about it, from the very beginning.
Yesterday afternoon, at the time everyone shies away from the harshness of the tropical sun, I was walking up one of the narrow streets of the old part of the city.
Amid the suffocating heat, I walked up and down the steep old staircases, the ones that were built when the town turned into a city.
To make things worse, I was quite annoyed by the eternal callus that I have here, on this foot. See?
—Well,— I thought with resignation, —I’ll soon reach the main avenue and be able to rest on one of the benches of the shaded plaza…
Suddenly, I had the strange feeling that something was following me. Covertly, I turned around to take a look. But—nothing—owed to the darn ups-and-downs of the many stairs that could easily conceal anyone. Now, let me tell you that it’s not that I had actually seen or heard anything in particular. No, it was rather the peculiar feeling, you know, that strange perception that you sometimes have of not being quite alone.
I kept on walking. But, just before starting to go down a particularly long staircase, I stood still. Slowly, I turned around and carefully looked back again and once again—nothing! All that I could see was a fat man, with his shirt rolled up above his big belly, who was comfortably sitting in his chair, leaning against the wall of the cool and shady hallway of the house on the other side of the street. Shrugging, I continued to go down the old staircase, grabbing hold of the rickety iron railing. Step by step, distressed, enduring the merciless pain caused by my callus, and struggling with the oppressive heat, I kept on walking.
I was more or less down half the staircase when, unexpectedly, I saw a recess in the wall. Impulsively, without thinking twice about it, I ducked into it, so as to wait and surprise whatever was following me so stealthily.
While I waited—let be honest with you—I felt a mixture of impatience, fear and regret. And, unwittingly, I began to reflect on the risk of my improvised plan.
What if I was getting into something that I’d have to regret later on? What if it was a mugger… or something worse? Added to this, the impassive sun that scorched me and the absence of a compassionate breeze were not making things any easier.
Big drops of sweat rolled down both sides of my face and breathing became increasingly difficult. All the while I thought, —Why the delay? Is all this just my imagination? Ow! How this damned callus is hurting me! Perhaps it would be better to let it go and be on my way… But, surmounting my growing anguish, the pain and the tremendous heat, I resolved to continue with my investigation.
As after several long minutes nothing happened, I decided to take a cautious look—and there he was! Yes sir! And in broad daylight, too!
At first, I couldn’t believe my eyes. But the more I looked, the more convinced I became of his existence! At that moment, like a fleeting lightning, many of the half-forgotten moments of my childhood passed through my mind. Like the time when I lived with my beloved grandfather. I remembered the countless games and charades with which he so cleverly convinced me to go to bed, owed to being a school day. Yes, in a flash, I recalled his witty tales regarding the magical inhabitants of the “Edge of Reality.” All this welled up in my mind as I watched—hypnotized—the small figure that was nervously looking for something on the steps that separated us.
Quietly, I stepped out of my hiding place to stand in front of the tiny being who was coming down the stairs and… Well, what can I say! When he saw me, he was so surprised that he fell seated on the step behind him. He opened his mouth as if to say something, but was dumbstruck, with his big eyes very open. Several times, he looked me up and down, and finally kept his eyes glued to my shoes.
When I noticed the state of shock the little guy was in, I said very gently, —Don’t be afraid. I’m sorry I scared you. I didn’t think that…
But, I had to leave the sentence in midair because, to my utter amazement, the little guy had begun to fade—yes, you read it right—to disappear! Very quickly, the greyish colors of the steps that were behind him began to appear through his figure and factions.
—What was it? What was the word !?— My mind raced at top speed, as I struggled to close the gap that the years had opened in my memory, —Was it something like “super-cali-fragilistic?” No, no. That’s from that movie… “Shazam!”? No, that’s not it either. Ah, yes… I got it!— Quickly, I said out loud the strange word, and curiously the little guy—immediately—stopped his “fading away,” or whatever you can call that.
Wanting to calm him down, in a very serene voice, I said —Don’t be afraid, I’m not going to hurt you. I know of your existence and that of the others of your kind. I’m the grandson of Mr. Anselmo. He told me all about you guys, although that was many years ago. That’s why I knew about your great ability to slip away, and that if I said the special word, you wouldn’t be able to move until I gave you permission, right?
Let me tell you, the only thing this little being did was stand there, very still, semi-transparent, and not knowing what to do next. It was only after some time that he said, —Yes, that’s right… Now, let me go!
—All in good time, little one. But please, don’t be afraid, I’m not going to harm you. I’ll tell you what, as we can’t continue to talk here, in the middle of the street, if you promise to meet me somewhere else, I’ll let you go now. How about it? You could come to my place, at any time you prefer. What do you say?—
Maybe it was the sincere tone of my request, or the reference made to my charismatic grandfather—who knows exactly why—but the small being “filled” back up with his own features. Once again he looked me over, up and down, and after a thoughtful moment, he said, —If I come to your place, do you promise to let me go whenever I wish to? Without trying to restrain me, and without imposing any other condition?
—Yes, of course!— I said hurriedly, barely believing my good fortune, —I promise not to hinder your arrival or your departure. You’ll be able to leave anytime you want.
—All right, you seem trustworthy enough. Besides, under the circumstances, I don’t have much of a choice. I’ll be there tonight. Now, hurry up and say that I can go, I’m very busy!
—Yes, yes. Right away. But first, tell me, who do I have the pleasure of speaking to? And wait a minute to give you my address.— I said while I searched for a pencil and paper.
—You couldn’t pronounce my name, and I know where you live. Now, hurry, say that I can go!!
—Okay, okay. Calm down. “You’re free to follow your path to wherever you wish to go…”— I had hardly finished the sentence when he vanished—[_poof
Now, let me tell you that I’m not given to hallucinations or to drinking; I’m not superstitious nor do I believe in fantasies. I’m well aware that this is a challenge to your credulity; but, I assure you that I’m telling the truth.
Beg your pardon, what did you say? But… no, that can’t be! Don’t tell me that I didn’t tell you! Alas! This crazy memory of mine! I was so intent on telling you what happened, that I overlooked the most important part. Please forgive me.
It did seem that I was forgetting something. Well, now that you ask, I’ll say that he was just like my grandfather had described him. A little guy about a foot and a half tall, with his head a bit large for his body. He also had big eyes, yes, very big eyes, almost no nose and hairline of a mouth. His body was extremely thin, just like his long arms and legs, with very slender fingers. His outfit was sort of a one-piece suit, quite tight, silver in color, with a black line that went up the front of his right leg, passed over his right shoulder, crossed diagonally his back, and then went down the back of his left leg. Well, I know this because my grandfather had told me, as at no time did the little guy turn around.
How’s that? A dwarf? No, of course not! A gnome? But, didn’t I just tell you that… Oh, my gosh, it seems that I didn’t tell you. Please forgive me. Well no, it wasn’t an elf or a gnome—nothing if the sort. I’m talking about meeting a genuine KEEPIAN. Yes siree!
Aw, come on now… don’t tell me that you don’t know what a Keepian is. You don’t know, do you… I can tell by your expression. Well, then let me tell you about him, just like my grandfather told me.
The Keepian is one of the busiest beings of the universe. His main task is to collect, repair, store and take care of all the things that are not in use, but that will be used again. Indeed, with the Keepians working, nothing is ever lost. I’ll tell you more about them a little further on, okay?
So, as I was saying, after my brief encounter with the Keepian, I remember that when I arrived at the old but well maintained building where I lived, something unusual was going on. I saw a lot of people at the door of the janitor’s office, and that something had upset his wife, a plump Italian lady, who never mastered English, although she was a very loving and motherly figure to all of the building’s occupants. Well, as I wasn’t up for a gathering with my neighbors that evening, I quietly tiptoed in front of the janitor’s half-open door and went right up to my apartment.
Indeed, I was almost in a trance by the thoughts that fluttered in my head, all because of the impatience that overwhelmed me. How wonderful! An appointment with a real Keepian!
After entering my small apartment, as soon as I sat down on my well-worn and comfortable armchair, I heard a hushed voice behind me saying, —Good evening, I’ve been waiting for you.
I remember having turned around to face my overcrowded bookstand, just in time to see some of the books of the upper shelf begin to “disappear” behind the figure of the Keepian. He “materialized,” sitting very comfortably, with his thin legs hanging from the edge of the shelf.
—Hello there, good evening! This time you surprised me. I wasn’t expecting you so early; but, I’m glad you kept your promise— I said, as I moved to my threadbare sofa, in order to face him.
—I always keep my promises and always arrive on time, as a good Keepian that I am. Let’s see now, what do you want from me?
Look, just between you and me—yes, you, the reader—I can assure you that I went over a thousand times all afternoon—here, in my head—what I was going to ask the little Keepian. But at that moment, I forgot it all. Well, you can imagine. The thrill of being able to talk, face to face, with a genuine Keepian! You understand, right?
Seeing that I was overwhelmed by my emotions, my little guest “vanished” from where he was to instantly “reappear,” sitting on the small table where I keep my telephone.
—Hey, you do that really well! You disappear from one place and reappear at another. How do you do it?— I asked in amazement.
—Actually, I can’t “disappear,” as you call it. I can only mimic the appearance of something close to me. And in this case, I took on the aspect of the air, came down from where I was to sit here and then regained my normal features. As you can’t see the air, you couldn’t see me either.— was his mischievous answer.
—A very good trick, indeed. Now tell me something else, is it true what my grandfather told me, that you keep everything that’s not in use?
—That’s correct. We’re responsible for keeping a countless number of things working, because, logically, nothing functions without something that makes it go. I hope you’re not one of those people who believe that Creation keeps on running automatically, right?— and without letting me answer, he went on, —Every one of us has to take on many jobs. You’d be surprised to know all the things we’re responsible for.
—Yes, I remember that my grandfather always made up many stories about you…
—Made up? Those are true stories!— he said sternly.
—Come, come now. You don’t expect me to believe me that you actually receive all the deleted words when someone erases them…
—Of course it’s true! Where do you think all those removed words go? We’re in charge of receiving, repairing and storing them, to then redistribute them to anyone who needs them. What’s so strange about that? How do you think that you always have on hand all the words you need, either to write or to speak? But, please, think about it for a moment.— said the Keepian very seriously. —Furthermore, we do something similar with all the numbers that are deleted from the modern electronic calculators. And, if you ever saw all the computer data that we have to save. Wow! That is a lot! Whenever there’s an electric blackout or a software glitch, Bam! We get swamped up to here with scrapped computer data.
—Hey, give me a minute to digest all that…
—A minute? As many as you want! We have all the minutes of the world, except for the one that’s currently being used. Actually, we only keep them for an instant, because we immediately recycle each one. How many do you want?— he asked, swollen with pride.
—Yes, I do remember my grandfather telling me about that.— I said.
—I’ll have you know that we’re always very busy and, all modesty aside, that we’re very careful and precise. Let me tell you about our many other activities. Can you imagine all the steps that humanity takes on any given day? An uncountable amount of steps, right? And what do you think happens to all the steps taken? Well, we collect and recycle them, so that humanity can continue to walk, yes sir!
—That’s an enormous amount of work!— was the only thing that I could utter.
—Something similar happens to the spoken words. We receive them the very next instant after they’ve been said. We keep them in the “Just Spoken Words” section, ready to be used again. This is somewhat complicated, you know. If they’re not well classified, maybe the next time you need to talk, you’ll only be able to bark… Ja, ja, ja… Or you’ll suddenly find yourself speaking a language that you don’t understand… Ja, ja, ja… We sometimes have problems with certain humans who insist on emitting a constant verbosity. I believe they’re called “politics,” or something similar. And thus, as they hoard so many words, sometimes another human can’t find the word he’s looking for, hasn’t that happened to you?
—Yes, of course, but I never imagined it was caused by that. But tell me, my dear Keepian, where do you store everything?
—Generally, we only keep things for a short while and as most of them are immaterial things, they don’t take up much space. I can tell you that we store them in a similar way to how you store your thoughts. I can explain it to you, but I doubt that you’ll understand it, for, if you don’t know where your imagination, your memory or your emotions are kept, how could you understand something that’s much more complicated? No offense meant.
—What do you mean?— I asked with wounded pride, —Of course I know where I keep them! It’s all right here, in my head!
—Excuse me, but all you have in your head is the “mush” formed by your brain. What I’m talking about has nothing to do with that. It’s as if you said that a radio has within itself the music or the news it transmits. Don’t worry, someday you’ll understand it better. But, coming back to the storage issue, I can tell you that, indeed, there are some things that we’ve had to keep for a longer time than usual. For example, we have most of the Roman numbers that were replaced by the Arabic ones, the ones you use today.—We also have in deep storage the exact boundaries of Atlantis, along with the other side of the Mobius strip, and all the philosophy contained in the “Philosopher’s Stone.” We also have the true purpose of the Egyptian pyramids, the instructions of how to untie the Gordian Knot, all former time’s etiquette that has now fallen into disuse, along with all the modesty that is lacking in many of today’s young people’s attire. But don’t worry, we keep everything in very good shape, until someone revives it.
—Then, you know where Atlantis was? Please, tell me!
—You’re not understanding me, I can’t give you anything that doesn’t belong to you, and for this to be the case, you must first find that out for yourself. Thereafter, whenever you again require this knowledge, I’ll gladly recycle it to you. You know that there are other beings who can help you with the new things that you want to know or get. Ask them. You notice that I’m telling you this only because it’s something that you already know. I’m a caretaker, a guardian of what already exists.— said the little fellow, with a solemnity that was several sizes too big for him.
—Hey! Now I get it! That’s where your name comes from, right?— I said with undisguised satisfaction, —you’re a KEEPer and a guardIAN – a KEEPIAN!
—Very well. See, you’re already beginning to think better.— he said laughing softly, —And to keep up the exercise, I’m going to ask if you ever stopped to think what happens to the kisses once they have been given, or to the furtive glances after they were made. Where do you think all the long forgotten memories, accumulated experience and good ideas that were never realized are? Also, consider the fate of the millions of issued smiles, the half-used tantrums and the tons of energy used to chew gum. Yes, we also receive all that and recycle it, depending on the demand.
The little Keepian was more confident now and was now lying full length, with his head reclined on my phone, legs crossed at his ankles and his long fingers interlocked behind his head.
—And that’s just the beginning,— he went on, —consider all the natural phenomena that we have to recycle, now that gives us a lot of work! But, to tell you the truth, it’s a lot more fun. There you have all the used rain and wind that we must recycle, along with the colors of the rainbow that now and then paints the sky, the difference in size between a palm tree and a snail —we also store that, so as to use it for something else. Think of the many cosmic cycles that humanity has yet to discover, along with those that have been forgotten—yes, we have them all, just waiting for someone to recycle them.— said the Keepian proudly.
—Nowadays,— he continued, —we have to hold on to a tremendous amount of foliage and lush greenery that we can’t reuse, because you humans have destroyed the vegetation that used to manifest it. We also have a huge number of exotic and fascinating combinations of shapes and colors that were once expressed by the billions of insects, birds and flowers that have been burned down. And what about the countless natural function that were used to keep the balance of immense and marvelous ecosystems, which we can’t recycle any more? Where will we keep all the fresh air that, for the moment, we can’t help regenerate? And, I ask you, why has all this happened? Just because a few of the so-called “big shots” insist on seeing how fast they can extinguish nature, just to get a monetary gain? Think about the unique qualities of the now extinct species that we can NEVER recycle again: the romping of their playful youngsters, their dazzling color combinations, the majestic appearance of the adults. In short, I fear that many of these things will have to be kept in storage forever. What a pity.
—To tell you the truth, I had never thought about it in this way,— I said, overwhelmed by the enormity of the truth stated by this little fellow.
—Do not grieve, my friend. There’s little you can do by yourself. This will go on until humanity, as a whole, decides to do something to stop the abuse of that powerful minority. However, while this continues to happen, I’m afraid we’ll just have to make more room in our warehouses.
Frankly, I couldn’t think of anything else to say, while he also appeared to be somewhat lost in his own thoughts.
After a while, I noticed that my little friend was looking furtively at the antique cut-crystal bowl that was on the table. There’s where I kept my chocolate bonbons. I told him, —Go ahead, help yourself.
At this request, his contagious smile reappeared, while he says to me, —I believe that I’ll accept your invitation. Thank you very much!
—Yes, please, help yourself. Take as many as you like. And while you “recycle” to yourself some sweets, how about if you let me tell you about some of your own activities, as I remember having heard them from my grandfather, okay?
After hearing this, he “faded” from the telephone stand, to immediately “reappear” sitting on the soft cushion that I have always have on the sofa—right in front of the candy bowl.
—Ok, let’s see. It’ll be interesting to hear a human talk about our affairs. Go ahead, I’m listening.— he said, as he eagerly removed the shiny wrapper from the bonbon.
—Actually, I must confess that I’ve never forgotten the enchanting stories… Oh, sorry… histories, that my grandfather used to tell me about the magic Keepians. Ahh… such fond memories! How he enjoyed my childish laughter when he told me that you were responsible for storing the knots of all the shoes that became untied, and that you also had the sharp edge of all the blunted knives of the world. Ho, ho, ho… He loved to see my expression when he told me that you were about to take away the flame of the candle, but that you’d let us use it the following night. It was great the time when he explained, with a straight face, that you collected and kept all the bubbles of the soda pop that I was drinking, just to put them back into my next bottle. Ha, ha… And every time he saw me with a serious face, he’d copy my seriousness and ask me if the Keepian had taken away my smile, which, of course, would immediately make me smile, and then he’d say, “See? He already gave it back to you!” The cunning old fox! I also remember the last time I saw him, lying there on his bed. He looked so very old and pale. When he saw me, he whispered, “Come on, son, what’s wrong? Change that face. Look, I asked the Keepian to give you, but only to you, all of the youth that I enjoyed. I’m giving it to you because I know that you’ll make good use of it to become a great person.” After that night, I never saw him again…— I said to the little Keepian, all the while fighting the lump in my throat.
—Come, come now. Don’t be upset. I’m sure you made very good use of the youth he bequeath you. Allow me to “recycle” some good humor into you, all right?— said the friendly and impish Keepian.
Look, I’m telling you—yes, to you, the one who is reading this story—that in the very next instant, I felt so much better!
After seeing the little fellow eat his third chocolate bonbon, I said jestingly, —Hey, be careful, lest you have to give yourself an unwanted belly-ache.
—Ah… but, they’re delicious! I love them! But you’re right, it’s enough.— he said as he leaned back on the cushion. —Hey, I think it was me who took away the hardness from this very soft cushion. However, returning to the subject of your grandfather, I see that Mr. Anselmo knew us very well. Rarely have I heard of any human who has appreciated us so much. But tell me, what was his occupation?
—Occupation? He never had a particular trade. He knew a little about everything: repairing old roofs and walls, painting houses and shops, he was a self-made barber and mechanic, he knew how to apply injections, till the land and carve wood… like I said, a little of everything. But what he enjoyed most and what he did best was storytelling. I still remember that my classmates were always eager to walk home with me, after school, in order to hear the great stories of Mr. Anselmo. Ah, those were the days!
—Yes, he must have been quite a character. You know, I also feel a little nostalgic about former times— he said in a somewhat sad tone.
—You? With all the interesting things you do? Why? Please, tell me.
—For example, early this morning I was assigned to the section “Objects of Slow Recycling.” That part always makes me sad.— he said in a downcast tone.
—Why is that? Tell me, what’s kept there?—That part, as the name implies, is the section used to store things whose recycling rate is extremely slow. If you could only see how full of useful things it is. And all because of the low demand they have today.
—But, tell me. What do you keep there?— I ask again.
—One of the things that occupies a lot of space is “Goodness.” Yes, sir enormous bales of gleaming “Goodness.” Beside these, there are countless boxes full of “Generosity,” most of it brand new. Beyond this, you can see a lot of bags labeled “Inner Peace,” and beside these, a little farther inside, there are boxes full of “Sincerity.” Then, on the other side of the storage room, there are many barrels whose labels say: “100 Percent Pure Tolerance.” Please note that all the “merchandize” is almost new and of very good quality. Tell me, my friend, why is it that you humans don’t want these wonderful things? Why don’t you want to recycle them anymore?
After taking a deep breath, I pondered on the importance of what this little guy said. —Truly,— I thought, —these things were now rarely used. What has happened to us? We’re always in such a hurry; always so anxious about everything and so busy with our own things, that… Yes, indeed, I could imagine the enormous size of the warehouse that stored all these things.— Coming out of my meditation, I said, —I really don’t know. I must admit that I do not know. Maybe it’s because humanity is not aware of it any more. What’s do you think?
Recovering his characteristic eloquence, he said, —Analyzing the situation, I think that today’s human being is a little unbalanced…
—Just a little?— I interrupted wryly.
—Wait, you didn’t understand me. I’m referring to another kind of “imbalance.” The poor humans have engaged themselves so much in their material world, in the “hard cash” they can get, in everything that’s outside of themselves, that they’ve sacrificed their inner world. This is the “imbalance” that I’m talking about. Many of them don’t know their inner potential, and thus, they don’t use the best and most powerful part of themselves. They’re disoriented and totally confused. Do you understand me now? Can you imagine all the work that brings us? We have almost no time to properly repair or redistribute the enormous amounts of fear, anxiety, worry, violence, deceit and despair that the current human insists on using so feverishly. This, naturally represents a huge problem for us and for them as well. And it’s so easy to apply the proper solution.— was what the Keepian said.
—Easy? Excuse me, but I don’t find it that easy.
—Of course it’s easy. If each of you humans expressed just a little more kindness, tolerance, or any of the things that I just mentioned, that section of the warehouse would be emptied in a flash and then we’d have more space.— he concluded brightly.
—Oh, you’re talking about your storage problem. For a moment I thought you meant the “imbalance” of the human being…
—Isn’t it one and the same thing? The same solution benefits both of us, don’t you think?— said my little friend, with mock candor.
—Geez,— I thought, —The little guy’s right.
—I hope that the humans will reconsider their behavior. Perhaps recycling to them a little “Reconsideration”?— pondered the Keepian.
Suddenly, a noise down in the street startled us, jolting the Keepian out of his rapture. He then said, —Ooh! It’s already morning! I have to go!
Taking a quick look out of the window, I saw the bright daylight. Incredibly, we had talked all night!
—Yes, I know it’s time for you to begin your activities. But, will we meet again?
—Anyone can see us, if they make an effort. If you’re one of the people who stops to wonder where the bounces of a rebounding ball go, where do the turns of the countless wheels that humanity uses go, what happens to the ring-ring-ring of the phone after it has sounded, where are the images of the many mirrors kept when no one is looking in them, then you’ll eventually see us. Yes, straining a little your senses and your imagination, it’s possible that some of you will detect us while we work. Maybe you’ll sense us as we pick up your used footsteps, —like what happened to you yesterday afternoon, when we first met. Well, it’s time for me to go. Please, say that I can go. Thanks for your hospitality and… Farewell!
Just as I finished saying the sentence that freed the Keepian, my small friend “disappeared,” that is, he disguised himself as air. I saw the curtain move a little and I knew that he had gone. I sat down for a long, long time on my comfortable, if somewhat shabby sofa, pondering on my conversation with the Keepian.
And you, my dear reader, now do you understand my exhilaration? Yes, when I first told you that I’d met a Keepian. What do you think about that now, huh? Meeting—just like that—a full-fledged Keepian! Well, who knows, maybe you’ll meet one yourself. I know that children see them all the time and even play with them. But then, kids don’t worry as much as we do, right?
What’s that? Ah, you want me to continue with the story—my pleasure!
Later that morning, I heard a commotion in the hallway of the building. You’ll have to excuse me, but I don’t remember this part very well.
—Yes, the elderly gentleman. Poor man, always so courteous and kind.— said the easily recognizable voice of the janitor’s wife.
—What? The one with the white beard? Oh, how terrible…— said the young wife of the newly graduated accountant.
Suddenly, I see the door of my apartment open, probably with the key that I gave the janitor’s wife, who once a week came in to do a bit of housekeeping. Then, two Police officers came in, followed by the mortified Italian matron, while the other neighbors stayed at the door. —Yes, ma’am. He was found on the steps of the old part of the city… Myocardial infarction, we were told. With your permission, we have to make our routine inspection.— said one of the Policemen.
—Such a good man!!— mumbled the weeping matron.
My young neighbor, coming over and hugging the old lady, said, — Resignation, Mrs. Ricardi, resignation. Consider that he was over eighty-seven years old. The truth is that he shouldn’t have been going out on those long walks that he insisted on taking.
Well, as I said before, I don’t remember this part very well. That was this morning and now it’s all a little fuzzy.
How’s that? You’re asking me if I died? But, how can you even think that I’m dead! Can’t you see that I’m talking to you? What, you think that it’s macabre? Well, with all due respect, I must say that it’s all in your mind. I’m fine! Better than ever! A while ago I was told that I’d be moving to a much larger and brighter place. How about that, huh? And you asking me if I’m dead, no way!
You know, now I understand why the Keepian looked me up and down so much when we first met, back on that old staircase, remember? Yeah, he wasn’t looking at my shoes but was very surprised to see my worn old body, there, lying on the ground, and at the same time, seeing me like this, in my new way of existing. Poor little guy, what a tremendous impression that must have made! Surely one of his colleagues didn’t have the chance to continue recycling the beats of my old heart.
Well, you’ll have to excuse me, I have to go now. My new friends have come to get me!
You want to know something else, that blasted callus doesn’t hurt anymore!
[ * * * ]
A three-way mixture, that’s what I am. My childhood was definitely European (Belgian), my pre-teen years were pleasantly influenced by the American way of life (in Glendale, California), at the start of the Rock ‘n Roll era, and the rest of my life exposed me to the fast-paced Latin American culture (in Venezuela and several Caribbean Islands). This fixed in me with the order and discipline of a Northern European, the modern vision and progressive imagination of an American, and the animated soul of a Latino.
Professionally, I’m a Computer Systems Engineer, who specialized in setting up the Data Processing System for large, high-rise hotels in Latin America.
For the past 25+ years, after having looked into several controversial fields and rejecting a lot of ineffectual data, I’ve been designing a system that I named ASTRONICA (which has very little in common with classic Astrology). In a nutshell, it’s a technique that anyone can use to (1) know their inborn attributes, qualities and skills, and (2) to evaluate the various astrophysical events (exocauses) that inevitably influence us and our environment. You can test the efficiency of Astronica for yourself, by visiting the Astronica website ( , in Spanish and English – online since 1997). Try out any of the free and user-friendly apps that you’ll find there—they’re all based on astronical algorithms. You can go there either with a desk PC or a laptop. But if you’re mostly on the go, feel free to use a smartphone or a tablet. No registration, no cost, no hype—the apps work just fine!
After retiring from the Hotel Computer field, and having put together the Astronica system, I began to write in two different fields: fiction and non-fiction. In the non-fiction section, I’ve written several books that have an astronical undercurrent. Some are still being prepared for online publishing.
My writings in the fiction section usually include characters that live in the imperceptible setting that exists between our everyday reality and the rest of the Multiverse. I like to call this genre MetaFiction: the Reality that lies beyond reality.
Now and then, when my Muse prods me, I take another shot at story writing, so feel free to look me up.
Hope you liked the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
This story is about the unexpected encounter of an elderly man and one of the busiest characters that lives between our reality and the next: the Keepian. Drop in on the improvised conversation held by these two very dissimilar fellows. You'll find out where the images in the mirror go when nobody is looking into it, where is the rainbow kept when it's not in sight, how to untie the Gordian Knot, what happens to words after they've been spoken, and many other interesting things. Know where the dazzling colors of the extinct birds are? Or the difference in size between a bean and a watermelon is? Or what happens to the sound of your phone when it's not ringing? Ever wonder where the antiquated Roman numbers went? Indeed, this story will tell you all this and more. This is another story of the new MetaFiction genre.