Monday, October 25, 2010

The Snakeheaded Lady

It has been noted in the history books that Medusa held the face of horror. She was the queen bee of Poseidon’s sea who turned sharks into sea blankets, anchored down with stone tails. It was really a fashionable hobby. Medusa would stare her snakey eyes into the blue dark deep until it met the gaze of the other, and her golden locks would stare a thousand hissing stares that would be reflected in the Great Whites eyes. It’s body would rivit back and forth, withagainst the current until it’s top fin just cracked. It’s gills breathed in and just when it’s lungs had reached capacity and the blood veins were popping out over the edges, a trace of pinkish sandstone cut up the side of the gills. It crackled and spread out like fingers until it buried into the gills and the shark never had the tick-tock second of a watch to exhale. The sandstone sea creature froze, suspended in womb, until its nose dipped downward and it slipped quietly away until it hit the earth with a thud. Oceanic paperweights littered the seafloor when Medusa played.

But Medusa hasn’t been around lately. Apparently she took off in the late 1980’s after a disheveled love affair with a French artiste that didn’t fair well. The French, while usually remarkably satisfactory lovers, held out on this particular artist. She was bowlegged, not enough to notice, but enough to make her walk with a slight limp. When she turned 18, l’artiste francais ont achete’ de nouvelles chaussures. This particular pair of shoes, however, was not so much a pair as it was an unlikely matrimony, as the left one was slightly raised in the heel, adding one inch that knocked the artist’s bowlegs right back into order. It would be presumptuous to blame the shoes for Medusa and her limber lover’s failed affections, but someone has to take the credit. I’ll just do it. I don’t care what you all think of me. I’ll blame the shoes.

Shoes? You are the reason the Frenchwoman and Medusa are not together. You altered her beautiful bowlegs and turned her into a statue. That is why Medusa left her. It wasn’t because she took long showers or ate alfalfa. It was only the shoes.

You see, Medusa didn’t need a statue. She had an ocean full of them, in the shark variety. Her foyer was wrought with stony Greek men and Chinese sheep made of granite. The Chinese sheep were the result of an accident in the late 6th century, but you won’t find that in the history books. That part of Medusa’s story was called hysterical by the Roman Catholic Church, and unfit for education. Unfortunately, it also told the secret to Pandora’s box, which the same Church sent the Knight’s Templar to find in the 1095 century. They couldn’t find it and started three crusades instead. It was more economically beneficial during the time, what with the famine. (What famine? Oh, I don’t know. I just know there were famines back then. It was either that or the Myxamotosis outbreak. What’s that? There’s no time to explain. We have the Song Dynasty to attend to. I promise, I’ll get back to it in about three paragraphs time.)

Just to pull a thread of irony a bit further, Shen Kuo, the polymath Chinese scientist of the Song Dynasty died that very same year. He had been the only one that had witnessed Medusa and the sheep on that fateful day in Shetzuan. But he’d been hiding behind a bag or rice and hadn’t poked his head up in time to hear Medusa say anything about Pandora’s box.

I don’t know who is responsible in this situation for losing the box. Shen Kuo or the history books and their papal editors.

But that is neither here nor there. Medusa was still gone. And the lack of sunken sharks was beginning to become a problem because, at the onstart of the 21st century, the world found themselves running critically low on coral.

Australia was holding on to hers for dear life. California’s were caput. If only Medusa would have checked her blinking light answering machine, she could have saved the world. Her cheveux d’horreur was our only savior. And she was vacationing in Sicily.

To be fair, Sicily was always hospitable to the snakeheaded lady. They even put her smack dab in the middle of their flag. All hail, Sicily.

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