So I promised myself I’d just relax…and I did…but then the little voice in my head wouldn’t let me rest until I did a little writing work (damn you voice!). So I just did a little, so that I may sleep. And, in the course of working the fiction of my thesis, discovered the “real” reason Poe chose a Raven over a Parrot (originally, he was going to write “The Raven” with a parrot repeating “nevermore”).
And then, looking at the things I have written, and some of the things I have planned to write, I realize that my epic is made up, in many parts, of all sorts of little “how this came to be” myths that would give Aesop a boner.
Off the top of my head, I know we’ll learn:
-Why roses have thorns.
-Why crow cries always sound angry.
-What happened to the black bird that Noah first released (he released a black bird before he released a white one).
-Why carrion animals have to wait until someone is dead to eat them.
-Why a crow is black (and we’ll hear a lot of false versions on the way).
-How Jesus learned to walk on water.
-Who put the idea of eating an enemies eyes, into the heads of the Aztecs.
-Who put Prometheus up to taking the blame for the theft of fire (and the real thief).
-What happened on the 8th day of creation.
-Why Poe chose a raven.
And listing all these fine little mysteries makes the little voice in my head happier. So I think I can finally get to sleep. But why not share one more Aesop fable…here is the story of what compels me to get out of my bed, at five in the morning, and write…
WHY JOSH CAN’T SLEEP
There once was a little boy named Joshua.
But you can call him Josh.
Little Josh slept in the tremulous warmth of a waterbed –
slosh, slosh, slosh.
But waterbeds have no under-bed,
no frightful space beneath.
And this caused a stir amongst the monsters,
supposed to dwell underneath.
Each one of us has our monsters.
They are assigned to us at birth.
Little contracts from goblin kings,
signed by your parents,
and your parents will never tell,
bound by secrecy and goblin legalese.
And so the chimerical beasts crouched by Josh’s bed –
not under the bed –
there was no under-bed –
and they howled and squinted their chthonic eyes,
flapped necrotic wings, gnashed fanged maws,
and stuck out rubbery tongues
(and then their tongues squinted and gnashed their very own, smaller sets of eyes and teeth and tinnier tongues…).
The destitute demons cried, “What are we to do?”
“There is no under-bed!”
“No Plutonian space beneath!”
“Where shall we haunt and howl and sing and spit and shit?”
“The ancient law, the arcane clause says…
If we can’t dwell under-bed…
We must dwell somewhere that rhymes with bed…”
somewhere between seven and 1,001 demons
dived into Josh’s head.
Little Josh sat up with a gasp,
long before the call of the morning lark,
eyes opened wide and wide awake,
and no longer having any fear of the dark.
And so Josh threw out his nightlight.
Shadows offered comfort instead of fright.
But it’s awfully crowded in his head,
a Plutonian space crammed with monsters,
where they have haunted and howled and sang and spat and shat.
And it is with the greatest difficulty
that he can find a correctly-sized hat.
And he sleeps less and less during the night,
and more and more by day.
And these days,
to get any sleep,
Josh has to write and type,
just to quiet the demonoide din.
And the chimerical goblins are still there,
with teeth and eyes and wings and tongues.
And if you look Josh in the eye,
from just the right angle,
they just might wink at you.
And if you stare long into his ear,
they just might slap you.
But Josh eventually grew his hair long
and that hardly ever happens…