Henning Mankell, writer
Euskal Herria, 2005
Jose Antonio Vaz Maria, the "Chronicler of winds":
On a colored adobe roof burnt from the sun, under a tropical starred sky of a suffocating moistness night, I find myself, named Jose Antonio Vaz Maria, waiting for the end of the world. Dirty and feverish, with wriggly clothes, as if they wanted to run away from my lean body, I have the pockets full of flour, more precious to me than gold. One year ago I was somebody, I was a baker; since now I'm not more than a beggar who spends the days rambling, as the soul in pain, under the burning hot sun, and to which the nights run in the roof of an abandoned house. Nevertheless, even the beggars have signals of identity. Signals that distinguish them from all the others that also extend their hands in the corners, as if they wanted to give them away, or to sell its fingers one by one. Jose Antonio Vaz Maria is the beggar also known as the Cronicler of winds. Day and night my lips moved, without a pause, as if a story that nobody never had patience to listen is being told . As if myself, finally, had accepted that the monsoon that approaches from the sea is, in fact, my only and always intent listener, which, with patient desire of old priest, waits for the confession's end one day.
I, Jose Antonio Maria Vaz, a man alone on a roof, under a tropical starred sky, have a story to tell...
Text: Henning Mankell
Translation: Sofia Quintas