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03/01 Direct Link
The blinded man helped Orpheus find his feet, and said, “I answer both in order of relevancy to this moment.” Orpheus steadied himself on the edge of a dumpster as the blinded man continued. “I walk this earth burdened, blind, alone, and with nothing of value to anyone. That is until now. I have knowledge of great use to you. Before it is rendered, I make a simple request.” “What do you want?” asked Orpheus. “I am in need of the greatest poet the world has ever known,” said the blinded man. “Do you know where he might be found?”
03/02 Direct Link
“Do you intend to go on with your churlish abuses, or did we not reach an accord?” shouted Orpheus. “What is it you seek, a poet or a puppet, a caroler or carrion? I will not be your sport! I can tell you that much. 'capon-,' indeed,” he sneered. “What can be '-rendered' may also be extracted at twice the haste, little man.” The blinded man raised his palms in surrender and drew back a step. “I chastise no longer,and we needn't seal our bargain with blood. However, Orpheus, you do see some merit in what I've said. Yes?”
03/03 Direct Link
“I don't know what you're talking about,” said Orpheus, “I am the greatest poet the world has ever known.” “With all due respect, sir,” explained the blinded man, “your legendary talent has gone not to seed but to grain. For over two-thousand years the libations have poured through thy vessel like rain down a storm gutter. Has it dulled the pain? Has it dulled the memories? It's certainly dulled that famous tongue, dulled it to a witless foot, it has.” “Well, what then do you suggest?” asked Orpheus. “Coffee,” said the blinded man, “ tarry-black and plenty of it.”
03/04 Direct Link
Orpheus descended the disabled patrons' ramp outside 'Maxine's Famous Coffees and Pastries' with a veritable paint bucket of coffee in each hand. The blinded man followed close behind with a far more modest cup containing a biscuit-colored syrup of mostly sugar and cream. At the end of the ramp Orpheus set one enormous cup at his feet, and emptied the steaming contents of the other down his throat in a single controlled pour. “Balls of death!” cried the blinded man. Orpheus belched a cloud of hot steam through his mouth and nose, then stooped for the second huge cup.
03/05 Direct Link
With the second cup down, Orpheus clutched at his chest with a fist and bore his way through a suppressed scream. “Great bleeding balls of death, man!” exclaimed the blinded man. Orpheus belched out another billowing cloud of steam, and managed, “You,..wanted,... poetry. That comes,... from fire.” “I would have guessed as much, but in the metaphorical sense, really,” said the blinded man, ”but what about the voice? I have need of the words, and the sweet voice that carries them. Our bargain wasn't for winged prose belched from a blistered frog.” “You will have your song,” said Orpheus.
03/06 Direct Link
Orpheus shook running tears form his eyes with violence, cleared from his scalded throat a prodigious gab of serous sanguine rage, and spat it into the street. He drew in a massive breath, and accomplished the air with an unnatural roar that shook every pane of glass within several blocks. Pedestrians cringed and cowered with the instinctual fear of primal Man. The thunder keened to a razor's edge, and brought down a rain of shattered glass. Orpheus, arms out-stretched, basked in the terrible showering chaos. Panic citizens ran from what they feared could only be the trumpeteer of Revelations.
03/07 Direct Link
As the last tinkling shards of glass splashed at his feet, Orpheus lifted his voice to the same shimmering dulcet tone that drew tears of iron from Great Pluto centuries ago in Tartarus. Sirens wailed off in the distance. The blinded man snatched hold of Orpheus with both hands and pleaded, “We must flee!” Orpheus, sublime with vindication, smiled and said, “Scales, my friends, just scales.” The Blinded man shoved at Orpheus. “Forgive my doubts and petty insults! Now please, we must go!” They ran from the scene, ashen faces and a few minor cut and scrapes in their wake.
03/08 Direct Link
Clear of the scene, they paused for breath beneath the low gunite sky of a parking ramp. Orpheus coughed and giggled, his hands to his knees. The blinded man clutched at a huge column and gasped for air. Finally he spoke, “What is wrong with you?!” Orpheus laughed and spouted, “Oh come now, just how many leaves have you taken where angry chase was not made?” “Granted, only a stealthy few, but that isn't my point. In all the centuries I've walked the earth I've never met such a man, so loathsome bent on self destruction. For why? For what?”
03/09 Direct Link
Orpheus grew stone-faced as his laughter faded away to a wet rattle at the back of his throat. “I do nothing the loathsome gods haven't already seen fit to do hundred-fold over,” said Orpheus. “I mock their merciful allowances of this ceaseless and macerating vessel.” “Whoever said they cared?” asked the blinded man. "You suffer your self abuses alone, sir. No humphing deity crosses arms and pouts at your outrages. I can assure you that.” “And so,” said Orpheus. “And so?” said the blinded man. 'Wrath has no furnace without a face on which to smite it with.”
03/10 Direct Link
“Enough!” demanded Orpheus, “I followed and drank your bitter bean wash. Now make known your task, or be gone, and leave me be!” The blinded man shrugged, and slapped the concrete dust form his hands. “Very well,” he said, “but we might return to this in time. For now, I require your kind assistance in conveying us to the street address you'll find printed on this slip of paper.” Orpheus took a greasy scrap of brown paper bag form his out-stretched hand, and read it. A moment later he glowered at the blinded man with contempt and utter disgust.
03/11 Direct Link
Orpheus and the blinded man stood side by side before a faux-brick storefront shoehorned between a payday lender and a bodega advertising loose cigarettes, “Cheap.” Moreover the establishment was within spitting distance of a Greyhound terminal, two liquor stores, and another payday lender. “Are we there?” said the blinded man. “Yes,” said Orpheus, “we're there.” The blinded man grinned, slapped his hands together, and rubbed them back and forth. Over head hung a bright painted sign that spanned the width of the storefront. It Read, “Frankie's Adult Entertainment,” “World's Widest and Wildest Selections,” “Private Booths,” and “Open 24 hours.”
03/12 Direct Link
WOW! It's nearly midnight already? If you've been reading this little thing, I think of as "Down and Out with Orpheus and Oedipus," you might be wondering, just what vile thing does the blinded man have in store for poor, bedraggled, and over-caffeinated Orpheus. Well, to be honest, I am asking myself the same question. Unfortunately circumstances way out of my control have devoured the meaty bits of this entire day, leaving only bones and chewy gristle, the gods' portion if you will, thanks to your pal and mine, Prometheus, but the boys will be back tomorrow, I promise.
03/13 Direct Link
Frankie's Adult Entertainment smelled stale of cigarettes, mildewed carpet, and faint bubblegum perfume. Six or seven willfully anonymous patrons were scattered amongst the shelves and displays. A bald tattooed young man dozed at the register, and a faltering florescent tube buzzed overhead. Orpheus stood outside a booth with a pornographic magazine in his hands. The blinded man sequestered himself inside the blackened plywood stall behind him. In a dry and vitriolic voice, that did noting to hide his disdain and repulsion, Orpheus said, “You want me to what?” “Sing," said the blinded man, tell me the story in the magazine.”
03/14 Direct Link
Orpheus pinched his eye between thumb and forefinger hard until the illusion of lights danced in his vision. His neck burned with the humiliation he felt was surly the principle of the blinded man's designs. In an guttural growl he cursed his companion to a thousand plagues, pestilence, and other colorful morbidities. In the end he gave a great sigh, and resigned himself to play the blinded man's fool for a short time. His beloved Eurydice was worth far worse torments. “If he but bend our pact,” grumbled Orpheus, “I shall wade through blinded fool's gore like a salted mire.”
03/15 Direct Link
“What?” said the blinded man, “Have you started?” “No!” shouted Orpheus, “not yet.” He scanned the magazine lay-out in his hands, pages and pages of naked cavorting flesh, the dejected eyes in halfhearted fictions of seduction, base sexual congress aping Eros' sublime agape. Orpheus cleared his throat, and read the title out loud. The coppery taste of bile and bitter coffee crept up the back of his tongue. Again the blinded man's voice came muffled from within the booth. “Can't hear you, please sing louder, from the diaphragm, my dear friend, the diaphragm.” Orpheus could take no more insult.
03/16 Direct Link
Orpheus spun on his heels and threw open the booth door. “Was it I who cast your die?!” he demanded. “Was it I who stole your eyes?!” The blinded man retreated as far back as the tiny space would allow. “No,” he answered. “Well then,” said Orpheus, “What injury have these hands left upon you that your greatest will is to debase me so in a place such as this? I have been this miserable inebriate before you for countless generations, with a purposefully blighted memory. I recall no such insult worthy of your revenge, sir, so please, enlighten me!”
03/17 Direct Link
The blinded man shrank to the filthy floor of the booth, and shielded himself from whatever ruthess beating he expected was about to befall him at the the hands of the great hero and Argonaut. “Orpheus, please,” he cried, “You have me wrong! I have no desire to do you dishonor, nor harm you in any way. And you are correct, sir, you have never given me any cause to do so. I am the architect of my own misery, just as all men. Please have mercy!” Orpheus loomed over the blinded man who cowered shivering in his hulking shadow.
03/18 Direct Link
The sight of the poor blinded fool crumpled, all thin limbs and enormous rubber boots, was certainly a pitiable one. Orpheus glanced around the shop at curious eyes that quickly buried themselves in whatever materials they had on hand. A brand new shame flushed over him as the image of himself menacing a wizened and whimpering wretch in some prurient cesspool poured over his mind. “Good gods, man," said Orpheus, "Get up." He took the blinded man by the wrist and helped him to his feet. The blinded man ventured a cautious smile and thanked him for his careful kindness.
03/19 Direct Link
The blinded man straightened his ragged clothing and said, “I blame no one but me for my condition, nor for any circumstances under which I made it so. I am the captain of my pain, and the very same captain marooned me here, on this desolate island of black sand, stone, and sky."
Orpheus differed, "people spit on you. I've seen them."
"Whether shunned or reviled by my fellow beings, overt or obscure, I hold only myself accountable.” “But what of the gods?” said Orpheus. “They bare a clear hand in our fortunes, and most assuredly our misfortunes, yes?”
03/20 Direct Link
“Fortunes? Misfortunes?” said the blinded man, “They are one in the same, and equally meaningless.” Orpheus grimaced and grumbled something about navel gazing, and a fat little man in a dirty yellow robe. The blinded man simply smiled and said, “Tell me something, Orpheus. Do you control the rain that falls on your head?” He didn't answer, so the blinded man continued, “Do you control the gods, the universe, what is beyond, anything?” “No,” snapped Orpheus, exasperated with this and all philosophical discussions to take place between two men in a masturbating booth. "What about perception?" said the blinded man.
03/21 Direct Link
“Enough!” commanded Orpheus. “There is little I desire less than singing to you while you abuse yourself in a broom closet, but engaging in discourse such as this, here, with you, now, meets that depth of enmity. So if you still expect me to perform, slink back into your hovel, and keep your tongue still and dumb. Do you understand?” The blinded man gave an enthusiastic nod, and groped for the booth door. Before closing it, however, he made a patting gesture at his abdomen and said, “Orpheus, from here though, alright?” “Back!” barked Orpheus slamming the flimsy door shut.
03/22 Direct Link
Orpheus glared down at the magazine given him for supposed inspiration, and flung it to the rack from which it came. He closed his eyes and mind to his immediate surroundings, and began to fill it with naked human forms, men and women, until nothing else occupied his thoughts. The forms saturated with color, movement, and finally with lives of their own, lives lived only for lust and pleasure, giving and receiving, commanding and surrendering. An operatic cacophony of the truest and most primal human voices resonated in his mind, “ahhs”, whimpers, and groans of complete abandon and animal bliss.
03/23 Direct Link
The boundless theater of carnal delights in Orpheus's imagination writhed on, and expanded outward in concentric spheres. Deep in his darkened and brined heart an ember began to glow. He hesitated for only a moment, as it burned with fearful shuddering pain, before unlocking it, the sacred keep where all memories of his long-lost bride, his beloved Eurydice, were kept. There she was, the smell of her hair, and the nape of her neck, the sound of her voice, and her breath as she slept. He could see her eyes, her lips, and felt himself sway in their presence.
03/24 Direct Link
Orpheus recalled how she could obliterate his every thought with a single look, and husband all his will and attentions on her whim. It all came rushing back to him, every elegant and generous curve of her body, the taste of her sweat on his lips, the soft brush of hair over her pubis, and the graceful arch of each pelvic crest that framed it. He could almost feel the warm and supple heft of her breast in his palm, as its turgid nipple swelled and rose in sensorial agonies. She too expanded in concentric spheres outward from his heart.
03/25 Direct Link
The outer membrane of each sphere conjoined at the base of his vocal chords. Rings within rippling rings propagated like peddles tossed showering into a still pond. Orpheus drew a great breath, and intoned a delicate verse as bright as the sun, and as clear as its endowment reflected upon limpid pools. The scattered patrons startled as though awakened from a life-long trance of mundane toil and trials. They surrendered their pornographic materials to gravity's pull and the mildewed carpet floor. Uplifted they followed his voice to gather at the master's feet like small children enraptured by story time.
03/26 Direct Link
Orpheus's song was sweeter and more accomplished with divine arousal than that of the sirens of Sirenum rock. It promised burdens relieved, and desires fulfilled. He sang of lovers intertwined, wholly present, and the fluid dynamism with which they alternated between dominant aggressor and surrendered submissive. The tattooed youth at the register stirred, and left his post to join the gathering audience, their wonder, and their joy. The sound grew to reach the ears of passers-by, and those of the proprietor from within his private office in the back. The office door swung wide open, and in he came.
03/27 Direct Link
The shop owner stooped to clear the jam of his office door. His yellow skin was stretched taught over his heavily muscled and monstrous frame. Long lustrous black hair hung down over his shriveled complexion, watery dun-white eyes, and straight black lips. A cloud of bubblegum sent poured into the room, and something else hidden beneath it, something dead, long dead. Orpheus sang on undaunted by his hulking presence as the creature lumbered in, and took his place, seated haunches to heels, among the burgeoning crowd. More people from the street outside were lured in until the shop filled.
03/28 Direct Link
All within range of his ambrosial voice were draw and transported by Orpheus's impromptu haunting brilliance. He held dominion over their attention, and enchanted them like a string of paper dolls stretched between his fingers. This made the song's sudden cessation, as the blinded man flung the booth door open and into Orpheus, all the more jarring. A stunned silence fell over the packed store, and lay thick in the absent air. The owner of Frankie's broke the numbed still with a thunderous clapping of his huge hands. Within a few beats the rest joined in with cheers of adoration.
03/29 Direct Link
The blinded man emerged from behind Orpheus, wadding up a tissue, and tossing it back into the dark recess of the booth. The clamor and applause went on, and he gave a sheepish and confused bow. When the din tapered off, the booming voice of the shop owner poured out praise and appreciation like the sudden breach of a great cofferdam. He exclaimed, “Oh, sir! Delight! Delight! Wonderful!” as single tear rolled down his hollowed cheek. “From the rankest and most desperate of substrates, you, sir, have made the truly sublime.” Orpheus gave a humble nod of acknowledgment and thanks.
03/30 Direct Link
“That was absolutely wonderful!” came a brittle voice from the throng. An old woman, well into her 80s, smiled and panted up at Orpheus. Her aluminum walker creaked beneath her.
“More!” cried the tattooed youth. Others quickly followed suit until their cheers and pleas became an amalgam of hope and demand. Orpheus raised a hand for peace. “I'm afraid that's all,” he consoled.
“What?"cried the old woman ratting her walker.”No, there has to be more!” An unsettling murmur developed. Orpheus began to scan the room for a feasible exit. The front door seemed as good as miles away.
03/31 Direct Link

“How does the song finish?” pressed the old woman.

“It finishes with him.” said Orpheus jerking a thumb toward his companion.

“And I finished five minutes ago, “said the blinded man, “Maybe when I was a younger man I could-”

“No!” she cried, “give us more!” A growing rumble agreed.

Orpheus took hold of the blinded man and drew him near. “Stay close,” he whispered though his teeth, “things are deteriorating.”

“There's a lot of them, yes?” asked the blinded man.

“Yes.”

“Between us and the door?”

“Oh,” said Orpheus, “all of them.”

“Balls of death," said the blinded man.