December 6, 2014 by scratchtype1
It’s murky here in Hades. The clouds are heavy, the road is gray and wet and when it’s winter here on the hills of the underworld, the feet may be cold some. For right now, I’m walking and not daring to look back. There is only forward here to the point on the steep hill before me where I’ll accelerate and sprint for 8 seconds or so.
In those 8 seconds, there is nothing but the frenzy of legs. Will the one behind me keep pace? I cannot know, I cannot look back. This lyre that I pluck is the slap of feet and thin rubber. This narrow road is the nearly blank score and I play a bleak and spare tune from it.
I soon turn round and walk back down the hill while the legs recover. But I haven’t looked back. It’s always forward, this relentless drive to remember yet forget, to pull along a memory and let it go too.
A few more times and the hill sprints are done. So onto the high point of Hades, a time to dance upon the apex before the run out. The dance is not classical, it involves 2 sets of skipping, a short burst of running where I try to kick myself in the ass and a short passage of 100 ups. Those done, now it’s time to leave Hades, run through its last tempestuous burst of cold heavy rain.
I don’t look back. There is a series of 20 second sprints and recovery jogs to do. 8 of them. In the middle of them while I jog on to the next, one of the steel gray chariots of Hades rumbles by. I listen to it carefully because I can’t look back and condemn Eurydice to this netherworld. I’m being good about that although in most every other way I’m a poor Orpheus. Were I to sing, the crows would laugh and while doing so, sound far more lovely than me.
The 20 second sprints are done. There is only easy-paced running left to do. My breathing is a tuneless whistle, soft and hushed. Does Eurydice still hear? If she can’t hear me, how can she follow? Down I go from the pinnacle of Hades. The rain is thick now, perhaps it is the music of the underworld and it also drowns out the spare breathy song of the easy run I do.
Finally, the exit from Hades by the black mailbox past the bridge and river. Unthinking I look back for Eurydice and she’s not there. Maybe she hadn’t followed or I lost her along the way. Or maybe when I looked back and broke my promise, she instantly obscured into the gray and rain and no one once outside of Hades can see inside it.