By Alexia Tzortzis, TIWP Student
Zeus sits at a bar and orders a thousand drinks, smiling at girls who see him and think of the pepper spray tucked into their sleeves.
Hera waits at home, with the numbers of all the girls and their Facebook pages open. She wants to tell them to take her advice, that men will always lie. She wants to take her own advice. She knows she never will.
Apollo and Artemis travel the world, chasing the sun, chasing the moon, their arms wrapped around each other, though never in public. No, they look too similar for that now. This society has learned judgement and so they keep their caresses safe in the shadows.
Poseidon wanders the shore, picking up trash and putting it into bags. Tears mix with the salt of the sea. Nobody notices. A girl with serpent like hair trails after him, retribution in her eyes.
Athena paces college campuses, handing out pamphlets on architecture, scoffing at professors who are just going through the motions, holding signs and marching for what she believes in. She laughs wild. These children, these fearless children, are her people.
Demeter counts down the days until her daughter comes home, smiling at the children playing in the snow she gives them. She had a child like that once.
Persephone kisses her husband and grins when people tremble. She is vengeful and wears flowers in her hair. She will make damn sure that her name will never be forgotten.
Hades lies in bed, curled around his wife. He smiles, because people will always believe in death, and finally, finally, he has beaten his brothers at something.
Ares walks through the Middle East, picking his way through the ruins of an elementary school. He stopped understanding war a long time ago. This was not brave, this was not heroic, this was senseless.
Aphrodite narrows her eyes at the boys who yell obscene things from cars. She stopped romanticizing love a long time ago. She is gaunt and overworked, but sometimes she sees a young girl hand over her baby to a couple who had been trying for years, and she feels young again. Sometimes she stands in a room where soldiers hug and kiss their loved ones. Sometimes she sees Ares, and they smile at each other.
Hermes runs through New York, London, Tokyo. He is young in this time, his deft fingers slipping into the pockets of wealthy businessmen. He is laughing. He never stops laughing.
Dionysus mixes Zeus’s drinks. He watches his family grin and cry and get sick in the bathroom of the bar. He holds their hair back and hands them another drink before they even ask. He’s seen them drunk more often than sober, he watches them flicker out and fade.
The gods are dying. The gods are dead. The gods are us.