Sisyphus or Waiting for Good Art

The scene is terrible Tartarus, home of the most wretched and despised. Monstrous thunder peals in the distance; the forever expanding wasteland vomits out its denizens. Zeus has arrived in the form of a black cloud, to introduce the latest permanent tourist of this hellscape. The mysterious new figure is trapped within a cage with a thin black covering, disguising his identity.

Zeus: Miserable and morose minions of the depths, welcome your latest brother and future sufferer-in-chief, (hushed whispers and a loud and powerful drum): Sisyphus! (Removes the covering with a misty flourish)

Tartarus inhabitants: Boo! Boo! Fuck that guy!

Zeus: I know, right? Don’t worry eternal losers and shade-dwellers, this guy’s punishment is oh-so good. Sisyphus! For crimes against law, nature and the gods, crimes so heinous and downright deplorable, so utterly gross and inhumane, that I shudder to mention them, the gods, yours truly (winks) have concocted a punishment straight out of Hades’ burning asshole. You are hereby condemned forever to push this cumbersome boulder up yonder slopey hill.

Tartarus inhabitants: YEAH! HURRAY! FUCK THAT GUY!

Sisyphus: You’re kidding me? That’s it? I murdered half my family, killed innocent guests who thought my home a sanctuary, fucked all my daughters, and this is all you could think of? Come on Zeus, don’t you have something worse up your sleeve?

Zeus: I was hoping you would never ask about the alternative. A punishment so severe, so barbarous, entirely alien to our customs and ways of life. No one should ever have to even conceive of a punishment like this. Athena had wretched nightmares when I revealed this sordid idea. But fine, you forced me Sisy-poes. If you won’t push that rock up yonder hill, you will be forced to be the eternal accountant of all of Greece. And. if the books don’t add up, you have to start again from the beginning.

Sisyphus: Now that is downright evil. Okay, okay, I’ll push the damned rock.

Zeus drops a giant rock onto the plane in front of Sisyphus.

Zeus: Sisyphus meet rock. Rock meet Sisyphus. I think you two are going to get along. Now, I’m tired of being in this underworld shithole. I’m going back to Olympus for an orgy with my daughters.

Zeus disappears with a thunderclap.

Sisyphus starts to push the boulder. It moves frictionlessly and almost effortlessly.

Sisyphus: This isn’t too bad. I can get this boulder up there in like five minutes.

Five minutes later, the boulder reaches the summit.

Sisyphus: Victory! This is the dumbest punishment I have ever heard of.

As soon as the boulder touches the plane at the top, a holographic image of Zeus appears. The apparition says: “Nice try asshole. Try again” and then kicks the boulder. The boulder quickly and furiously makes its way down the slope, coming to a screeching halt at the beginning.

Sisyphus: Ah I see now.

Day 2

Sisyphus: Rock tell me, what brings a nice monolith like you to a place like this? I’m sure you could bag any piece of ground you wanted in this universe.

Rock: …

Sisyphus: Don’t be so humble. Come on, look at you. You’re totally banging. Smooth around the edges, curvaceous all round, stunning to behold! If I were a rock, I’d totally smash into you.

Day 3

Sisyphus: I made you a poem, dearest. It goes as such:

Rock of my heart, stone of my craft

Where roll you now when I need you

In Tartarus’ depths, up indeterminable steps

I would push you up a hill for eternity

For but one touch of your gravity.

What do you think baby?

Rock: …

Day 10:

Sisyphus: I feel like I put in all the effort in this relationship.

Day 1000001:

Sisyphus: Darling, you’re still as pretty and round as the day I met you.

And so Sisyphus and rock were united forever. To think, that love may sprout in most unlikeliest of places, and unlikeliest of times, these two lovers, separated by anatomy and sentience, could come together and spend the rest of eternity doing what each one loved: Pushing and being pushed.

THE END

Writer, poet, philosopher