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To Suffer is to Slip Unnoticed
 
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The Sacred Antinous
The Oracle of Apollo
To Suffer is to Slip Unnoticed
 

SHAWN
Friends, I fear I may disillusion you.
You see, I… I have a day job. It’s true.
I arise about seven forty-five,
Drift through the morning’s minor ablutions
And march to a hum-drum office for nine.

Despite the banalities of buzzing
Fluorescents, vast bewildering white-boards,
Neutral-to-the-point-of-depressing décor,
Endless I.T. Help Desk ticket-wrangling,
Bargaining unit attack barbecues,
Wild memoranda, and mild-mannered signs,
It’s actually not too horrid a job.
My euphemistic title is – get this –
Special Projects Coordinator.
Indeed, for being discrete, they be projects.
Once complete, they be coordinated,
And last, for being mine, they be special.
I sit at a desk in a pod of four,
And serve with a civil smile the public.

You’re wondering, of course, what’s doing here;
What song of Eros could possibly sing
In such a pale and bureaucratic place.
For an answer, we turn to SQL –
Which is short for Structured Queery Language:
Built to power a vast, oracular
Database whose content punctuates worlds.
Predictably, you’ll require an example.
What does SQL in action look like?
Here: allow me this quick demonstration:
Ready for a break?

ROBERT
Sure!

SHAWN
His name is Robert, and he’s a warrior!
(Not for the beck of our employer, natch,
But silent on the battlefield of souls.)

O’er the course of our professional days,
Being, by the grace of serendipity,
Tasked and tallied in the same department,
We developed a fast and full friendship.
He told me of his youthful histories;
Of long, harrowing, unhappy seasons
Garrisoned in dark and troubling affairs,
And still by their grey memories haunted.
I, in turn, described to him my hobbies;
My personal arts and crafts of poesy.

Okay so, my mission – no, no – my vision – is, basically, to create a world of super-smart, super-hot erotica. Which doesn’t mean it always has to be explicit: there can be moments of modesty and reserve that are still hot by virtue of the storyline and the characters that inhabit it. But if it does get explicit, the narrative should still be intelligent and thoughtful and spiritual in a way that boring old porn has never been able to achieve. Essentially, I want to tell like these epic, homo-erotic tales that aren’t afraid to get x-rated if the stories call for it. Antinous is the vehicle of a queer spirituality, and Sir Richard with his camera is the driver of it.

ROBERT
Hm. I’d like to be a part of that...

The Sacred Antinous

Said I to Antinous:
I am suffering.

Said Antinous in reply:
To suffer is to slip unnoticed
Into the alley off the boulevard
Where oblivious others tread,
Fall to and annoy the muddy puddles
That loathe to share with anyone
Their quiet, self-satisfied world.
Light can barely be bothered there to shine.
Jealous echoes from an ancient beyond
Jostle and crowd the few, intermittent
Attempts for present and personal thought.
All discerned laughter is mocking.
All discerned mockery is unchallenged.
Disappointment is the useless blanket,
Thin and tattered,
That nightly offers nothing
Against the chill.
But I am your servant and your sentry;
I will come to you in your isolation
And vigil while you slumber.
I will sweep away the putrid waters
And pave with onyx the earth.
I will command the sun into your corners.
I will banish the ghosts of your despair
And burn away the mildews from your mind.
I will ordain love as the source of your laughter
And see it arm you against the driving calumny.
I will place a fire in your chest
That warms you through every midnight.
Lo, you will shed like a snakeskin your suffering
And abandon it for the winds
To render within but days into dust.

SIR RICHARD
We suffer when insufficiently expressed;
When worlds to which we aspire ignore us.
To flourish, we trust in He who vigils;
Who stands at our heart’s walls as Decentius
On the ramparts of his Emperor stood –
His night’s eyes to the northern tempest fix’d –
And believe Him when assured He abides.
Then do we find the confidence to speak;
To fathom our thoughts and deliver them.
Blest, we climb upon a lunar pulpit
And to its passing planet pontificate.
To where it passes, anon we may know,
And boys through an Age shall grope so to grow.

Neptune's Trident

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