Myth Making: I Am the Minotaur

Penny Perkins

The female minotaur wanders lost in the labyrinth. Part monster, part myth, she stumbles. Part space, part time, she bifurcates. The maze she traverses is no rosy garden path. No, it is a dark trap, gutted by a grey, ghostly road — humid and fetid — a dingy dirt pathway leading into oblivion and full of no exits. Huis closure.

On the minotaur’s back squirms a monkey. A male monkey. A funky monkey. A chunky monkey. And the monkey makes the journey even more tiresome, more weary. It is a bouncing, bumpy hyper monkey. A hyperactive textual monkey who squats and laughs and types on an old-fashioned Smith-Corona mounted on the minotaur’s back: “Time forks perpetually toward innumerable futures ... but there is only one true path out of this maze!”

The minotaur sighs. She has heard an eternity of the monkey’s random screeching and scribbling. Each time it jars her brain into pain.

Cheeky monkey.

The monkey shrieks, spits, and spins, throwing his feces all around. All the while, he screams, “I am a mistake, a ghost. But you are a worse mistake, a worse ghost: a vampire, a zombie. All that you touch becomes infected and goes on to infect the All That Is.”

The minotaur hates the monkey. Likewise, the monkey hates himself, and wants to disappear into The Void, but somehow can never imagine being anywhere else but on the minotaur’s back. The monkey is tortured and in turn tortures others. Especially the minotaur, his long-suffering host.

The minotaur stops at a fork in the labyrinth, trying to decide to go left or right, north or south, up or down, before or next.

Interrupting her thoughts, the monkey squeals, “Time forks perpetually toward innumerable futures! In one of them I am your father! In one of them I am your lover!”

“And in one of them,” the minotaur whispers, “you are both.”

As she utters this, the monkey explodes — the truth has set her free — and at last she is free of the monkey.

But, sadly, she is also free of herself: she falls down — the fall of the House of Utter — legs buckling and crumbling beneath her massive structure. Like a period at the end of a sentence, in the last paragraph on the last page, she comes to a permanent rest. She is the essence of inertia. But then, slowly, she begins to dig her trench — a grave of limpid solitude — with her cracked and chipping hooves. Slowly, she settles down, unmoving and unmoved, to die right here at the fork in the road in the labyrinth. Never knowing which direction was the one true path that could have led her out.

Behind her, where she can no longer see, the bloodied guts of the exploded monkey slither back together again. The reconstituted monkey rises from the stench of his own death. He sees the minotaur, lying and dying in the grave she has cut and chiseled for herself.

The monkey smiles. Another minotaur down. O the sweet surge of victory! But no time to gloat. It’s on to the next. Only seven billion, one-hundred-ninety-nine million, nine-hundred-eighty-six thousand, and sixty-seven more minotaurs to go.

A monkey’s work is never done.

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