Actually, I’m not really sure how I acquired the damn Cloak, but it must have been a reward for one of my Odyssey adventures, which the gods have deemed to erase from my memory until a future time. I believe it was woven from Ariadne’s thread tossed aside in a forgotten ball, once Theseus made his escape from the Labyrinth.
But who wove it, and who gave it the power to make one invisible? And who presented it to me, and for what accomplishment? Alas, these truths remain hidden to me for a while longer…thus I must proceed with my tale without the benefit of any history. (Perhaps it was my spill in the River Lethe, battling some sort of beast or another, that washed away these memories.)
The Cloak itself is velvet black, with a honey shimmer to it…as if a lock of the Golden Fleece. were woven into its threads. It BELONGS to me…it KNOWS it belongs to me…as whenever I fling it about myself, it always falls upon my body in the most artful manner. It complements, it embraces, it cherishes me with dear caresses, and never clings! Yet it slides off with not a moment of pause–once I release my grasp–and falls graciously to the floor with a pleasant “whoosh”. Neither static-y nor clingy, no dirt or dust ever gathers upon it…for which I conclude the unknown existence of some Polyester-blend goddess (perhaps the offspring of that rotten cyclops Polyphemus, who once chased after some lovely trifle of a mortal named Esther. Perhaps the Cloak’s power of invisibility came from the blinding of this cyclops by Odysseus).
So I stand on the banks of the River Lethe, contemplating all the delicious adventures that will be mine, as the invisible voyeur of others’ adventures…when along comes fickle Eros. As I am presently concealed beneath the Cloak, he would pass right by me without knowing I’m even there…except for my stepping in his way, for which he is unexpectedly knocked over. After gathering his arrows, Eros stands up, stares at my new gift of the Cloak of Invisibility…and after a few moments says, “Dude: I have a great idea where you could use that Cloak.” (And where could that be?) I think.
“The Bedrooms of the Gods of course,” brags Eros, “why, you could write the steamiest novels the world has ever seen, by merely recounting what you witness! You’d be an overnight sensation, a romance novelist par excellence, and a multi-millionaire to boot!” (I would also know what tickles Apollo’s fancy) I muse, as one mortal who is very hot for a particular deity or two.
“Oh, yes, why, the benefits to your personal life would be enormous,” admits Eros. “You would have ANY God you want by the balls, and caress them whenEVER you please! I must apologize for tempting you
with mere lucre, Ezekiel…as I know you value the immaterial over the material, as should any seeker of truth. Now, just think what all that money could do for the poor, the lame, and the downtrodden!” (Then let’s go! You need not convince me further…I’m hot to trot.)
We arrive at the Bedroom Palace (teleportation? flight? memory still hazy, try again later) somewhere on the eastern slope of lofty Mount Olympus…which contains secluded chamber after chamber, to satisfy even the most finicky demands of privacy for which any goddess or god could wish. Solid, thick oak doors trimmed in eggshell white and 24 caret gold-plated brass fixtures, are so sturdy not even Hephaestus‘s mighty hammer could batter them down.
“Go right in, no one’s home. I’m right behind you” whispers Eros, nudging me through the entrance. We stand amid silken tapestry and drapes of purest white, purple, and gray that grace tall windows and a ginormous bed against the far end of the room. Rose-scented candles in sconces and on small tables lend a soft, gentle light to the entire room. Eros guides me into a closet large enough to fit a banquet table and all its guests. “You can hide here, in their wardrobe,” speaks Eros. “That, plus your Cloak to shield you, will make you completely secure from their finding you.”
I am about to ask some pertinent questions–such as how long do they partake in their love making (knowing that a single minute to a god is a century to a human, and that I could easily starve to death, or grow old and die in this closet, long before they’re even done with foreplay…thus you can understand my concern)–when Eros suddenly jumps back, says “I hear them coming”…then quick as a flash disappears.
I am left standing amid all the masculine trappings of war gods: the musky scent of leather and rough cloth soaked in godly sweat nearly puts me into a heavenly swoon! But I stand determined to witness what no mortal eyes have ever witnessed before: Zeus boinking the daylights out of Apollo! (Or is Zeus a bottom? Or are they more egalitarian in bed, than elsewhere? Do they like to french kiss? How much foreplay? Or are they rough and ready from the get-go? These juicy details, and much more, I am soon to find out!)
I hear voices and the door creak open, then shut. The Cloak of Invisibility is fully flung over my frame as I stand, shaking, knees wobbling in anticipation of my daring plunder into the most personal aspect of the lives of gods! A deep voice booms: “I don’t remember leaving the door open, do you? Is anyone here?” I stand, frozen, barely breathing. “Check the closet.” Arms push around the voluminous robes sliding on their hangers, but fortunately pass right by the spot on which I stand. I cannot see who it is. (Apollo or Zeus?) Not that I can’t see through my Cloak (of course I can), but the clothes shielding me that cover the Cloak block my view! Drat! I need to move a little forward…well, let’s wait till they calm down and get to bed.
“Uh, hey stud…lock that door will ya. I think we should, uh, mess around for a time. Don’t you?” I hear them disrobe: the gentle “shush” of togas falling, and the rattle of buckles. Again, one (I can’t see who) approaches the closet and plunks a heavy sword against the wall…it slides and crashes right onto my foot! Ouch! I better hold my breathe! Ouch! Damn friggin’ sword…must weigh as much as a horse…my foot is throbbing, god, this ain’t so much fun any more! Egads! Ouch, ouch ouch!
I can’t help myself; a moan wells up from my throat.
“Wait! Did you hear that?”
“What? Who could hear anything after that sword crash? Deafening! No, I didn’t hear a thing.”
“Well, I heard something, and it came from that closet!”
“And just what do you think you heard, little missy? Sure it’s not your bat ears ringing?”
(Little missy? One’s a fem? I can’t believe this! Wait’ll I get my book published! Uh-oh, he’s coming back to the closet!)
“Huh, maybe it was just an echo.” Arms swoosh through the clothing once more, and I stand frozen in fear. “Wait, what’s this?”
“What’s what? Lemme see what you’re talking about.”
I still can’t see either one of the gods, though their very breaths warm the cloak under which I tremble.
“Okay, whoever you are, come out of there now…we see you!”
(They do? I don’t believe them, they’re calling my bluff. After all, no one’s grabbing at me.)
“We can see your feet, fool! Look!”
(I look down and lo and behold! The Cloak of Invisibility hangs its hem just inches above my toes. I am not completely covered! I sigh, and drop the Cloak, and all pretense…and step out from behind the
wardrobe, to see…not gods, but goddesses! A pair of uber-dykes! What the hell is this all about?)
“Who are you?” demands the busty platinum-blonde, now hastily robed in a bedsheet.
(Ezekiel, madame…Ezekiel Joseph Krahlin.)
“Madame? You call the great goddess of the sacred hunt, Artemis, ‘madame’? Just where do you come from, little Ezekiel?” speaks the other, a voluptuous nymph of seaweed hair and piercing yellow-green eyes.
(Ummm…San Francisco, planet earth…that is, in my waking life. At present, I presume I’m in one of my vision dreams.)
“One of your vision dreams? Ha!” mocks Artemis, “Tell us who put you up to this or I’ll flay your skin and feed it to the Harpies!”
I’m not about to reveal my source…not when I’d have the wrath of yet another god upon my soul. So I just stand there, trembling, but lips firmly shut.
“Eros, eh? I should have known! That little imp is always messing up Mt. Olympus whenever he gets the chance!”
Too bad, they can read my mind. (He told me this is the bedroom of Zeus and Apollo.) I plead.
“That’s your excuse, mangy mortal?” hollers Artemis. “You were going to spy on gods? This amounts to hubris of the highest order. I hope you realize the consequences of your heinous act!”
(Ummm…being chained to a boulder and having an eagle pluck out my liver for all eternity?) I venture an educated guess.
Taken aback, Artemis first glances at the nymph, then at me, than again at her partner…and they both burst out in laughter. “Come here, Ezekiel”, Artemis gently takes my arm, and leads me to a chair where she urges me to sit.
“No harm shall come to you, mischievous mortal. It is Eros who should take the blame. I have a plan for vengeance, but it will take me some minutes to work it out. Please enjoy Sylvia’s company in the meantime…I’ll be back shortly.” And with a wide grin on her beatific face, Artemis departs.
Sylvia and I have a heartfelt conversation about the homeless lesser gods in Olympus, and what can possibly be done about it, if anything.
Finally, after the passage of a little time, Artemis returns. “Boy have I got a treat for you, Ezekiel!” And she tugs my arm in a wish to escort me to parts yet unknown.
Artemis, Sylvia, and I (carried in Sylvia’s strong arms, due to my injured foot) proceed down enormous corridors, to yet another heavy wooden door, through which we enter. There, tied by his four limbs to the posts of a water bed, kneels Eros on all fours, his nether end most prominent. Sylvia sets me on the floor, where I stand, staring in disbelief: I do drool. “He’s all yours for the next twenty minutes, Ezekiel. I’m sure you’ll know what to do!” says Artemis, and they depart.
I do indeed…for twenty of the most beautiful minutes of my life, in sheer Tantric bliss! And this experience has shown me why, when spelled backwards, Eros means “sore”! So this ends the story of my winning the Cloak of Invisibility, how I first used it, and how I lost it in the heat of the moment before I ever got to use it more than once.
ADDENDUM: Were those succulent twenty minutes, the minutes of a god, or of a mortal? I leave you to ponder, and eat your heart out.