Dionysius Exiguus (or the humble) was a 6th-century monk born in Scythia Minor, modern Dobruja now. He was a member of the Scythian monks community concentrated near Rome. He is best known as the inventor of the Anno Domini, (AD) era, which is used to number the years of the Lord.
At night, on certain days of the month, I work on a security company. I watch and review the footages of certain cameras throughout the city and on public domains. What I’m telling you now is such a moment. It relapses into a gripping story that came from here and there. Something I tried to follow at all costs, readjusting my schedule and my free time, changing my days off with my colleagues, people who I never see.
I’m not paid a dime more for it, I do it as a volunteer, to fight insomnia and bad temper. The fact is that I like to watch and get into the lives of others, without intervening. It’s the old voyeur habit we all know from books. But I will cut the crap and pass to my Lolita.
We are in the financial division. A vignette of Government oversight. Thus begins.
– Go upstairs! You were selected.
– Yes, for the Bear Commission!
The material is not very good and the image that should be black and white is instead flooded by strange tone, as if it were in fact in colour with a filter for colorblind placed by someone. Therefore, each actor appears with a distinct glow; one with a hiss of phosphor, that comes as a gunshot, and the other with a purple tone, which gives him a ghostly look. I don’t know if the problem is from the transmitter or from the receiver, maybe it was written something else on the requisition – a Toshiba like the emitters outside – but along the way there is always the likes of a smart guy who takes the hand to his pocket, putting there an extra zero. Sometimes I go home thinking that the problem is just mine. And there’s no cure for that pain.
– Don’t you say anything?
– What do you want me to say?
– It came to you like a fortune. Don’t you even move, aren’t you glad?
He was not moving because of his nerves. And the reason I could only find out later, after prolonged research. In fact, he had perceived the B.E.A.R. – the symbol of an organization that he always thought existed only in his dreams or in comic books – and he was strucked with a certain fear to know what was expecting him upstairs in the AC, the Administrative Council.
To discover what was the “BEAR” I had to seduce lots of people to give me access to private documents. But that story will come later, after the disappointment of our fellow that came immediately.
I like things perfect – nothing is coming by chance – and when I put one in my head I take it until the end, whatever the sting, up to a level that no one else notices. Eventually it takes up a century to achieve it and in the end people get bored with me. Now it doesn’t matter. Anyway, it was easy to put both phones bugged. The following paragraph came by SMS, on some overtime shift I did in LMB, the Lost Messages Brigade.
“Fck man! It was bears nt BEAR! ”
At that time I already had a GPS embedded on each car, even at home I knew where they were, such was my obsession. I just needed to get my phone to see them. A mark of each color, like the lights of the camera.
The extra-time of the plot was then caught in a traffic jam, on a track somewhere in the city. I had to send the tape to a specialist to decipher the whole thing by reading their lips. But nowadays everything can be found, either in Switzerland or just next door. It was raining and so it was a little more expensive.
– I didn’t cheat you! Everyone knows what the Bear is. Just tell me how it went. I want to know.
– Apparently it is only because of some bears, that’s what I understood. Bears here, bears there. So as long as I knew that I lose all the curiosity in it. I don’t know anything else, I can’t even tell you if you wanted. I didn’t have the recording button on work.
– You lose the interest? But you had a hell of a luck, I told you. You know how many people wanted to be part of it and be in your place?
– No, how many?
– A thousand just in our office. You can’t imagine their envy once they knew. You became famous. I’m proud of being your friend.
The story of the B.E.A.R. is as follows. In the year BC 27 a group of people, of unknown origin, mostly Celtic disputing parties, bored with life, decided to gather at certain times of the year to discuss human nature and find ways to a higher existence. The name comes from Latin and means “Being Edges Any Rule”. They had no fancy costumes, no special rites, nor any big short talk. Not even wine tasting, much less they would spit it. They just believed in Man, in Nature and on their fusion as creative and inspiring powers. And what guided them was a simple dissertation on astronomy. The flow of the Sun. The phases of the Moon. The breviary of the stars and their replicas in the sky. The waters and the tides. All as indicators of a mindset. An orientation. Time and Space. And an immense desire to do better, for those who would come. For the future.
According to the legend, we are talking about an oneiric individuality. That document, recovered centuries latter in an Ostrogoth hermitage, would become the basis of many holy books like the Bible and the Alcrook, that would encourage many of the religions of our time. On the noblest thoughts in this transparent-skinned creature, a dedicated public servant, this plot is still existing today, magnified by a vigorous universe, that at any moment will awake for the good of all humanity and all living beings.
Even today it makes him baffled the all sort of adjectives that are given to countries, heeded on the shackles of any religion. And when, on punishment, he hears something like “Indonesia is the largest Muslim country” he gets half crazed with desires of pushing someone’s nose. On heated discussions in the café he refutes all his scolding, “before being a boy or a girl babies already have a label,” as if it were all written on the ultrasound. And sometimes he curses is speech by letting go an oath saying: “Blessed Virgin!”
And what diverts him – and calms him down – is letting his mind loose on the B.E.A.R., imagining him roaring on the boundaries of time, when the years were still not years. Doing mental arithmetic, meditating about how the Scythian monk Dionysius Exiguus (or Dennis the Small) began to calculate the date of the Christian Easter and suddenly the world was in the year 527. Amazing how the cosmos changes. And before that? It’s all hearsay. Like the King Herod, contemporary of a a certain Christ.
Far ahead. On the impetus of the walls of traffic, for what remained in the camera number 1111.
– You will stroller walking. You’re an important person now. You can’t tread the line. You’re an observer. The eyes of the people – His friend would say while they shift on and the road buzz was reoccupying the camera’s spyglass. For sure he was still ruminating on the Nazi obliteration and certainly he would shout to his friend, his eyes all-vacant: “And perhaps the Jews are any sort of race?”
From time to time I cross my path with them on the street. If I see them afar I turn to the nearest walkway to get into the footsteps of these two buddies, as if they were the only people that I truly know and whom I trust. No longer with the lime and purple colour that would resembled the image on the surveillance television but still with some piece of clothing that would match those times gone by.
The other day I picked up a phone conversation. An international call.
– You know, today I really opened my ears and I was alert all day.
– Yes? Tell me, what happened?
– Someone said that the Bears should go to the Assembly. That they should get a place there and they were going to do some adaptation works. Wouldn’t mind them at all. That is a matter of state and they should be respected as such. That they should the heads.
– Heads? Can’t believe that!
– Yes, and they were throwing ideas into the air. Like putting two huge buttons on top of the tables so they could press them!
– To order food?
– No! To vote the laws. They say that this would be the truly example of democracy.
– Is that real? And what did you say?
– I said nothing. As you know, I’m just there to see, to produce a report at the end. That is my role. But I liked the idea. Finally they would do something for Mother Nature. Anyway everyone had already approved this resolution, raising both hands instead of one.
Fascinated him the idea of having a B.E.A.R. commanding the destiny of the People, whatever that means. Apart to be seeing himself awaked on his dream, it was a good start and a great example to restore the good name to the nations.
As for me, that I’m on this side, I think that is an excellent idea. Maybe would bring me the desired rest. I will have other surveillances to appreciate and I can always change my clothing assortment. My exiguous rite.
[Indulgent Memory #5 • Published on Hoje Macau newspaper • 12 JUN 2010 • a season syndrome soaked in some panda bears.]