Ten Years Ago At This Hour

DRUMMOND AND APHRODITE
The male lead in the Dolly stories is a man named Mitchell Drummond. He starts out as a variety of spy in the employ of Hephaestus, the Greek God of Fire and Industry. Events and his own nature and loyalties lead him to a relationship with Dolly–he becomes her significant other.Hephaestus’s wife is, of course, Aphrodite–the Greek Goddess of Love, patroness of sailors, etc., etc., and so-forth.

In this fragment, which I cannot see ever using in an actual story, Drummond and Nana ‘Dite bat around ideas of Creation.

“It occurs to me that I have been acquainted with you and your kind for a quarter of a century. As my kind reckon life experience, that’s along time. But for yours, that’s one fourth of–how many centuries, Aphrodite?”

“You used to call me Nana.”

“That was when I was a child. I’ve grown up in the last little while. Losing the love of your life will do that to a guy. I used to think you would answer to the Aspect we humans projected on you, that you really were the goddess of love. But you’re not, are you? You only use that as cover for something else altogether. It’s convenient to you, but not necessary. So why did you do it?”

“Because we couldn’t and you could. Because we could see the future and it locked us in. The oracle was power. Belief in the oracle gave us power. The price we paid for the power was the loss of our freedom. We couldn’t vary one iota from the oracular vision or we’d lose the power, and none of us — none of us who have survived, at any rate — was willing to throw the power away. It was our life, our being, our reason for existence. It was to us what Dolly is to you. There are stories — stories you might have heard — of some among us who could put it down. Walk away from it. They are all remembered in our secret legends, but we are the ones who endured. We are still alive while those who walked away from the power are dust, dead and gone aeons ago. But life is too tricky, too indeterminate. Life likes to take the chance encounter, to choose on the roll of the dice. We can’t do that, so life — the creation of life — is forever beyond us. But the idea … the dream of creating new life … it drives us on. It is the one thing we have not been able to do. And we think to hoodwink Fate and steal the secret from you. From mortal beings. From beings who have free will.”

“And that’s it? You did all of this because you wanted to do something that everybody thinks you can do anyway? You turned the whole world upside-down, arranged the affairs of humanity, the Trolls, all of Faerie, so you could — maybe — create life?”

“Don’t you? Isn’t that what all the songs say, ‘Love makes the world go ‘round.’? You don’t suppose the songwriters actually mean love, do you? No. Of course not. They mean sex. They mean life. They mean the rage that life has for itself. Sex is just DNA’s way of making more DNA. You and your kind turn the world upside down to — maybe — create life.”

“But don’t you get it? That’s the joke, and it’s on you. You can make life the same way we do. You do it all the time. Hell, you’re the result of sexual reproduction. Well, no, you’re not. You’re some kind of a mutation of a giant mollusk. But a lot of the gods are children of elder gods. And you have children. It can be done.”

“Oh, yes. We can reproduce, just as you do. But where’s the accomplishment in that? Our desire — our need — is to create from nothing a wholly original being.”

“But … what makes you think it can be done?”

“The fact that we can think of it. Dream of it. That makes us certain it can be done. That and the fact that it has been done. Else where did we come from?”

“So there has to be an uncaused prime cause somewhere, is that it?”

“How can you look at the stars and say that they just happened?”

“How can you be so certain they didn’t? Sounds to me like a failure of vision.”

“What caused the big bang?”

“Heat, pressure, a kid from another universe striking sparks with a cap pistol. Who the hell knows? How can anybody know?”

:: Mark Alger 8:41 PM

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