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Sisyphus Longs for a Weekend

by Eric Pinder

Only sleep provides escape— a furlough, fleeting, draped in sheets that always ends in the predestined clamor of 7:01 a.m. when, with a flash reminiscent of Zeus’s red anger, the impatient ritual resumes—

first, the dreaded heave of boulders and eyelids and blankets, each one weightier than yesterday’s, more reluctant to release the soulful cadaver they entomb. Next, a lukewarm splash, too rushed to appreciate, cleansing grime and the groggy imprint of nightmares until his skin is again a slate erased, though soon it will stink of exertion and engrave around his plum eyes the hieroglyphics depicting fatigue. He expects all this because the brusque baptism cannot wash away the knowledge of futility. Immortal Zeus has punished Sisyphus with an infinity of Mondays.

Eric Pinder usually writes about nature and animals. His books include How to Share with a Bear, Counting Dinos, and If All the Animals Came Inside. He teaches at a small college in the woods, a few miles down the road less traveled.


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