When Pursued by the Goddess of Love

Because we live in a patriarchy, everyone remembers the story of how Apollo chased Daphne even though she had already said, “No!” She called out to Mother Earth for protection. Taking pity on her, the earth goddess swallowed Daphne and replaced her with a laurel tree just as Apollo was about to rape her. It is an insult to all women that Apollo made the laurel tree sacred to himself; he fashioned a laurel wreath from her, which both paradoxically and ironically, became a symbol of victory.

But Apollo wasn’t the only bad apple in the Olympian barrel. Aphrodite was no slouch at the Luv Game herself. She liked to time travel, appropriate the sexy technology of whatever age she’d landed in, then find herself some local yokel to get all hot and bothered.

So it was that back in what we now call The Day, Aphrodite got her a hankerin’ for some cowboy. She zeroed in on a red Ford truck, the forgotten wastelands of Arizona and it was all “Road Trip! Road Trip!” with her.

He was standin’ on the corner in Winslow, Arizona lookin’ as winsome as only a cowboy can. She slowed, he got in, all grateful like and willing to sing for his ride. At first, Aphrodite thought he was singing to her as a little romantic foreplay. He was no Orpheus–even Orpheus’s severed head, singing as it floated down the river sounded better, but Aphrodite figured that as long as this handsome cowboy had LUV on his mind, she could put up with it.

She had researched the era before setting out from her summer home in the clam shell, so by nightfall, she had pulled into an outdoor theatre. Her sources said the locals went there to make love in their roomy chariots, and, indeed, with her Love Goddess super powers, she could see many a van arockin’, and she had flat bed Ford fantasies of her own this piece of young and restless cowboy had a feature acting role in.

If she could only get him to put that damned guitar down, stop singing, and pay attention to the Great Her, Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, born of Uranus’s genitals. In spite of the fearsome reputation of the Cowboy as a love ’em and leave ’em icon of the Old West, it turns out this Cowboy was more Mad Musician than Get Along Lil Dogie, and the average American woman knows what Almighty Aphrodite did not: you cannot distract a musician with sex, or food, or even a bacchanal happening all around him. He is blind to everything but the so-called char m of his own instrument. It never occurs to him to just, as Aphrodite finally yelled at him, “Shut the front door!”

She threw the Ford in reverse, backtracked to that fateless corner at Winslow, Arizona, and kicked both musician and guitar out onto the pavement. He just stood there looking bewildered, “But wait! I have one more song to sing! It’s all about you and me and your truck!”

“Zeus spare me,” Aphrodite muttered, “Do not sing me one more song!”

It wasn’t pity but profound sexual frustration and a heap of annoyance that drove Aphrodite to turn that tone-deaf cowboy into what he is today–a bronze statue, a blessedly SILENT bronze statue, forever poised on the edge of a song on the corner in Winslow, Arizona.

You can go there and see for yourself.