1 It was 45 years ago that I boarded an old B27 prop and came across the seas to this nation. That feat was of course unknowingly old news, for a similar event had happened many times before in the past. Each time I visit Florida I'm brought to remember that joyous day back in 1969, and think on so many other migratory efforts that took me to strange foreign lands such as Lemuria, Atlantis, Europe, and even other worlds in lives long past. However, I ponder on the "what else" factor with mild consequences and less than satisfactory awakening, patiently feeling there's more to it than perceived thus far. That changed last week.

I recently attended the 2014 Miami Book Fair where my book, The Search for Love, was displayed among thousands of other titles. From kids to golden, the fair was jam packed and rain was no object, moreover refreshingly expected. While it was both a first and positive experience for me, and the book got great exposure, I was walking into a reliving I did not decipher until days later—strangely under an interesting mental cone of numbness. The book and local settings definitely triggered the initial mood, but I was blind to details. Writing a book, rep tents, a huge city, island-like scenery, and numb feelings; it was just not enough to go on. But as always, good things come to those who listen.

Mother promoted the book with local associates and asked that I visit and perform piano for them. I felt hesitant to do so for some reason, but complied hoping to get more details on my strange behavior. I made the visits and gave away copies of the book, but numbness endured as if restrained by foreign cultural values and beliefs. Given your typical Cuban deafening assertive talk, bountiful religious saints and gods, Santeria witchcraft, fancy “modernicity,” suicidal driving skills, and coffee goop you could stand a spoon in, it was tough answering the pseudo-inquisitive question; what’s your book about? Amazingly, I survived. But then, I realized all that promotion and visitation really meant something: it was not about the book, but me personally. "I was the one being sold."

I was putting the final editorial touches on Episode II when my wife approached, took my left hand, and swiftly slipped a ring into my fourth finger. “How do you like that? It’s you engagement ring,” she said. Well, I didn’t want it on me at all. I’ve always had revulsion to anything on my hands, rings, bracelets, cream, even rubber bands. When I saw the ring, I truly panicked, quickly let go of the laptop, and anxiously tried to get it off in the worst possible way. However, it wouldn’t come off and I thought the end was near. My levels of anxiety and adrenaline immediately shot through the roof and I ran helplessly about trying to get it off, mocked endlessly by my wife. Finally, after several minutes of pulling, twisting, squishing, prying insanely, yelling from pain, and literally almost breaking my finger off, I finally got that ring off.

I knew I was reliving, but nothing came to mind. So rather than make stuff up, I went back to my laptop, put some music on, and tried to relax. But then unexpectedly, I saw someone putting iron shackles on both my hands while I tried to feebly fight them off. Moments later, I saw myself bound in chains to five other men, being led into an ancient sail boat. I was young, maybe late-teens, dressed in a greenish garb braced in its middles by a leather strap. I was told someone was interested in my talents, but I wasn’t told who or where I was being taken. I foolishly went along with the tempting offer hoping to gain fame and money, only to end up in bondage. I focused on these visions for details and this is what I came up with.

Boat: Aegean small transport vessel with a single central gathered sail and twelve oars men on each side that I could see, bowed crescent shape, and small decks at its rising ends. Shape indicated vessel was of Minoan origins: island dwellers

Clothing: From hair style, clothing, color of the sea, slaves were of Greek descent

Time frame: Possibly 1,500 BC if not earlier, somewhere between middle and late Minoan period

Purpose: Human trade, not for hard labor but talents like art/knowledge/language skills, and gratification of owning masters. Minoans of the time did not support slavery or war but more so sought helpful companions

Final destination: island of Crete

In a story that sounds much like Theseus and Asterion, I was ascribed to a family in Crete with whom I lived as a free servant, though stalked by one of the family's daughters who sought a relationship, but so did her mother, creating a devastating clash between them that ended up in another migration . . . to another family, where much the same thing happened but that time I managed to maintain a non-divisive formal relationship. I feel my work involved architectural design, painting, and music, eventually earning the right to return to the homeland many years later, though I was no longer alone.

Submitted by: Roberto Gaetan on 12/04/2014

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