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  • Tweeting the Classics!

    Being a Twitter Version of the Odyssey, In Which Penelope Begs Odysseus to Come Home.



    My Dear Odysseus: Please listen up!

    Honey, it’s time to come home. Haven’t wanted to nag, but I need you. It’s damn hard to run all this by myself, the vineyards, the cattle, the castle, the olive orchards, the stadium, the theater, the fishing fleets. I’m in burnout here, and I miss my man. How do we spell 'clinical depression'?

    I haven’t wanted to sound needy or anything, but I am at wits end with the servants and the suitors, Holy Zeus, the suitors! They crawl up the vines and try to sneak into my bedroom. Several of them insist that I should marry again! They even get in fights over it. So disrespectful to you, of course, but you’ve been gone so long, and all we get around here are the stories, the stories, Help me Hera! Help me, Homer!

    Honey, it’s time to come home. I know that all this sailing around the Aegean is a guy thing, a way of proving yourself in the world. King’s gotta do what a King’s gotta do, but, Dear Love, this has gone on a long time, and yes, I miss you. There!I Said it out loud, just like a wife!

    Now we have woo woo Athena, with the jasmine incense, trying to cheer me up with her abominable ‘happy dreams.’ I told that silly Goddess to get lost! And I heard a rumor you rejected Calypso’s offer of immortality. Are you nuts? Is this true? Is this true? Couldn’t you have talked this over with me?

    Honey, it really is time to come home. It’s dangerous out there, and even a tough dude like you could get in big trouble. I heard about Poseidon wrecking your boat, dear little Leucothea saving you, and our Know It All Athena stepping in to still the storm, but don’t you know I worry about you? Yes, worry! I heard all about Queen Arete, too, and those difficult Phaecians. You should have quit then. Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, and all that!

    When Demodocos sang, what was it in his songs that made you weep, and weep again? Was it then you missed our marriage bed, our fields, the sweet wine that I make just for you, the long walks we take in the early morning light? Hint! Hint!

    Honey, is any of this coming through? Is it possible you’ve ached for my kisses on your sunburned lips, yearned for my touch upon your very soul? I’d like to think that when you wept you came awake, came to your senses, and said to the Gods: Kalimera! I have a nice place back there, and a good woman, a genuine Aphrodite clone. Demeter said there’d be days like this, but enough is enough!

    Honey, you’ve made a name for yourself. You really have. Homer is going to make you famous forever, thus, your immortality is now secured by homely Homer’s pen. You will inspire great books: Dante, Joyce, Conrad, Twain. You’ll even ‘launch’ likes of Captain Kirk and Starship Enterprise. You have it made. You can quit now. You are writ larger than life, now I want you back where you belong, telling me stories through our lazy nights of love and sleep and laughter, making the world our world right here at home.

    I think I have been a real Queen about all this, but even Queens have their limits. This is mine, Big Guy! Line in the sand. You’re the only one who can send these dreadful suitors to the hills, and restore order in our Kingdom!

    I know of your victory over the Cyclops, but what is this about calling yourself “Nobody”? Makes no sense to me. And those Laestrygonians? You lost eleven ships. And no insurance? Wasn’t that some kind of message? Like, “Time to go home, Odysseus, time to go home.”

    I say, enough with this sexy siren Circe, and all the other beauties on your route. None of them can hold a beeswax torch to me, and you know it. Kings! Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. Go figure. I love you, King or no King. Honey, it really is time to come home. I’ve heard about it all: Hades, your descent into the underworld, your meetings with Agamemnon, Achilles, Ajax, Minos and Heracles. Boring. Boring. Boring. Yawn. Each night I climb into an empty bed and weep the tears of a woman who loves you with her whole life, who waits for you year after year, holding your kingdom here together against all odds.

    I don’t need any more of your Sirens, Wandering Rocks, and those ox herds of Helius. Enough with those smelly oxen! I want to feel your hands on my face, and your strong body wrapped around mine in the midnight hours. Remember all that? That was us. Years ago. I’ve never given up, but now I speak: Hello? Calling the King! Calling the King! That’s you, Babe! Just get in your ship and point towards me. You’ve made your mark on history. And all the Gods and Goddesses worth their powers are proud of you, and so am I. But there’s a time to turn toward home, like now.

    My prayer is that Aeolus speeds you home, and that the sea will give safe passage as you journey back to me.

    Please write and hasten home! It’s time to send old Homer off, to pick on someone else’s life. Tell him you’ve had a letter from your wife. Just send some token back to me, a token I will recognize, perhaps a ring, or song that only you could sing.

    I’ll make our marriage bed and count the hours, and light homecoming fires in all the towers.

    Love,

    Your Penelope
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