Orpheus and Eurydice

Odilon Redon, Orpheus, circa 1903-1910

FROM ‘MARA, MARIETTA’
Part Nine Chapter 14

̶ Are you afraid to look back, Sprague? Do you think you’re going to lose your Eurydice like Orpheus did?

There’s a steely edge to the blue of her eyes, echoed by the blue of the jacket and pants she’s wearing. White T-shirt and tennis shoes: Cool.

̶ To tell the truth, I’ve never understood that mysterious moment when Orpheus looks back. All that effort to reach Eurydice in the Underworld, and then—just before reaching the light—he looks back and loses her. I confess, I just don’t get it.

̶ It’s about faith, Simona says.
̶ Faith?
̶ Yeah. Rumour has it that love can’t survive without it.

The scalloped hem of her voile skirt falls to just above her knees: I won’t fall that far. She continues:

̶ He didn’t have the faith to believe she’d still be there. He didn’t love her enough.

She loves me, she loves me not: White daisies pattern the navy skirt, white as the white of her sweater. Riva comes in:

̶ Then again, it could be the opposite. Maybe he loved her too much. Maybe it was excess of love that made him look back.

Beneath her plush burgundy blazer, the black of her silk-chiffon top is transparent. As transparent as she is?

̶ Either way, she continues, we all know what happened to him!
̶ Remind me, I say. I’ve forgotten.

I like her red lips and long hair. I like the light in her eyes.

̶ A lost soul, Sprague. That’s what he became. Ended up getting ripped apart by the Maenads.
̶ Who were jealous of his love, Héloïse specifies.
̶ Legend has it only his head survived, Nicole adds. Fell into a river, drifted down to the sea.

Gustave Moreau, Young Thracian Woman Carrying the Head of Orpheus,
circa 1875