Thursday, January 11, 2018

Some of Loki's True Lies

"Having trouble falling asleep?" asked Loki.
He dislikes this depiction. He says its creepy and not true.

I was lying in bed and tossing about. I was worried about something and I could not figure out what it was. "Yes," I sighed.

"You just need distracted. Tell you what," he said. "I'll tell you a story. You like that."

I smiled. "Yeah, I do."

Loki sat on the edge of the bed. He paused for a moment and gave a light chuckle. "Have I ever told you about the first time I ate mushrooms?"

"No, you haven't."

"It's rather short but really funny," started Loki. "I was in a tiny settlement, a holdfast really. Nothing big and definitely not something you would call a town, especially by today's standards. It was high summer, on one of the warmest days a few weeks after some unusual rain in that area. There was a waxing moon and the stars were beginning to peak through the twilight sky. The people I was with were passing around a bowl of mushrooms."

"Mushrooms?" I whisper. "That is not what I would consider party food."

Loki chuckled. "They weren't snacks, Jessica. Now, be quiet and let me tell you."

I settled back down and he began again. "Each person took a few mushrooms, chewed them up, and washed them down with some mead. So, I copied and then I asked them what they were. I was young and naïve. It was after this I learned to ask first, and imbibe after. The men around the circle laughed at me. One of them said, I was about to find out. He wasn't lying.

A few minutes later, I felt sick. Wow, did I want to vomit. But when that passed, I became very calm. Colors encircled me. The stars began to dance. It was amazing. I got thirsty so I swigged a bit more of mead, while the show went on. This is when I also learned that drinking and mushrooms isn't a good idea.

Through the trippy swim of colors and the warping of time, I remember suddenly being approached by Gilamesh and Enkidu. I don't remember how they got there, or why. I only remember the moment seeing them and recognizing who they were. Both of them gestured at me to follow. So, I got up and followed them. I remember entering the darkness of the forest and then nothing else.

In the morning when I woke up, I was wet, somewhere near what is modern day Oslo, with cactus needles stuck in my ass!"

"Cactus needles? Cactus don't grow that far north," I said confused.

"That's why it's funny, Jess," said Loki.

I thought a minute and smiled. "You're lying. That didn't happen." I giggled.

"Well, you'll never know if I was or wasn't. So, what does it matter?" He gave me that sly, fox smile. The kind of grin that perks up his ears and makes him look completely mad; like the Cheshire Cat if he were a fox. It was a look that only Loki could accomplish. Kwaku-Anasi would be proud to weave it above my bedroom door.

"Only you, Loki," I whispered.

"Only me what?"

"Only you can be as honest and blunt as a spoon and, yet, remain as cryptic as a Sphinx," I snickered.

"A tarnished spoon," he chuckled.

"Indeed," I said.

"Well, how about another true lie?" he asked. I nodded and he began. "You'll have to close your eyes and relax. Picture it in your mind."

I closed my eyes as he began to speak. "You might be unaware that I have seen the Indus Valley. Not the one that exists today, but the one that came before the great change. It starts with a river. A river that is  now gone, its bed swallowed by earth. The river once rivaled, what you call the Volga River now. It was that river in which early civilization was cradled.

It was early morning, before the rise of the sun. I stood on the south bank looking towards the north bank. Beyond that, on the horizon, I could see huge mountains. I remember that most of all because it marked the time of year. You see, the tops were mostly brown. They were also covered in a haze of clouds that matched the hovering fog along the shores of the river. There was a soft, cool breeze from the water. But it did nothing to push away the cloudy ground cover.

In the river, there were men fishing, drawing in nets. Each man had a tiny boat, woven from reeds and bottoms covered in pitch. Each boat and each man worked together, trolling and reeling the net between them across the width of the water.

Beyond that, below the palms, further up the north bank and below the horizon of mountains, sat a little settlement of farms. The woven houses stood on stilts, above the water line during the rain season. The rain season was way off, so for now the houses, the people, and the land were dry enough to move about on land covered in wheat and barley. I could hardly see the tips of crops through the fog. It made it look like the mist had a slight golden glow.

The river birds were twittering along the shores. Goats were bleating in the settlement. Crickets were still chirping their night song in the underbrush. Frogs and toads called to each other from the reed beds that grew there. And occasionally, you could hear the splash of a jumping fish. Dragonflies and Water Striders flitted in and out of the reeds along the surface of the water. The river gently slapped the sand along the shoreline, leaving behind polished stones and mussel shells."

I yawned. "Sounds wonderful."

"It is a memory of peace, calm, and beauty. I remember it well. It was in that moment that I found a profound sense of ease. I lived in that moment," said Loki.

"What else?" I asked.


"Tell me more. What else happened?"

"Oh, I don't know," Loki shrugged. "I lived the moment for a moment. Then I was bored and made off to go find trouble," he smiled.

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