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Down the Rabbit Hole
Paul Kiritsis, PsyD candidate, DPhil., MA (Psychology), MA (History)

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Pygmalion and Galatea: Reinventing a Timeless Myth

Paul Kiritsis - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The myth of Pygmalion and Galatea appears in Ovid’s narrative poem “Metamorphoses” as a story of a sculptor who becomes enamoured of his own creation, an ivory statue of a woman. Here, it has been contemporized and retold by Dr. Paul Kiritsis.The skeleton of the myth has stayed faithful to the original though the author has taken the liberty that comes with all creative license by altering the narrative style, introducing new scenes, and injecting it with themes and ideas indigenous to twenty-first century philosophical and metaphysical inquiry.

 

Pygmalion regarded his masterpiece in the slivers of moonlight that passed through the windowsill. He pressed the palm of his left hand as to cover the entire forehead from temple to temple, placed his right on the shoulders, and breathed heavily onto the clay statue. “Your name, my love, is Galatea,” he repeated several times, before imagining a fourfold division of the prime element into Earth, Water, Air, and Fire.

Earth, the thickest and densest of the elements, was like a black mist that contained within itself the qualities of cold, sleep, falsehood and death, and Pygmalion imagined it diffusing into the legs of the statue. Then he visualised Water, a volatile fabric that smelt of green, blue, sound, the moon, and hydrogen, soaking into the statue’s abdominal region. Air, an element which usually signalled its eternal presence through rustling noises, revealed itself as a constellation of active qualities like life, heat, white, electricity and heat, and Pygmalion invited it into his creation through the breast region. The last and mightiest, Fire, vibrated with light, red, truth and phosphorus, and was steadfast prompted by the sculptor to take its place in the holy shrine of the wax statue, the head.

After a brief hiatus of continual, free-flowing and energetic thought, Pygmalion brushed his hand casually over the statue’s pudendum. Blood welled into his manhood like an inflating jumping castle. He stripped naked, clenched his eyes firmly shut, and beat his thick, purpled, and vein-coated flesh off with a dozen strokes, rubbing the throbbing head against his lover’s wax vagina and tonguing its salmon-coloured lips.

As he jerked himself, he began projecting a barrage of mental images towards the impending soul of the statue. She will encompass immense emotional understanding, he thought. Her intellectual comprehension will be second to none. Her cosmic awareness, creativity, imagination and intuition will be like an act of sudden light banishing the pitch darkness. The depth and breadth of her wisdom and knowledge will be more glorious than a Swiss alpenglow. She will be physically and mentally powerful, he thought, more powerful than a pod of orcas caught in the vortex of a feeding frenzy. Her personality will be circular and mysterious, but void of any sharp, over-reactive corners and irrational sharp edges that typify the vast majority of members in the female population. There will be no exaggerated tides, no wild mood swings, or overt expressions of dependence. Instinct would not override the state of being that is true and unrequited love. Pygmalion wished for a woman of intense, unique, explosive and multidimensional vision. He was so turned on by his own visualization and powerful will that he soon tumbled over the threshold of pleasure, spurting his wad all over the bronze skin of the clay statue.

After cleaning up the mess, he dropped to his knees and impressed his forehead against the statue’s navel. It took a few seconds to regain his composure before generating the image of a burning star in the recesses of his own imagination. This he symbolically exhaled onto the clay statue whilst concurrently whispering the chosen name of his female entity. “Galatea” he called out, as if the intonation of the name would instantaneously animate the statue. Placing both hands onto the statue’s breasts, Pygmalion visualised a flash of thunder and a bolt of lightning rip through the inanimate figure and jump-start the heart. It began to thump, pumping fresh, oxygen-rich blood through the body and altering the fundamental nature of inert matter. He breathed in and out, in and out, invigorating the clay with the fiery spark of activity and silently urging it to use its mimetic facial features to physically channel the ethereal senses of its astral and mental bodies.

Pygmalion knew that the clay statue would be permanently energized with a conduit of life force from the parent body of his own being if the psychic river of concentration was tempered long enough for the blood to symbolically flow through the entire statue and return to the heart area at least once. For this to eventuate, he had to respire as if he had just completed an extended session of vigorous exercise. On the ninth breath, a part of the endeavour deemed of upmost importance to magical invigoration, Pygmalion exhaled so violently that a gob of spit flew out of his mouth and struck the statue just below the jaw.

“Galatea, awaken! Live! Live! Live!” he screamed out aloud, somewhat astonished by the unshakable conviction in the tone of his own voice.

Nothing…

“Live!” he called out again, stamping his foot against the ground.

Nothing… 

“Live damn it!” he screamed, punching the statue in the thigh.

Again nothing…

Despite the incessant plea and coercion on the part of its creator, the statue remained faithful to its material composition; in other words, inactive and lifeless. It just stood there, solemn in its intellectual and mental incapacity, its soulless, unblinking eyes staring him down unsympathetically in the moonlit tones of the night. He waited and waited until his eyes watered and his head became so heavy that it was no longer possible to resist the earthward pull of gravity. In time, enthusiasm gave way to disappointment, disappointment despair, and despair to loneliness and desolation. His meticulous and drawn-out attempts at invigoration had failed dismally. Perhaps he was remiss with practical execution or with the magical implements deemed necessary for the endeavour to have any chance of success. Whichever the case, the tiredness had sedated him to such an extent that he was beyond knowing or caring.

Pygmalion scrambled to his feet and wheeled the multipurpose trolley upon which the clay statue rested to the queen-sized bed in the adjoining room. He lifted the statue from its portable base, tipped it horizontally onto its back, pushed it onto the left hand side of the bed, and then pulled the heavy doona over it. Once he had finished arranging the pillows about his static lover’s head, he scooted on over to the opposite side and climbed in beside her.  

It was a frigid winter’s night and the cold seeped down through the covers and into the marrow of his very bones. His extremities were in a lamentable state, feeling as if they’d been dipped repeatedly in buckets of icy water. His chattering teeth wouldn’t as much as stand up to the cold either. Pygmalion remedied both problems by rubbing his hands and feet together, an act which generated body heat rather quickly.

He pivoted and stared at the profile of his beautiful lover.

“At least one of us is free from the ravages of the elements,” Pygmalion uttered, his arm darting across the bed to caress her. “I guess that’s another good thing about not being alive.”

“You couldn’t be more right about that,” said a female voice from the region of his wax lover’s mouth. “It’s freezing tonight.”

Pygmalion nearly lost control of his bowels. 

 

An opaque aura of pulsating purple light differentiated from the clay statue and sat up, turning its head to face a startled Pygmalion.

“The living space in here is horrid… almost as uncomfortable as being trapped in a magic lamp.” 

Pygmalion gulped. “Galatea?”

“At your service.”

“It worked!”

“Yeah it did,” she said. “Would you mind not spitting on me next time, that was most unbecoming of you.”

“Sorry.”

Galatea swivelled and stared down the naked wax statue lying on the bed beside Pygmalion. She screamed.

“What’s wrong?”

“Is that me?” she asked.

“It’s your image, yeah.”

“Could you have made me any uglier?”

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Pygmalion said, throwing the doona off and hopping out of bed. “Either that or you’re blind. It took me many years of hard work to get you to look like that.”

“I look awful.”

“What are you talking about?” he fumed. “I collected pictures of the best looking models from Dolly, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Weekly, and Playboy. I chose the most flawless of their features and moulded them into you. There’s not woman on this planet that’s as gorgeous as you Galatea.”    

“Don’t be so sure…”

“I went out and bought you the most expensive designer clothes, underwear, shoes, hats, handbags, purses, makeup, perfume, deodorant, bags, gloves, sunglasses, jewels, and everything else a beautiful woman like you might want. There’s nothing that I’ve denied you.”

“Don’t always assume that’s what a girl wants.”

“That’s what all women want!” Pygmalion cried.  

“Maybe in your experience of the world they do,” she said, “but that doesn’t automatically make it a fact. You’ve obviously forgotten what you wished for. You’re a funny man.”

“Why?”

“You must sculpt and paint full-time, yeah? Only an artist of the sort would have such confidence in and take such impudent pride in both their judgement and lofty powers.”

“I’m good at what I do,” said Pygmalion, pointing at a vast collection of lifelike statues in the adjoining room. “Everyone who comes to my workshop tells me so. I perfect the art of nature.”

“You perfect the art of mimicry Pygmalion.”

“I select the most aesthetically pleasing features and motifs from the natural world and sculpt them into the simulacra of human beings,” he said, ignoring her comment. “I perfect nature Galatea.”

“You perfect the skin-deep.”

“Meaning?”

“Well, what is art?” Galatea asked.

“An artificial representation of the natural world,” said Pygmalion.

“There,” she said. “You said it with your own tongue.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You said the artificial representation of the natural world,” said Galatea. “By artificial you mean a copy, right?”

“What’s your point?”

“Art copies nature,” she said. “It’s Mother Nature’s artificial mirror. Imitation belongs to art and originality to nature. The first is inferior to the second.”

“Some imitations happen to be better than their originals,” said Pygmalion.

“In cases where it concerns only the artificial perhaps so,” said Galatea. “But not when you stack it up against a natural product.”

 “Why not?” Pygmalion questioned. “Hasn’t artificial intelligence been shown to be superior to human intelligence?”

“Another illusion.”

“Meaning?”

“The two are spawned from dissimilar properties,” said Galatea. “They are fundamentally different, the same only in outward appearance.”

“An illusion is as good as its model,” said Pygmalion.

 “Come on, don’t be unreasonable,” said Galatea. “Look at your statues Pygmalion. They might resemble Sophia, Athena, or Aris to the extent that glancing at them might incite a case of mistaken identity, but in the end the copy is counterfeit and the original or model genuine.”

“Ok, I get it.” Pygmalion sighed. “You’re so opinionated!”

“Like you,” said Galatea. “They say likeness causes friction.”

“It’s true,” said Pygmalion. “In any case you’re here to love me. You’re not supposed to challenge me like that, so openly and boldly. A created entity should never challenge its creator.”

“So now we’re a creator, are we?”

“I created you, didn’t I?” Pygmalion asked.

“Are you sure about that?” asked Galatea. “I think I’ve existed for time immemorial.”

“Now we’re playing mind games,” said Pygmalion. “Typical woman.”

“That wouldn’t fit into the scheme of what you wished for,” said Galatea. “I’m simply challenging your own beliefs about yourself. I think you’re overconfident.”

“Creating is a big part of being human.”

‘But is it?”

“For sure,” said Pygmalion. “We’ve reached an exciting and pivotal stage in our evolution Galatea. We can breed, genetically modify living organisms or their essential parts, clone almost anything, and cure ailments. Recently, geneticists discovered that DNA survived intact and unaltered for very lengthy periods in egg shells. Soon, it will be possible to bring back animals like the elephant bird and the dodo from extinction.”

“But none of that involves creating an original article,” said Galatea. “The endeavours you describe all act upon a pre-existing natural model. You multiply and divide, modify and alter, subtract and add, mimic and mend, but never create. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but poking and prodding about a DNA double helix is not creating; you’re simply working with what’s already there.”      

“So what you’re essentially telling me is that humans and their mimetic arts are completely inferior to the forces of nature which create these models and articles,” said Pygmalion. “Right?”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying.”

“But what is nature exactly?”

“That’s for me to know and for you to find out. What do you think it is? What do you think the purpose of all this is?” asked Galatea, gesturing towards the moon and the grove of giant cypress trees outside.

“How am I supposed to know?” said Pygmalion sarcastically. “I’m not a god. I’m just a lonely sculptor who tries to make a living by ripping off copyrighted material from Mother Nature and selling it to the bourgeoisie for a modest price.”

‘You’re not wrong there,” said Galatea. “It’s all a matter of faith in the end, isn’t it?”

“You mean with respect to the nature of being?”

“Yeah.”

“I sometimes resign myself to the idea that it was just a chance accident,” said Pygmalion, folding his hands into his lap. “There was no plan, just spontaneous generation. Things just happened. The universe happened. Life happened. Evolution happened. People happened.”

“Darwinism?”

“Yeah, survival of the fittest, you know. Favourable mutations are selected for survival and so forth. That’s the aim.”

Galatea laughed.

“What’s so funny?”

“Nothing,” she said. “I’m just a little surprised is all. There’s an obvious incongruity between your semi-established beliefs and your actions. You don’t honestly believe that bedtime story, do you?”

Pygmalion shrugged his shoulders.

“Let me tell you that chance played no role in anything,” Galatea said.

“What do you mean?”

“There is a grand purpose,” she said. “Everything was planned out. Everything was meticulously planned out.”

“If I’m to believe anything I have to see proof, evidence,” he said.  

“And you will,” she said. “If you’re nice to me, I’ll tell you things that will make your hair stand straight.”

“Riveting,” said Pygmalion. “Not only is my newfound lover agonizingly beautiful, she’s a pathological creationist.”

 

Pygmalion had to pull Galatea’s body through a subterranean crouchway to reach their intended destination, a sea cave with a collapsed roof.  Throughout the abbreviated journey, he was forced to lay her down onto the bare ground for the sake of clearing away recent breakdown or simply wiping away beads of sweat from his forehead. It was uncharacteristically warm for a mid-winter’s day; muggy even. He could feel the thickness and humidity that pervaded the air as it filtered through his lungs, sapping his reserves of strength and warping a modestly difficult task so that it now appeared Herculean. The sudden incline in the terrain was bothersome, but in no way was it insuperable.  Grunting like an Olympic competitor going through the motions of a difficult clean and press, Pygmalion pulled Galatea through the crouchway and into the canyon with one fluid motion. He managed to stand her up against the flowstone without scraping her against any brittle rocks and issued an extended sigh of relief. Exhausted by his overland and subterranean excursion, he dropped to his knees near the cave mouth and splashed seawater onto his face.

“This better be worth it,” he gasped. “For your sake.”

“It will be.”

“Did you see everyone gawking back at the beach?” asked Pygmalion.

“Well it’s not as if you’re a food wholesaler wheeling cheese and eggs into a retail store,” said Galatea. “What you just did is a quite left of the middle. People are going to stare.”

“I should have at least covered you with a cloth.”

“If you did I wouldn’t have been able to see where I was going,” said Galatea. “You keep forgetting that the simulacrum enables my physical senses.”

“Right,” said Pygmalion. “What’s in here that I just had to see?”

“Look to my right,” said Galatea. “Can you see the fossilized clams on the floor near the crouchway?”

“Yes.”

“Test them for vibratory rates,” said Galatea, “with the pendulum.”

Pygmalion withdrew the brass pendulum from his pocket and held it over each of the fossils, adjusting the length of the string until it begun gyrating. Then he counted the number of revolutions.

“What do you have?” asked Galatea.

“They all react to the fourteen-inch rate,” said Pygmalion. “Some also respond to the twenty-four-inch and twenty-nine-inch rates.”

“Fourteen is silica so that’s to be expected,” said Galatea. “The other two denote male and female.”

“That’s odd.”

“Why?”

“Well, the animals that lived in these shells have been dead for thousands if not millions of years, haven’t they?”

“More like a hundred million,” said Galatea. “So, yeah.”

“How does it know what sex these organisms were when they died?” asked Pygmalion. “That shouldn’t be possible, right?”

“Not according to contemporary science it shouldn’t,” said Galatea. “Yet here it is.”

“So correct me if I’m wrong,” said Pygmalion, “but the pendulum actually reacts to an energy or radiation of some sort that has survived beyond death, or beyond the organism’s physical death, and exists independent of time.”    

“That’s right,” said Galatea. “The field continues to exist as long as the matter does, quite literally in fact. Didn’t the ancient Egyptians believe that the soul could only return to the corporeal plane if the physical shell remained intact? The history of each object or substance is literally transcribed in the field around it.”

“I know we tested heaps of things yesterday in the yard. I mean we have individual rates for plants, metals, substances, foods, vegetables, animals. We even have rates for thoughts, qualities, and intangible principles.”

“Go on…”

“I’m not going to deny that there’s a congruent pattern in the rates. I think that’s clearer than glass acrylic.”

“Yet you don’t believe what it’s telling you about survival?”

 “Well no… I mean yes, I do,” said Pygmalion, staring at the clam shells. “I just can’t seem to jettison the absurdity of the implications.”

“You’re definitely a conservative,” said Galatea. “Isn’t all science supposed to be based on observation Pygmalion?”

“Yeah, but…”

Galatea chuckled. “Only when it sugar-coats the existing theories huh?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“You don’t agree with it because it seriously challenges the established conventions,” she said. “That’s all.”

“No, Galatea…”

“I think we’re living, or you’re living I should say, in an age where science has usurped the antipathies of dogmatic religion.”

“We’ve come a long way since the days of bonfires and mud huts,” said Pygmalion. “Give us some credit.”

“It’s true but there’s no shortage of theories that presume to measure and reflect the nature of being,” said Galatea.

“They do.”

“No they don’t,” she rebutted. “A correct theory prompts new insights and truths and attracts to itself supporting evidence with the passage of time in the manner that a credible academic authority will eventually gain the respect, admiration and support of the general public, does it not?”

“Sure,” Pygmalion nodded. “Theories are like snowballs that increase in size by rolling down the slope of a snow-capped mountain.”

“Great analogy,” said Galatea, “but that’s definitely not the case with what is learned about the nature of being at schools and universities today. Take psychiatry, for instance. It’s a science, a medical specialty no more than about two hundred years of age that pigeonholes bundled-up psychological impulses under the aegis of mental illness, stripping people of dignity and self-respect in the process. It keeps categorizing, putting names and labels on emerging so-called mental disorders without the slightest idea of how it might cure them. What does that tell you about psychiatry Pygmalion? You can pretty much put your precious Darwinism in the same boat.”

“Well like it or not, that’s where we’re at.”

“That’s where you shouldn’t be at,” Galatea pushed on. “It’s like you’re being led ashtray by medieval demons masquerading as angels. For a while now scientists have been coming to the table with one-dimensional paradigms, perimeters and programs which they strap to the limbs of the planet in hope of satisfactorily answering the eternal questions of ‘how’ and ‘why’. Then, when things don’t go quite the way they expected or don’t work out at all they either blame their instruments or go on scratching the scalp of their heads until the skin flakes off. It will never ever occur to most of them that the founding principles on which the skeletal framework of their science rests is an illusion, a desert mirage.”

“That would be too much of an ego bruiser,” said Pygmalion.

“Exactly the root of the problem I say,” said Galatea. “Heaven forbid if someone else stole the spotlight, or sat on the throne of egotistical posterity, or came up with a viable theory that could be validated. That would be a complete disaster for the competing ego. Could you imagine?”

“Most people are wired that way,” said Pygmalion. “It can’t be helped I’m afraid.”

“You mean most guys are wired that way!” exclaimed Galatea. “Get over it I say. The cosmos is far more majestic than the monocular self-importance and righteousness indigenous to the pea-sized, pea-headed human ego.”

“I don’t disagree with you,” said Pygmalion. “But fighting the oscillations of human nature is like paddling against a very powerful current. Sadly, the courageous few that have dared to didn’t get all that far.”     

“All I’m saying is that people are simply not looking at life as it should, must, and deserves to be looked at,” said Galatea.

“Probably.”  

“Look, I’ll show you something.”

Galatea stepped out of her clay shell and dropped to her knees. She aligned the palms vertically with the ground.

“What on earth are you doing?” asked Pygmalion.

“Just watch.”

A silvery jelly began to ooze from her hands onto the ground. It wasn’t long before the earth beneath them lost its opaqueness and became clear and translucent, revealing the layers of sediment arranged in tiers beneath their feet. By looking down, it became painstakingly obvious that in some areas sedimentation had failed to transpire. The strata appeared to extend to an abyssal depth in the earth, but Pygmalion noticed that in several pockets it had been anomalously inverted, twisted, or folded. Hundreds of thousands of large and hard-bodied vertebrates had been fossilized in these rocky blankets. There were both marine and terrestrial animals; a vast majority of them were prehistoric, belonging to ages bygone and were now extinct. Some were clearly recognizable whilst others looked like creatures that grace the annals of modern cryptozoology. The manner of their fossilization in the strata fostered the illusion that they had perished whilst being hurled around in a giant washing machine.    

Pygmalion gasped. “How did you do that?”

“I have a way of making people see things,” said Galatea. “Especially things directly under them.”

“No doubt,” said Pygmalion, getting on his knees. “Wow, look here. I can see all sorts of animals–coelacanth, trilobites, shrimp, frogs, birds, dolphins, mammoth, giant arachnids, bats, monkeys, prehistoric humans.”  

“A thick slice of the paleontological record right before your very eyes,” said Galatea. “Undisturbed, I might add.”

“No, kidding,” said Pygmalion. “What’s that weird-looking one that’s very deep? It looks like a pregnant lizard.”

“That’s archaeopteryx.”

“The first bird?”

“That’s what palaeontologists think,” said Galatea. “What do you see?”

“Fossils.”

“What I meant to say is what do you notice about the paleontological record?”

Pygmalion stared at the natural museum, examining the strata, the positioning of the fossils within the strata, and the fossils themselves.

“There’s no continuity,” he said. “I understand that there are gaps in evolutionary sequences, but seeing the whole thing up, close and personal brings with it an undeniable conviction. There’s no continuity between any of the great orders, at least none between the ones I can see.”  

‘Exactly,” said Galatea. “Each order springs up out of the blue with no lasting or detectable prelude.”

“Hmm… the animals don’t appear to evolve into other animals, do they?” asked Pygmalion. “Their physical features don’t change, they only get bigger; either that or they disappear altogether.”

“You’re reading me,” said Galatea. “Take a look at that cartilaginous fish from the Devonian Period over there. That’s roughly the time that amphibians are thought to have evolved. How is it possible for the amphibian to evolve from a fish? Did the fish all of a sudden realise that the seas had become overpopulated or hostile and decided it was time to seek out roads less travelled? Highly unlikely I say, not unless it spontaneously acquired the sentience of a shrewder life form.”

“Maybe it was an unconscious will,” said Pygmalion. “An unconscious urge, an impulse devoid of any intelligence that drove it onto land.”

“Even if what you say is true how does a cartilaginous arch become a pelvic girdle? How does a jointed leg with four or five digits form from pectoral fins? Do you see the problem now?”

“Yeah, kind of,” said Pygmalion. “Their anatomy is somewhat irreconcilable.”

“How did scales turn into feathers?” Galatea went on, pointing to the fossil of archaeopteryx. “According to palaeontologists, that’s supposed to be the first bird right?”      

“Yes, an intermediary of dinosaurs and birds that supported the evolutionary link between them.”

“Did the predecessor of archaeopteryx all of a sudden wake up one morning and think to itself, you know what guys, there’s too much danger and competition down here on the rainforest floor so I’m going to grow me some wings and fly off into the sunset? How would the idea of flying occur to a little reptile that had spent its entire life completely grounded?”    

Pygmalion shrugged. “Maybe it borrowed the idea from the pterosaurs, how should I know. What are you getting at anyway?”

“The only way any of this is possible is if it were premeditated, thought out, meticulously planned,” said Galatea.

“What was?”

“The life forms.”

“By whom?” asked Pygmalion.

“The disembodied intelligence that deemed them necessary,” said Galatea. “The fact that certain anatomical features appear and disappear from the paleontological record without an evolutionary prologue is evidence of their existence. Scales, feathers, fins, flight, warm-blooded and cold-blooded animals, and a host of other innovations are all trails, experiments if you like, pioneered by a peripheral mind, or minds I should say. There’s a host of them working under the authority of a single autogenerator.”    ”

“But how can we be certain Galatea?”

“Does an adventure novel have an author?”

“Obviously.”

“Then why should the book of life be any different?” asked Galatea. “Just a few days ago we came to the conclusion that everything in existence had a rate that could be transcribed by the pendulum.”

“That’s right, it formed a spiral pattern.”

“If everything has a number and is ordered according to a harmonious mathematical plan, then somebody or something must have enumerated them. Just because humans can’t as yet detect these forces and entities with their primitive senses and instruments, doesn’t mean they’re not there.”

“If and when we do reach that level of development, remind me to seek out and interview the intelligence that planned and executed the dinosaurs.”      

“You’re a bit too much sometimes,” said Galatea. “We arrived here through sound observation and reasoning, the two most important tools of critical inquiry, and still you remain incredulous. What hope can there be for all the others who have to do it without any external assistance whatsoever?”

“Oh, trust me Galatea, there’s no shortage of pathological creationists on the earth claiming there’s a master plan behind the shadow play of the universe.”

“There is a master plan Pygmalion.”

“Next thing I’ll be hearing about is how you’re one of the divine autogenerator’s subcontractors,” said Pygmalion. “Am I right?”

“What if I am?”

 Pygmalion smiled wryly. “Then you’re my ticket to fame my dear. Fame, fortune, and life eternal.”

 

In the weeks the followed, the inwardly-turned and brazen Galatea tried to overturn Pygmalion’s narrow little residential cove around. She would always strike and sound many intuitive notes that had lain dormant within him since childhood, but after a brief chime of revelation had sounded he would always slump back into the slime and mud of his unoriginal and orthodox ways. After some time, he found himself agreeing with her for the sake of contentment. At night they would both lie in bed, kept awake by each other’s brain noise; she would embark on soulful soliloquys which sought to convince him of master plans and predetermination and he would secretly scratch at his flesh under the bedcovers as if her words were healed scabs that could readily be picked off and discarded. Her voice steadfast became the echo of his trials and tribulations.

One morning, the brain noise overwhelmed him in quite the same way that a violent cascade might override and silence fluttering sounds issuing from more tranquil modes of being in a tropical rainforest. He had to put an end to the noise, the chaos, the warped visions, the madness that was Galatea. He had to finish what he had started, unravel what he had knotted, destroy what he had created, for it threatened to overhaul his entire universe. He had to commit a sacrilegious act of un-creation. He hadn’t the slightest notion of what the consequences might be, but the mental pain had become so excruciatingly unbearable that he hardly cared anymore.   

Pygmalion wheeled the clay statue to a rocky precipice in graveyard silence. He was fearful and excited at the same time. He thrust his hand inside his Calvin Klein undies and squeezed his prick which inflated rapidly like a life raft. If it were pitch dark he would have flung her to the ground and raped her to relieve the trauma and anguish forced upon him by her antics, but he didn’t dare. There was no telling what prying eyes might suddenly veer out from a sharp corner or a grove of trees and stun him. Instead, he rubbed himself against her backside and expressed regret for what he was about to do. He quickly surveyed the steep drop and set Galatea directly in the line of fire, but before he could incite the fateful shove over the edge she stepped out from her lifelike shell, glaring at him with scorn.

“So this is what it’s come to. I thought you loved me.”   

“Trust me, I don’t want to, but you leave me no choice!” he yelled, spittle flying from his mouth. “It’s either you or sanity, and I’d rather have my sanity.”

“Do you think getting rid of me will solve your problem?” asked Galatea. “Your problems have only just started.”

“You’ll destroy me if I let you live.”

“I’ll come back and haunt you,” she said. “I’ll drive you insane Pygmalion.”

“You can’t,” he said. “You’ll die the moment your body shatters at the foot of this cliff.”

“You’re a feeble and weak man,” she barked back. “You’re unreasonable.”

“The word is sensible.”

“Not quite sensible enough to listen to the truth.”

“It’s madness.”

“It’s the future,” she said. “It’s fate, destiny, call it what you will.”

“Yours ends here.”

“I am without past, present, future, or destiny,” she said.

“Oh, really?”

 ‘You drew me to yourself of your own accord and now you’re spitting me back into the whirlpool,” she said. “You can’t handle me. You can’t handle my words because they strike too close to home, too sharp a chord in your intuition. You’re a coward Pygmalion.”

“Bitch.”

“You’re gutless.”

“Whore.”

“You’re a pathetic excuse for a man.”

‘Demon.”

“You’re as good as dead.”

“Say goodbye Galatea.”

“Say goodbye Pygmalion,” she said, “because you’re coming with me.”

“You think so, do you?”

“Heed my words and you will be rewarded. Love me, listen to me, and you will be honoured. Shatter me and you will destroy yourself.”

Pygmalion stepped forward and drove a kick into the wax statue, but found that he couldn’t retract it. The frantic attempts to free his limb from his forsaken companion were futile. There was an undetectable force connecting the two together like a giant magnet. Sensing his urgency, it tightened its hold further. Pygmalion was flung along the gravel like a ragged doll, gaining momentum until he was airborne. He anticipated hearing his own screams as they tumbled through the air. They never came. The fall was like a muted scene, earsplitting within his head and dead silent outside it.       

 

He was startled awake milliseconds before they hit the ground. The disparate setting threw him into a forest of thorny confusion for some while and he wanted to scream.  He was lying on an uninspiring hospital bed, sweating profusely. He couldn’t wipe himself because he was heavily strapped to it. He stared at the ceiling fan, pondering whether Galatea would ever come back from the dead to haunt him. The noise hadn’t quite disappeared; perhaps it was an omen. It was so noisy that he didn’t really notice the warm hand on his naked shoulder.

‘Bad dreams?”

Pygmalion winced. “Yeah.”

“Would you like something to help you sleep?”

“No thanks nurse.”

“You’ve been waking every half hour,” she said. “If not every quarter.”

“I’d rather not sleep.”

“That bad, huh?” she said, staring into his eyes.

“Yeah.”

“Things will get better,” she said. “I’m sure of it.”

Pygmalion turned towards a flat panel T.V. mounted on the wall of his room and caught sight of someone he knew quite well. She was elegant and beautiful, bedecked in a red satin dress and an extravagant Greek hairstyle. For a few seconds, he shook his head from side to side to make sure he wasn’t still dreaming.

“Can you turn the volume up please?”

“Sure I just need to give you this injection first,” she said, pivoting towards the T.V. “Oh, it’s Professor  Christou!"

Who’s Professor Christou?”

“An incredible woman,” said the nurse. “She’s a cosmologist from what I understand. She’s been on the news all morning.”

“Why?”

“Her and her team have developed a machine which isolates an organism’s life force,” she said. “You know, the spark that animates you.  There’s word that it’s identical in all members of one species. This is the start of a scientific revolution, an era that will reinchant and spiritualize science they’re saying."   

“Well she’s got you all fooled.”

“Why?” asked the nurse.

“She’s just a demon trying to lead everyone ashtray with her creationist bullshit,” said Pygmalion. “I know her, I know her very well. Her real name is Galatea. She’s tried to convince me with these lies too, back when she was trapped in a statue.”

“She has?”

“Yeah that there’s a master plan to everything and so forth,” he said. “I didn’t really believe any of it. For many weeks all she did was try to drive me insane so I killed her, threw her from a cliff. She’s obviously a demon. She knew how to come back.”

The nurse bit her lower lip. “Have you taken your Clozapine?”

“Are you talking about the pills?” he asked.

“Yeah.”

“Nope and I won’t be taking them anymore,” he said.

“Why not? They’re for your own good.”

“Cause I saw the way you reacted when I told you she was a demon,” he said. “You’re one of her minions, aren’t you?”

“Pygmalion…”

“You are,” he said, “and you’re growing bolder now that you know that she’s human. I need to kill her again, but that might not solve anything. She’ll probably just come back as something even more powerful.”

The nurse smiled sheepishly. “You know, you’re probably right about that.”

“About what?”

“About her being a demon,” said the nurse.

“I know I am,” he said. “I’ve witnessed her magical powers firsthand.”

“Well then, she must be a demon.”

“She is.”

“If there are demons there must be angels though, right?”

“Yes.”

 “Which means that God must exist since it is God who creates them.”

“Yup.”

“If God exists, then everything must be built to a plan and predetermined.”

“Hmm…”

“She must be telling the truth then,” the nurse said. “I don’t think it matters though.”

“Why not?”

“She’ll end up burning in hell either way.”

Pygmalion smiled at her. “That’s more like it.”

           

             

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