by Jessica Tillings
I have it all wrong; well that’s what Sisyphus says, and he should know – he knows everything. Quick frankly he never shuts up, or stops flexing his muscles as he rolls that bloody boulder only to nonchalantly shrug as it rolls back down. He does it shirtless too, of course. It would be a crime for a body like that to go ignored.
Ugh, the way the girls swoon as he tosses his hair over his shoulder like a Pantene model makes my skin crawl and how he wipes the sweat from the ridge of his brow, always slowly, always seductively whilst eyeing the distance just makes me shudder to think that I used to be one of those girls. And now I’m his girl.
At first I thought he was charming. The way he performed his punishment so casually, an eternity of rolling stones, like it was nothing. I’d chat to him, twirl my hair and giggle at his jokes, then put on my best serious face as we discussed the philosophies of life.
He told me, ‘we should all embrace the fact that nothing makes sense’, that ’death is inevitable but should not suggest that life lacks meaning.’ I did not know what he meant but his alien language had me addicted.
I would question him relentlessly. His wisdom was renowned, yet so was his crime. How could someone so wise believe that he could cheat death? His arrogance should have been apparent to me but I was blinded by his soft voice and the glisten of his ripped torso.
His image has begun to fade. I have grown tired of his wisdom and the way his enlightened bullshit rings straight through me. ‘Keep rolling’, he says, as if everything I feel is trivial, as if all my problems are easily solved by this one bastard saying.
‘Sometimes it’s good to reflect’, I argue, ‘to pause for a moment, to collect yourself, don’t you think?’
And he laughs through his teeth whilst flexing like a facetious Calvin Klein model.
‘You have it all wrong, life does not pause, so why should we? If we don’t keep pushing ourselves, we’ll never succeed.’ He smirks, his self-proclaimed victory washing over him. I leave him to roll, his whole being repulses me.
I’m starting to think it is time for us to break up. I sometimes catch myself wishing that his boulder will roll back and crush him.
Jessica Tillings is a creative writing student at Edge Hill University.