Tuesday, November 23, 2010

seed (fragment)

I was a younger woman of just twenty-four years when my father first told me of the Artesanos de la RevoluciĆ³n. Their overarching goal was to create a craving for change, he said. They would bring about change, I was told, and they would bring about this change on their own terms, whenever and however they desired. Now, some fifteen years later, the big change has yet to materialise – we have not, to my knowledge, undergone any sort of revolution, no uprising has been staged. And now, some fifteen years later, I’m still in the dark about what this revolution was even meant to be, and who, exactly, was going to lead it.

There are a lot of names in my father's journals, articles, and stories. Some of the names have apparently been changed, some of the names are attached to people no longer of this earth, and some seem to have never existed at all. A small handful of names, however, belong to people I have been able to track down, though most of my calls, letter, and emails go unanswered. Except for one: Wizman Aboudaram; he unexpectedly agreed to meet with no trouble. Wizman Aboudaram agreed to meet with me at a tiny cantina in the Petit Socco at the entrance of Tangier’s old city. It was there that he told me about his meeting with one of the AR’s three founders.

“Alexandre Lemonnier,” Wizman whispered across the dirty wood of the table, as though saying the name too loud may have resulted in instantaneous death. Showing his paranoia, he checked over one shoulder and then the next, the red of his fez like dried blood in the candlelight. “One of the three,” he continued, nervously toying with the buttons on his dark Sherwani. “One of the originals.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” I said, perhaps a little too loudly. Noticing that I had caught the attention of a couple of sketchy gentlemen a table over, I lowered my voice, instinctively limiting the movement of my lips. “You can’t be serious,” I muttered. “The Artesanos de la RevoluciĆ³n was officially formed nearly one hundred twenty-five years ago. That puts Mr Lemonnier at, what… at least one hundred forty-three years old – supposing he was only eighteen when the organisation started up.”

Wizman raised his eyebrows. “They seem to live a long time, yes.”