O’ brave Patroclus, O’ inexorable Achilles, we remember ye!
It is night. There is said to be a liminal hour, a liminal space, in which nothing on Earth is entirely itself, or entirely another; This describes their immutable nature, as well as the place of their dwelling.
The coarse canvas of their tent staves off many terrors. Even the shade begs refuge. They welcome it to the calm, not with open arms, but closed—locked tightly in embrace. Warmth without light is possible here, the shade comes to realize. For the first time in its cursed life, ever-starved of Apollo’s grand and glimmering gift, the shade knows true warmth by its name:
In their tenebrous retreat, they are oddities amidst a war. The gods demand blood; the gods demand action; the gods demand alacrity. At any other moment, they are beholden to offer all three aplenty. Not now. Not here. In this liminal hour, in this liminal space, that broad barge we ride—that single mindedly-driven ark that bares down on the tides of fate, like madly frothing horses bearing down on their gates? It docks comfortably at the door.
It is yet night. There is said to be a grand-scale irony of which none are aware, but to which all are mechanisms operating in its favor; This describes their immutable nature, present even in the place of their dwelling.
The coarse canvas of their tent swathes many tender illusions. What they hide is never entirely hidden from one another. They know this. Nevertheless, they think it necessary to try.
Their arms wither away from embrace. Warmth dies. What is left is but the shade. Soon, (sooner than you can imagine), and despite its best efforts, it forgets Love’s name.
Here, now and in all the little moments we forgot, there is a grand-scale irony to which all are aware. That solicitor, that messenger of tragedy that comes to call all our names in due time—
He waits patiently at the door, holding his hat.