Throw a barley cake to the three headed hound of Hades or pull the weeds in my garden?
Saturday morning choices.
Most Saturdays offer a mixture of tantalising desire peppered with ritual obligation. I enjoy bargaining. All self righteous that I agreed with myself about mowing the lawn before resuming the position. The pondering position. Thinking about the nature of desire.
Sometimes I will fend off the Mysteries until after lunch. All acquainted with civility and hanging out the washing. Speaking nicely to the nudist neighbour and refraining from growling at his three midget wookie dogs. Who throw proclamations at me in churlish, yipping metaphors as they pooh on my flowering plants. And then strut off, regal and autocratic in a shaggy, smelly way. The failed kings of azalea and geranium.
Before the sun hits its apex, I can be more or less counted on to answer a knock at the door, wearing my polite neutrality. If you call by, I may even offer you a cup of tea and ask you how you are. Enquiring after your health, your family, your weekly tabloid. Depending on how near it is to my curfew, I may throw caution to the wind and peel away a layer of my own self discipline and ask if joy has found you, and what, if anything, did you dream of last night?
On occasion, stirred by the cries of famine from my family, I will expose myself to the fluorescent lighting in its zenith at the local supermarket. Furtively wiggling through the produce, balancing my body weight in bananas and weet–bix. I refuse to get a trolley. That would indicate a commitment I don’t feel. Or want. And then it’s only the guardians of the gate I need to navigate. Asking me how my day is, and if I want to participate in an online survey. I try to avoid eye contact. I sense the portal closing. As much as I feel their weariness, from their sensible shoes up, I feel mine more.
My pomegranates are ripening. Until today I hadn’t noticed that while I was edging my way around Cerberus, my garden came alive. While I nibbled on my seeds of regret, whole seasons passed me by. The winter of sleep, and the spring of revival, came and went, unheeded and untended. Today I look. Weighing possibilities. Stay in the light? Brutal as she can be in exposing my hairline cracks. Or retreat into the darkness, bribing the furies and ferrymen as I go.
Drawn to desire, I strike another bargain. The pomegranates will ripen without me.