4 final Orpheuses
- Orpheus, shambling & drunk on shadows, sees sunlight & emerges into what he thinks is the world; into what with a blinking look around he decides with only a shade of uncertainty is not merely widening in the passage itself, a kind of rough natural vestibule, but must surely count as the outside. He starts to turn & honestly he supposes it does occur to him before he’s completed the movement that he’s still roofed by stone, that the fresh air really starts about three metres on. & still fractions of a second before he’s caught Eurydice’s eye, still, he would have to admit, in time to stop & walk a few steps on, he decides two things at almost the same instant. The first is that This is ambiguous, not quite tunnel nor quite outside, & that’s not fair; the second, half-predicated on the first, nervously so, is Oh I’m sure it’ll be fine.
- Orpheus, at the last, is so afraid of the light that he needs the moral support of a smile to enter it, needs it more than he needs Eurydice back.
- Orpheus can’t remember the injunction. He tells himself he can’t, anyway. He tells himself he’s turning to ask Eurydice what it was he was or wasn’t supposed to do. It’s a complicated kind of cowardice with which he looks at her.
- Orpheus has never forgiven. Never. He plans all the long way up. He slows as he approaches the threshold, listening to her ghost feet. He stops. Still just in shadow. He hisses, spins around, stares in hate & triumph at Eurydice’s shocked & receding face.