Today was downright exhausting, and my hour long walk along the river left me dripping and drooping. It wasn’t different than most days, same time, same place, and the usual 756 miles, according to my old friend Orion, who was watching from his usual perch, unseen, as he prefers it by day. When I was done, I started to complain about how I felt, when Orion interjected, “Just be thankful you’re not in Florida today, its hotter by far, and your usual walk would have covered a full 930 miles today, and there you’d have reason perhaps to complain just a bit.” Heading home to shower, I called out to Orion, “You know you are one heavenly pain in the ass.” “Yeah,” he replied, “that’s what Artemis said.”
The once gods have been reduced
again to mere mortals
and find the change disquieting.
Just the other day I saw Hermes
meandering along Fifth Avenue
pausing to look at scarves in a window
of a store he never imagined.
Even the once great queen
finds herself behaving like
a love-struck teenager.
One who bred desire now works
as a hack writer for a card company,
a blow to his psyche more
than anyone can imagine.
Even the nameless one
has been seen working behind
the register at Walmart
thankful for the extra hours
as the holiday season approaches.
We no longer aspire to be gods,
it is too much work and there is
simply no payoff.
This Sunday, I know, we will take
another journey through mythology,
today a sail down the Lethe, no doubt,
or perhaps a careful avoidance of the Styx.
He will speak of Thanatos and Mors,
and will tell me not to be sad,
and with his sad smile, I will not be,
and though he is seven, he knows
he has touched me yet again, for that
is his magic, and in those moments he
is Damon to my Pythias, and I will find
that my tears are of joy and memory,
and his smile is the same one my father wore
which is my most abiding memory.
Pluto is now undecided though that does not seem to trouble many. It was one thing to be a god, albeit always thought of as lesser, for that is what happens when you rule a place no one wants to visit, like being the greeter at the door of the largest Wal-Mart in Hell. It was nice being a planet, even if no one ever visited, but that was taken away by those who now deem themselves gods, replacing all of his peers and consigning them to orbit a star that has no real name. But now they say, just perhaps, Pluto is a planet, and that has given rise to a debate, while no one asks Pluto’s opinion, and he just wants to be left alone in his dark corner of the solar system.
So when Noah finally docks the ark on Mt. Ararat, or wherever, how does he decide which animals get off first? And for that matter, the earth having been flooded for weeks, just what are they supposed to eat on new land? For the vegetarians it must have been very slim pickings, and who wants a badly waterlogged salad anyway? And with two of each only, what did the carnivores actually eat? If you stop and think about this long enough you are left to wonder just how many species were sacrificed to God’s little tamper tantrum, and let’s not mention how three sons and mom and dad, the sole survivors managed to repopulate the world.
They were always almost mythological, heroes of a people I could only imagine as my own, knowing I came from a far different place, one of shtetls and pogroms, of seaside villages, the beaches of Cascais. It was half a lie, but I couldn’t know it then, couldn’t guess my dream was reality, my reality a dream torn away by DNA. In a moment my unknown Portuguese father was unborn, replaced by a faceless man of Celtic soil who marched to the piper highland or uillean, the bodhran, who stood alongside Pearse and Connolly, Bonnie Charlie, and a century on, I’ll lift a pint of Guinness in their honor, take a wee dram of Talisker and whisper Slainte to the unknown generations that brought me here.
Sit down and be silent, you always want to speak at the worst possible moment, whispering incessantly in my ear when I cannot answer you. When I call on you, you prefer to avoid me, playing off in a corner somewhere sampling the joys of the day to be forgotten by nightfall when I seek to converse. You take great joy in teasing me dangling pearls and withdrawing them at my first grasp, playing hide and go seek while knowing all the nooks and crannies. You prosper in the dark flitting about, and I can only feel the breeze as you dash by, and occasionally touch your skirts as they brush against by leg. You are the spoiled child, petulant, pouting for days when I chastise you, mocking when I have little to say to you, frustrating to the point of distraction and loved nonetheless.