Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Zeus Ex Machina

Zeus Ex Machina
Peter W. Wilson

You know what it's like, right? You meet this girl, it's all peachy, life is good. And then you do something stupid and you lose her like that. No word of goodbye, no long speech, just an angry 'we're done' and that's that. She's out of your life and not coming back.

I did that. Once. I won't do it again.

It doesn't help that the period between meeting her and losing her was the better part of three millennia and that for much of that time I was head over heels in love, blind to all the selfish bitch's faults. Hey, if anyone was at fault for the occasional argument, it was me. And I just accepted that. I'll admit now that I left the dishes unwashed every now and then and when you come home from a long day at the office you'd appreciate not having all that further work to do. Especially when your other half has spent the day lounging round the flat in his underwear watching repeats of Only Fools and Horses.

But in the end she'd decided she'd had enough. And after telling you what I've just told you, who could blame her? Ignore the fact I'd actually taken her to the Fountain of Eternal Youth back when she was a lowly Athens maiden and that I'd been taking her on an annual basis ever since. I'd just given her the gift of immortality, in effect. I'd made sure she was never out of place in the world. I'd taken her on trips to stars and planets and all that usual lovey-dovey crap. When a man promises that he'll show you stars normally he means he's dynamite in the sack and doesn't mean it literally.

I'd given her kids too, of course. Two of them, both in the last century or so. Both mortal, unfortunately; Nikos died in a car crash in Minneapolis while Chara was recently diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia. But there's nothing I could have done to stop Nikos's passing - he was on the other side of the planet at the time, and even a god's powers only extend so far (his immediate vicinity, for example) - and I'm doing all I can for Chara. I'm taking her up to the Fountain this coming Thursday.

But no, forget all that and remember the dishes.

Also forget that I had infinite opportunity over the years to leave her for another woman. The Muses have done practically nothing since the fall of Athens, occasionally agreeing to appear in some graphic novel or other, but other than that they've been largely redundant. Calliope's been so bored that she's actually shacked up with some Norse god or other. It might be Thor. Or Odin. Anyway, my point is that there has been a supposedly better class of woman available to me, and yet I stayed with her and didn't once stray.

We'll also forget all that, and the time I forgave her for bringing that postman home.

You know what, life was far more fun when I could just say sod it and turn into a swan without having a ball and chain with a mouth on it around my neck all the time, nagging me to do those dishes.

- Zeus

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