so so so so so

Orpheus descends, because he wants to show her pictures of the wedding.  Eurydice is looking.  She's looking at the pictures even though she'd rather be eating dirt.  She's looking at the pictures, for one thing, because she's stuck in the underworld, and for another thing, because she misses looking at him, and for another thing, because he tied her up a little.  She says, "Someone salted that tongue of yours, it's not so sweet right now, or maybe the honey on your tongue just wore away, but either way, this is making me rewrite the things you said to me when we were young."

He says, "Oh, but I'm happy now."

She says, "Uh-huh."

He says, "I thought you wanted me to be happy."

"You're an ass hat," she says.

She looks at the pictures. "Oh, you both dyed your hair the same color," she says, throwing up a little on her grey, military-inspired Italian boots with the two inch heel.

"I think you need to get over me," Orpheus says.

"You say that, and you still keep talking, and you're still Orpheus, and I'm still Eurydice," Eurydice says.  "The dice was loaded from the start."  It's true, because they didn't get much of a chance, it was all too mythic, and it would be so much better if he were just a little boring, but he's not, not to her.  Because when he talks, there's something about it that speaks to the underside of her ribs, the place where some drunk and mad faerie wrote the truth on her insides when she was born, he talks to this part, because he says the things that are already written there.  He knows this, she's told him this, he understands this, but he doesn't understand her because who knows why because, it must be hard to understand her, things are never easy with her, and even harder when he's not with her, she keeps things hard.  "The dice was loaded," she says again, because the last time she said it, there were long sentences of narration, and she is trying to remember the thread, because she is so distracted.  She is really hard to be around.  This is important to keep mentioning because it keeps being true and more and more true.  She is impossible to be around, because she's never satisfied with anything, that's her problem.

But what can she do?  She's straight out of a myth, and besides, she's a gemini with an aquarius rising, and that's so complicated, she's always in the air, and no one would ever be born who could understand her really.  Unless it was a perfect compliment, like an aquarius with a gemini rising.  They'd float, though, a combination like that, they could live in the air, off of poetry and pictures of sketches of each other, and that could go on for a long time.  It's not her fault.  It's certainly not his.  But, she says again, "the dice is loaded."

"Aphrodite doesn't play dice with the universe," he says, and immediately wishes he did not keep speaking, because she's right, he shouldn't keep talking, but something about her turns his tongue to honey.  "And you know I think about you all the time."

"That should matter," she says, "but suddenly it doesn't, because it doesn't really make any difference.  I think thoughts, and they really aren't worth a fuck if they just keep repeating and I don't do anything with them.  And I'm paralyzed with thoughts about you, and it's like that for you, too."  That's what she says, but it's not really true.  Because by now she's already starting to move a little, and she's starting to crack a little, and there's flakes coming off of her skin.

She is covered with salt.  It's been happening a lot lately, because she spends so much time near the ocean.  She licks the salt off of her mouth and wishes she could live in fear, the way other half mortals do, because it's easier to make little decisions when nothing is mythic, and the moon is only a night light.

He says, "I know I like being safe more than you do.  But for you, love is like heroin, you want the same thing that heroin does.  You might not be so healthy yourself."

She feels healthy, but she knows he's right. But this is what happened right before he showed up with the pictures of the new girl, the little woman, the one who's so good at dreaming.

Eurydice was living in the underworld for eight months, and she got used to seeing his name everywhere, and she got used to seeing their stories reflected in the waters of memory, the waters of the moon that filled her fountain.  For every full moon, she set aside the day before and after to make images of him from the salt and honey that she collected in the underworld, and those days were magical and mystical, and those days were a little tortured, because she knew he wasn't in those images, and she was even starting to wonder if he heard her when she was talking to him, and drawing images on his icons with her tongue.

But for the other days, she was busy finding her way in the underworld, and learning how it is to be a witch, and do things with strings and ropes.  And she was understanding that she understood the ropes enough so that she was considering, if it ever came down to it, that she might let him tie her up a little.  It was a trust issue.

And at the same time, she was meeting new people, because there's always someone new in the underworld, and people wanted to meet her because she was famous in that underground way.  And there were nights when her loneliness fell off of her completely, like a coat made of his skin.  But the morning always came with the promise of another moon on the way, and she felt him drawing near, and it made everything else seem pale by comparison, and she learned that she preferred his skin, the one with their drawings written all over it, to the body of another lover, and even though it seemed like neither of these was really real, one had to be more real than the other, and his skin always won, because when he did write her, his words spoke to the undersides of her skin, and made her itch terribly, something fierce, hot mess itching.

Over and over again she found herself at the foot of her love goddess, and she would confess, before sleeping every night, "He is the one that I love, and I don't know what to do."

Just between us and the goddess of love, this isn't the first time she ever felt this way, but it could very well be the most, or the best, or the worst, depending on how you look at it.  The goddess of love, having seen all of this before, would shake her head and wonder why even half-mortals think this is something new, that no one's ever crossed this river before. 

"The idea of living without you kills me," she says.

"Me, too," he says.

"That's not true," she says.  "We're both somewhere, though, right now we're somewhere, and I guess that means we're both liars."

"You can be a real witch," he says.  "I just wanted to show you these pictures."

"If I could tell you something new, this is what I would say," she says.  "There are nights when the moon watches me, listens to me trying to tell you things, watches me throw cards and play with bones, and I tell her to send me news about you, and she does.  And when she shows you to me, you look just like you do when you're here, looking at me like I were the only thing you ever loved in this world.  And I want her to show you how I am, because I'm looking at you the same way, and it's the loneliest thing in the world, because it's true, but it's so far away, and I'm getting older, and my face is showing maps in the corners of my eyes, and in my left eye, there are maps that lead you back to me."

"You should tell me that sometime," he says, "but I think I should go."

"You should," she says, "because my right eye has a map that leads me to where I can't see you any more, and all I have left is this skin, and the skin will eventually crack and turn to dust, and I don't know how the story ends."

They're both silent for a long time, and no one leaves and no one is staying.  She is stuck in this feeling that if the moon were just a little brighter, he might see everything in her, and move back and forth in time, a hundred shapes for a hundred seasons, a hundred misunderstood loves, a hundred lost wars, and he might see that the way she cried at her birth, and the shivers that ran through her body when she was old and dying, all of these were windows to the diamond in her heart, the one that reflected him, because it was put there so he would recognize her, and while the waters of the moon are rising up again, she sees something in him that shows her the exact same thing.  


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