Odysseus, you used to be tall and thin and now you’re short and fat.
I’m not Odysseus.
And you were young and vibrant and now you’re old and haggard,
I’m not Odysseus.
And Odysseus, you even changed your name. *
Odysseus goes out for a cup of coffee and a few video games. He returns ten years later as Ulysses with wild yarns to tell. It’s not what it looks like, he tells Penelope. I can mansplaln everything. Fortunately, she has a loom with a view with yarns of her own to spin which she’s been unraveling to keep away prospects from E-Harmony. She had reason to presume he was a goner but he was just mostly dead, not altogether. Our hero doesn’t suffer fools gladly. They are all seen as arch rivals up with which he shall never put. Ulysses was, as Emily Wilson says, a complicated guy. I would call him duplicitous, pragmatic, resourceful, the very model of a modern man.
I suppose I’m less complicated. Modernity eludes me. It took me only two weeks to dodge the dragon wood carving at the Chinese Garden, fight off mountain lions rumored to be roaming around the garbage dump in the woods of Lincoln City. And then there was a black bear spotted last week snatching salmon as they rushed past in Schooner Creek.
I have returned unscarred and ten pounds heavier bursting with banquets. As far as I can recall I saw no cyclops except, perhaps, that home plate umpire in the World Series, But I digress.
I’m now preparing to be on my own. Demons come and go. This is the true odyssey we all must travel returning to where we started but not quite the same person.
Peggy’s ashes have become part of the soil where her favorite coral tree stands in its skeletal phase. I leave her renewal in the hands of Demeter. Soon red flowering cones will release her radiance.