the lost man chronicles
the daily chronicle
June 1, 2004
I sent everything back to her—
the silver bracelet with dangling trinkets of miniature swine; the collections of butterflies we had collected over that idyllic year of bright days pranced about in elysian fields; the journal of her ventures as a precocious enchantress; the stacks of scrolled epic verse, stories of mercurial Gods and the prosaic visions of a reclusive destiny together; the polished stones to serve as reminders of “our home” to be; the little clay figure she made of me, witchcraft to wile the dream that I might become the earthbound prince who breaks the tethers of complacency and joins her at Ǽean; the gold cup etched with a fret of clovers, and once overflowing with glistening honey wine; the tomes of letters we were inclined to write while I was away at sea—all these beautiful and intimately meaningful things, along with the grandiose hopes and dreams and sleepless nights of interminable pining—I packed up in a swath of indifference and returned to her.
Albeit, long ago I had realized there would never be another Circe, and even though in the midst of euphoria I had made my vows to return to her, I am now enlightened to fact that she is not a willing partner in this mortal fantasy. And, even if, once she had extolled a semblance of promise and instilled a glimmer of hope in me, I’ve awakened to my bitter reality and now know I can no longer wait.
And so I put every sign and symbol and sigh that ever escaped from me into one large wooden crate, sealing it with a fate I had not foreseen, and a closed-eyed kiss of profound pathos.
Then I asked that messenger to take it away. And as I made my half-turn, I breathed deeply, and alas, opened my eyes upon a new direction, orienting all my affection away from what could have been, a future that once seemed so certain, if not predestined.
Alas, I’ve learned Aphrodite can be quite fickle sometimes.
Perhaps, it was all just a sublime illusion anyway, a mythical dream, just as returning to Penelope will undeniably be a harsh reality—one which I will fold back into over time, and therein appreciate the cruel trial that has become my journey, the grueling irony that at least here, back in Ithaca, I am certain of being king.
For there, with Circe, there was no chance of being supreme, because clearly, we sovereigned as equals.
Yes, finally I had met my match. Which may be why this farewell has become such a theatrical folly for me. And which is why I accept that I am but a feeble pawn for Gods, playing my part in this unforgiving game of love and humanity.
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