William Doonan

I write books and stories.

The Mummies of Blogspace9: Chapter Two

with one comment

June 11, 2011

Seville, Spain

Hanson       http://www.historyismine.blogspace9.ex

Feels like just yesterday I was inPeru.  Wait, it was.  I’m horribly jetlagged.  We’re supposed to introduce ourselves, that’s what Lovely Laney told me, so here goes:  Bruce Hanson here, Dr. Bruce Hanson, Ph.D. (don’t forget that part), under-employed historian extraordinaire, temporarily in service to the great Cyrus Sanderson.  And I am writing to you from lovely Seville, Spain.  

It’s actually hot as hell here.  I just had my lunch at a little restaurant by the archive, a little filet of pork with spinach and garbanzo beans.  Absolutely delicious!  I haven’t had pork filets since that night at the cabin, Laney, when we were celebrating the one month anniversary of the first time we…we…, you know I’m not used to this blog thing yet.  It’s so public.  But I guess that’s the point, right?  There is a story to be told here, and all of us have a part in telling it.  But nine bloggers, Laney?  You think this is a story to be told by nine bloggers?  Why couldn’t someone start a site called Blogspace3?

And I’m not even convinced that Cyrus is going to chime in.  Unless there’s a peer reviewed publication in the works, Cyrus won’t even write a laundry list.  Oh nuts, he’s going to read this, isn’t he?  This isn’t like one of our regular e-mails where I can just dump on him.  Just kidding.  Love you, Cyrus, prince among men and all that.  Seriously, though, I am truly grateful for the job.  Without you, I’d be selling tube socks under a bridge, and Laney would leave me for someone with nobler prospects.

So back to my day.  Thanks to my sterling paperwork, all in order, my letters of recommendation, Cyrus’s missive to the minister, my excellent Spanish language speaking ability, and my impeccable posture and winning smile, I am now a registered investigator at the Archive of theIndies.  Investigator #00219222 at your service.  I’m told that the first three digits of the license are the most important.  The double 00s, as we elite investigators refer to ourselves, are the only ones permitted to bring firearms into the archive, and to use them at our discretion.  We double 00s are looked up to with respect and envy by all the other investigators. 

Actually, I made that up.  Pretty much anyone can get a license if you jump through all the hoops, and hoops there were.  I was told this would be a waste of my time, that there is very little here relating to colonial Peru.  I was told instead to consult the archives inLima.  Been there. 

Then I was told that most of the archive is online and could be consulted from the privacy of my hotel, which is actually not true.  Some of the archive is online, but not most of it, and not the good parts, not the parts that an apostate priest would leave lying around four hundred and twenty five years ago, not the parts that tell what it was really like to sit there in the sand and try to convert the natives who didn’t know whether to kill you or eat you first. 

No, those parts were filed away quietly, if they were filed away at all, and that’s why you all sent me here, banishing me from our lovely project hinterland on Peru’s balmy north coast, where excavations churn, and where my beloved toils in the sand each day, unearthing new treasures. 

Did I mention that I miss you terribly, Laney?  Love you!  Can’t wait to be your trophy husband next year when we move to Sacramento and you begin as a tenure-track professor of archaeology.  I’m so jealous.  I’ve been on the job market for two years, and nary a nip, but you, you, you apply for six jobs and four give you the time of day.  No doubt this is because you are beautiful and sexy, and the good folks on the hiring committee couldn’t stop staring at you. 

True, you’re brilliant, and I suppose that might have had something to do with it.  But I will find my solace each evening in the warmth of your embrace, and my solace each morning in the warmth of your tender kisses as I bid you farewell from the comfort of our solarium where I’ll retire for a day of reading and perhaps TV.  You did get the place with the solarium, didn’t you?  And I need premium cable.  If I’m going to be your unemployed boy toy, then damn it, I’m going to be kept in proper boy toy fashion.

OK, so before they would give me this investigator’s license, they went over my qualifications, and we reviewed what it was I was looking for, and I told them only the most general things, not wanting to be laughed out of Spain just yet.  And then I had to read the regulations in front of them, so that I could demonstrate to their satisfaction that I understood the rules, which I did.  I am not allowed to bring a hat into the reading room, nor an overcoat, nor any large notebooks nor any beverages.  I assured them that I would arrange to lodge my hat elsewhere. 

I do not have clearance to look at original maps, I was reminded again and again, so I was not to request maps.  And I could request only one book at a time, not more than one, and could photocopy no more than 30% of any document.  And under no circumstances could I bring a hat into the reading room.  Once we were all possessing of some degree of faith in my ability to abide by these rules, my license was issued, and the keys to the gates of the kingdom of yesteryear were delivered to my personage.

So I’m in, guys!  One day down, and I’m in.  I’d tell you more but it’s like 3:00 in the afternoon, and I’m still jet-lagged.  I’m going to take a nap.  Tomorrow I’ll start trying to figure out what was scaring the crap out of those priests.  And don’t tell me it was the undead, because it wasn’t.  The dead stay dead.  Love you, Laney.  I’m glad you love me too, otherwise, we’d both be in for an uncomfortable few decades of stalking and the attendant legal issues resulting thereof. 

OK, one last thing – I have to mention this strange thing that happened.  So I was having lunch, as I said, at this little restaurant, and a gypsy women wanders over.  I guess Roma is the more accurate term, not gypsy, but she’s got two little boys with her, twins, and she’s got her begging cup out making her way from table to table.  And I’m getting all set to ignore her.  But when she gets to my table, she drops her cup on the ground, all the coins roll out, and she just stares at me.  The little boys grab for the money, but she just stares.  So I’m getting kind of creeped out, so finally I take a two-euro coin from my pocket and try to give it to her but she pulls back like she’s horrified, and she grabs the boys.  “Perdido,” she tells me.  “Nunca descansara.”  Then she runs.  One of the waiters caught this exchange, and I figured I’d ask him, but he went inside and I didn’t see him again.  So here I am, day one in Spain, and I’m cursed, it would seem.  Perdido means lost, and the rest of it – “you’ll never rest.”

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Written by williamdoonan

November 5, 2011 at 11:08 pm

One Response

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  1. Some of the language makes Hanson sound more like he’s in high school, primarily in the first couple of “chit-chat” paragraphs. It felt distracting, especially the Cyrus part. I think it seemed to pick up where the library card was issued. I like the last paragraph -unexpected.

    Carole Avila

    September 14, 2012 at 10:34 am


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