jewell and the rubies

i. Aphrodite has given up on love. She listens to boys yelling obscene things at innocent girls. She can be found serving drinks at the local bar to broken women and spitting poisonous words at the filthy gentlemen next to them.
ii. Apollo dreads the moment the sun rises. Because when the sun goes up, his local late night show ends and his hour of fame comes to a close. He can be found spending his days, sitting on a park bench asking for loose change and wishing his poetry was good enough.
iii. Ares doesn’t understand war anymore. All he sees is needless bloodshed and brutal homicide based upon abhorrent racial cleansing and childish disagreements. He can be found weeping over the destruction of schools and the murder of innocent children.
iv. Artemis doesn’t hunt game anymore. She carries a switchblade and mace, prepared to fight off any boy harassing a girl with intoxicated footsteps. She can be found holding back girl’s hair as they vomit up their insecurities while sobs wrack their body into the next morning.
v. Athena has stopped believing in reason. When there’s international conflict concerning who marries who and a nationwide crisis about the newest fashion, reason just doesn’t seem applicable anymore. She can be found protesting with college students about real problems.
vi. Dionysus can’t help the madness. When the frequency of mental illness - in children nonetheless, has become so high? What’s the point? He can be found at the same pub and same seat as always; drinking the same dry whisky wishing everything would be the same as it used to be.
vii. Hades can’t stand jewels anymore. Emeralds reflect the envy and greed of humanity while rubies reflect their sexual and blood lust. He can be found rolling his eyes at people begging for their lives in the allies while human demons hunt them down for materialistic ends.
viii. Hephaestus has developed a hatred of fire. It does nothing but steal. It steal oxygen from the air and steal people from their families. Fire does not give it takes. He can be found saving everything he can from fire’s wrath, but will later choke on the smoke of his cigarette.
ix. Hermes can’t stand traveling. His legs are weak and his eyes are strained. He’s carried too many messages to people about the death of loved ones and the love letters are scarce. He can be found stealing, not money, but of their hope and strength because he’s hasn’t any left.

The gods are among us and they can’t survive. Why should I?

—  “Modern Mythology” by Maggie McCloskey