Mother what would you have done? You know this world. You understand these humans. What mortal insight could you have given me had you survived the game with Hera? Dionysus stared out the bar window and watched as people scurried past. An empty wine bottle beside him, the god’s trembling lip served as a reminder of his human frailty. He smoothed back his long, stringy mane and tried to shut out the throbbing in his temples. Mother, were you here now I could find hope in this existence. I fear your humanity was lost to me when the Other stitched me to his thigh. What am I to do? I sit terrified. I cannot. I cannot. Beautiful Semele were you here I would persist.
The god cradles his head in his hands and glances around the bar as patrons chatter blissfully unaware of the god that sits just feet away. He had always loved uninhibited behavior in the humans. His Bacchanal in the groves had once been a visceral pleasure. Not even Apollo could claim to the groves as he could. They had been his. Each woody laurel a part of himself. Oh how he missed the raving ones. He missed smelling their heat and loins as they covered their bodies in fawn. Their madness brought on by dance. The howls and screams echoing off mountain peaks. Frenzied were his nurses. Willing to tear asunder King or peasant who dared ban the rites of their holy Bacchus.
And now to be forgotten. Now to bear witness to a humanity that witnessed their precious pantheons fall from Olympus. A humanity that sits on bar stools contemptuously throwing back the gifts that were once sacred. Dionysus averts his eyes. No longer able to make contact with the oblivion that surrounds him. He raps at the bar and clears his throat. “May I have another?” The bartender ambles over grinning. A cigarette hanging loosely from his mouth. “Feeling wild tonight are we?” Dionysus glances up forcing a crooked smile. “Not exactly.” The bartender takes a long drag from this cigarette and eyes him for a second. “Listen, I’ve got a damn fine scotch here that’ll fix you right up. On the house.”
As he places a shot glass in front of Dionysus, light spills into the bar and a loud crash is accompanied by broken beer glasses. A round shaggy man with a long beard plows into the bar riding a donkey. As people sit slack jawed, the beast makes its way to the bar and the old man gruffly scoots off. For a moment, all of time stands still as everybody focuses their attention on the newcomer. Dionysus smiles broadly. “Silenus?!” The old man squares his shoulders and gives the god a stern, paternal scowl. “Do you have any idea how its been trying to track you down?” Dionysus raises an eyebrow. “Well I haven’t exactly been hiding.” Silenus scoffs. ‘You little pissant, I…” Just then the bartender softly clears his throat. “Um...do you mind parking...your ass...outside?” Silenus turns around slowly. “Excuse me?” The bartender now looking squeamish blurts out, “That’s not what I meant. I mean the animal at the bar….eating the pretzels.” Silenus and Dionysus both turn simultaneously to the donkey who happily has a mouthful. “Be thankful he hasn’t decided to water the houseplants.” Silenus replies and grabs him by the collar. Turning to Dionysus, “Come on, we need to have a word.”