The Winged Horse

Winged Horse

Authur, closer and more garish

The ex and I had this fight recently.

It is a fictional fight. If you read on you’ll know what I mean.

There is this solid brass statue on one of the living room side tables – A miniature winged horse. It’s about the size of a chihuahua and was named ‘Aurther’. (The artist named it. God knows why.) For a statue the size of a small dog, it is also monstrously heavy. The ex lugged it back all the way from Hawaii.

I didn’t warm to this statue right away but it has, over time, eventually grown on me. It is a seriously Punjabi statue. How can I explain what that means to non-desi’s?

It’s kitsch, colourful and a bit sentimental. Three things I associate wholly with the Punj.

It’s the ex’s baby – A source of pride and joy.

We were debating one sunny afternoon, how lovely it would be if the horse came to life one day. (Well I wasn’t debating this. This is the ex’s fantasy.)

“Imagine if we’d have our own flying horse…”

the ex theorized.

“How amazing. How lovely. We’d keep in the house on a golden leash..”

(or something to that effect.)

But what if it came to life and one day wanted to fly away into the great open sky? To be free as it were?

I suggested. What if it didn’t want the golden leash?

Side note: I’ve always wondered if the statue brought to life by Pygmalion would have really loved him back.

Perhaps she might for a little while, but what if it began to pall? Perhaps she’d want to leave. Perhaps a younger, up and coming, more talented sculptor would lure her away from her old creator.

Also, surely Pygmalion’s ideal of this perfect woman, carved in cold stone would never really hold true once she was a living, breathing person and had independent thought (not to mention that-time-of-the-month hormonal temper tantrums. That’ll scupper the romance if anything would.)

Perhaps Pygmalion would even resent her having independent thought. Challenging him. Arguing. Having periods.

Besides there must have been a reason he couldn’t find a girl to go out with him in the first place. He must have had some personality and/or hygiene issues.

Frankly I just don’t see the relationship working out.

Anyway, the little flying horse might want to fly away.

The ex said

“Oh then I’ll kill it.”

Perfectly casually and quite seriously.

“What? Why?? Why would you do something like that? Why would you kill it?”

“I won’t let it fly away. I wont allow it. I’ll kill it.”

I’m genuinely appalled for this poor fictional creature.

I tell the ex I’ll secretly free from its golden cage in the middle of the night it and tell it to fly, fly away quickly and never come back!

Then the ex was annoyed with me. I mustn’t do such a thing!

I insisted I would free it if the ex was going to kill it (Obviously. What else would I do?)

The ex said,

“‘No! I will only kill it if it wants to leave. Otherwise it can live.”

How magnanimous.

“You can’t kill it! If you love it you would let it go free!”

I argue hopelessly.

We eventually reached a stalemate.

I will surreptitiously free the poor oppressed flying mini horse. The ex would lovingly kill it.

I quite enjoy fictional arguments. The ex, not so much. Especially since I let the flying horse escape.


27 thoughts on “The Winged Horse

  1. Oh, this reminds me of the short story “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
    A tightrope of passion and destruction.

    I’m with you Tin Roof, free the horse!

    On a side note; I’d love to see your artistic interpretation of this debate.

    • Me, too, about the artistic interpretation.
      When I first began reading this, I was sure it would end with someone getting clobbered over the head with that statue, or perhaps it being thrown through some plate glass window. I admire your (fictional) self-restraint!

    • You know I have a plan, at least a sketch in my brain, of something along the lines of me the ex riding nude on my little ponies along a great grassy hillside with some other people, under a glittering rainbow.
      The winged horse in its cage could be inserted in there too. Good idea!

  2. I’m with the Ex on a number of fronts here.

    Really Janine, you don’t understand romantic obsession very well.

    And– to go all-Ex about Pygmalion: see, here too you’re giving way to your deconstructive urges, which all amount to– what?

    Pygmalion *is* the young, ‘up and coming’ sculptor. He’s pursuing the Ideal. The chaste perfection of marble comes to life. Now, wherever do you get the notion that she’s going to live like some hag, shopping around for ‘hotter, younger’ sculptors? Duh! *Men* shop for hotter, younger. Women take what scraps they can afford.

    And we’ve borne with menstruation this long, we can handle it Janine. Really, it’s not your secret weapon. I’ve gone done on menstruating pussy. The Red Tide cannot halt us!!

    It’s menopause that puts an end to everything. So sorry ladies!

    Perhaps Galatea, who never had to endure puberty, will never age. And, being the product of her creator’s formal, final, and efficient causes, why should she not be in supreme mental harmony with him, as well as embodying a physical ideal?

    It’s really petty to try and devolve this lovely tale to the level of some “Sex and the City” hokum.

    Who hurt you when you were a child, Janine? Who didn’t let you have your pony?

    • Well of course you’re with the ex. Both of you are boys, smashing and destroying, pursuing hollow ideals. Look at your obsession with tara? Glossy, cold, hollow women singing glossy, cold, hollow songs.

      and as for pygmalion – i really see her dropping him and quick. she can do much better. Women upgrade just as much as men, if not more so and historically have cuckolded men through the ages. If the creation was beautiful it is highly doubtful she’d stick it out with the dirty old codger.

      • What tells you she won’t be “dirty” and “old” as quick as the young man himself?

        It is the male prerogative to become more desirable as we age; an enviable trait certainly *not* bestowed upon women, who have absolutely nothing to rely on except preexisting love and affection, to secure them a mate past the age of 40 (and forty is being generous).

        He is her creator, and a genius; even the gods have taken his side by making her *live*. There is no possible ‘upgrade’ left.

        Who are you to deem ideals ‘hollow’, when all you advocate (even if in jest) is mere slutting it around and shopping for sugar daddies?

        As for T-ara, you are once again projecting: it is you, alas, who suffer from too much coldness and hollowness.

        Not glossy though; I don’t think you do ‘glossy’.

        Careful, careful. Are you worried the Ex might one day smash you too?

        You should make the appropriate kind gesture and clip your wings yourself, to show your love you won’t fly away.

        Janine, get real. You’re as kitsch as they come. These delusions of sophistication, they don’t become you!

        • An ideal is hollow if it is unachievable. But thats my view. It doesn’t have to be yours or the ex’s.

          But your comments seem pretty stereotypically male, or at least of a gay male. Women as pristine objects, men as the ‘genius’ the ‘creator’

          Obviously, I won’t see it that way.

          And as for the gods dictating the creation love her creator, I really don’t see her being obedient and the gods were pretty fickle back then. Eve certainly wasn’t.

          as for tara – I’m not the one projecting here. I don’t worship them as perfect goddesses. You do. I dont draw perfect women, nor am i attracted to perfect women. But you might be.

          That has nothing to do with being kitch or sophisticated. You want something perfect and unreal. I don’t. It doesn’t interest me outside a Barbara Cartland. If tara is your Cartland that’s lovely I’m sure, but i dont claim the BC heroines are plausible.

          • See, you always come back to Cartland, your secret, denied ideal. . . .

            Oh Janine, what roiling seas you sail upon.

            Of course I don’t expect you to see what is great in T-ara (greatness is not your forte).

            But just look how you longingly project this brattified version of feminism onto all women. “C’mon girls, be bratty, pretty please!!”

            Of course if the Ex is being a brat, that’s a different story!

            Your bio-issued Ovaltine Women’s De-Decoder unit has you reeling because you translate romantic ideals into something else. You hear a word like ‘pristine’ and turn it into something it doesn’t mean; all the while, of course, positing yourself as the preferable alternative to ‘pristine’.

            If men want ‘cute’ women won’t want cute, and they’ll say ‘we’re not *cute*, we’re something better!’

            If men want ‘sexy’ women will object to ‘sexy’, and they’ll say, ‘I’m not sexy, I’m something ‘better!’

            And if men want young and old women see it– gosh darn! Better head indoors . . .

            But seriously: you shouldn’t lean upon Cartland so much. You obviously, honestly believe that these books somehow stand in for everything everyone from Plato to Jane Austen has believed in about family, romance, sexuality.

            That’s a complete Strawman Fallacy. I mean, I think you really do believe it. So you sit and enjoy these books (which really is more *telling* than you want us to believe) but since you can spot the silliness, you feel smug because you think you’ ve thus dismissed the whole History of Love, as it were.

            You might want to ask whether Stendhal, Tolstoi, Virgil, Titian, Mozart’s understanding of ‘love’ wasn’t altogether more perplexing and profound– and deeply felt– than Cartland.

            I mean, it’s kindof a conversation stopper, to protest at anyone’s feelings (your own included) by saying, “Oh yeah, it’s like these Cartland books I read.”

            That’s like someone calling “King Lear’ a soap opera. It’s not just snobbery that makes King Lear *not* a soap opera. They really are operating on two radically different levels.

          • Well i always come back to Cartland with you because your views remind me of her views.

            Because she had ludicrous, semi-republican ideas and it seems you do too.

            And like I said, I dont think her heroines are plausible. But you do seem to. Or want them to be. Very republican of you.

            But i think we’re going to have to agree to disagree. No point arguing about it.

  3. –You know, I’ve just been rereading Ovid. Do you know what set Pygmalion on?

    “‘As for the loathsome Propoetides, they dared to deny the divinity of Venus. The story goes that as a result of this, they were visited by the wrath of the goddess, and were the first women to lose their good names by prostituting themselves in public. Then, as all sense of shame left them, the blood hardened in their cheeks, and it required only a slight alteration to transform them into stony flints.”

    –Well. if THAT doesn’t describe the look of a slut, what does?!

    “When Pygmalion saw these women, living such wicked lives, he was revolted by the many faults which nature has implanted in the female sex, and long lived a bachelor existence . . . .

    “‘The festival of Venus . . . was now in progress. . . . Pygmalion, having made his offering, stood by the altar and timidly prayed, saying: “If you gods can give all things, may I have as my wife, I pray–” he did not dare to say: “the ivory maiden,” but finished: “one like the ivory maid.” However, golden Venus, present at her festival in person, understood what his prayers meant, . . . . The goddess Venus was present at the marriage she had arranged and, when the moon’s horns had nine times been rounded into a full circle, Pygmalion’s bride bore a child, Paphos, from whom the island takes its name.”

    • Wow.

      That sounds just like what the Republican party have in their minds when they look at women.

      Are you sure this wasn’t in the news? Has Michele Bachmann heard of this?

      But I never liked Venus. She’s was a right evil, ego driven, bitch. Even to her own son. No wonder her husband kept cheating on her. He really should have broken her neck instead.

      • Goodness grief, have you been imbibing mal over a mildewed copy of Bulfinch?

        Ah, she’s the one who cheats on her *husband*, not the other way around!

        So the goddess of love and sexuality is an “evil, ego driven, bitch”! What’d she do, ask Jupiter to pay for her contraception?

        And her husband should break her neck!

        And yet *I’m* the one with this supposed fetish for chastity, and impossibly ideal women? While you are the harbinger of Women’s Lib?

        But between In-“RickRape”dia and Londonistan, I think you have enough home turf women’s lib to worry about. In my peaceful neck at least, violence against women isn’t quite so all-comsuning a worry.

        I think you think the Republican Party thinks about women a vast deal more than it does. It’s women, of a feminist cast, who think of nothing but themselves.

        As for Cartland, I really don’t know what the true attraction is for you, and I’m not intent to *seriously* grieve you over your addiction.

        But you are a completist, you really do read the things, and there’s only so much self-punishment most people will give themseles over stuff they honestly regard as pure trash.

        So there must be something that resonates for you. Maybe it’s a sense or order, or the promise of a happy ending, or a version of femininity. I don’t know.

        But it’s something, and you might as well work towards ‘owning’ whatever it is, because it resonates a bit more deeply with you than some purely ironic, self-mocking kick.

        Anyway, my feminine ideals start with Austen heroines, and I’ve a mind to say that Emma Woodhouse has a great deal more wit, presence, and audacity than your Cartland heroines, or even Michelle Bachman.

        Or even (no offense, my guileless little Janine) *you*! xox

        • Firstly don’t be an ass. Or at least don’t argue like an pompous idiot.

          BC: I like the comfort of the repetition. They are all the same. All plots are the same, all characters are the same. There are 512 books. I have about 400. I’ve discussed this is past posts. In fact in many past posts.

          Austen and BC have nothing to do with each other.
          Austen actually can write. Comparing the 2 is ridiculous.

          The goddess of love and sexuality and all those gods were supremely machismo and male centric. So no, I never liked them. it’s unlikely we will agree about them or the mythology. That’s fine with me, you seem to have some issues with this.

          The Republican party, like some religious bodies, (and we have discussed this before) are constantly snuffling between women thighs trying to meddle. We don’t agree.

          Free contraception: yes, i’m all for population reduction. We’ve also discussed this before. Again we don’t agree.

          There is no need to get personal in your arguments, or should i say attacks.

          • It’s not personal; you just don’t think these things through.

            Reading 400 Cartland novels is simply *not* about The Comfort of Repetition, anymore than a man using the same masturbational fantasy 400 times over is just cozying over a comfortable, time-worn plot.

            It means *something*.

            I’m fretting you because there’s a something in your character that plainly is more old-fashioned and traditionalistic than you care to admit to yourself, or can philosophically reconcile with your overt beliefs.

            You’re a nester, you are (I will assume) monogamous, and despite all your teasing and fretting the Ex, you plainly have your own kitschtastic– no no, wait a minute, that’s not quite all– your own *sentimental* streak.

            I might truly offend by implying this, but: I think somewhere along the line in your development, you had more gay men than lesbians upon whom to rely, to pal around and explore your identity, and you let some of this anti-‘breeder’ snarkiness rub off on you; so now you have this kind of public image of yourself you like to present, the swinging cosmopolitan queer chick, that’s heavily indebted to a (gay, possibly also Indian and thus, frankly, maybe not the most au courrant) role. There’s something even, at times, almost *misogynistic*– I’m serious– about the tone you carry on in.

            And to be honest, you wear it pretty well. You can be charmingly malicious; it’s one of the things that draws me to you.

            But, being a bit your senior, and also precisely because we are not obliged, being a Pond apart, to truly have to answer to one another, I enjoy admonishing you that: you should consider how much of this is *really* you.

            I’m not trying to make you broody, for god’s sake. But there’s a disconnect between this ‘femininity be damned’ politicized schtick and what really is a curiously cutecore chick hiding behind the blanket.

            And I really do think there are times when people around you must get quite amused, watching you snarl with your invisible thumb stuck in your mouth like that.

            Of course: really I fret you because of bad karma. The Gods have decreed the Ex is not trouble enough.

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