And you must see her—Bridgette—Bethany’s grandmother. Nigh into her fifties now. Her son, William, a pre-adolescent—not quite old enough to understand Bethany’s misdoings yet. No father to teach him of that. Warren Bloodworth frozen in the ground going on ten years now. The marriage, Bridgette and Warren’s marriage, arranged by shotguns. Bridgette already showing when they tied the knot—why they tied the knot. Bridgette fooled into thinking she was menopausal, but she was not. Fooled into thinking letting a man back into her bed would do no harm, but she was wrong. And she shows her age now. The age of a grandmother trying to be a mother again. There’s fear in her voice now.

“Do you see me? Do you hear? Ain’t no good will come out of you cavortin’ with a Bloodworth. He may be boy now—a boy you got wrapped around your little finger. But he’ll grow to be a man, and you’ll see what I’m sayin’… Look at me! Stayin’ in your father’s cabin because I ain’t go nowhere’s else to go. Raisin’ a son of a man who’s dead. A son he didn’t want… Time’s hard on woman raisin’ children all by herself. And you need’s to know ‘bout that man. That Bloodworth… You’re learnin’ ‘bout a woman’s power now—listenin’ to that Sissy and that damn music she likes to play—rememberin’ her man. And you oughta know—she ain’t doin’ you no good. I know all about her, ‘bout her and that garden… You’re learnin’ ‘bout a woman’s power, but you needs to know ‘bout a woman’s weakness—and it’s time, child. Time ain’t no good to a woman… Look at me! Look at my skin, my face, my body! Look how it sags! My eyes ain’t allurin’ no more, and with eye shadow I just look like what I am—an old whore… I’m ashamed, ashamed to look at myself now. I’m ashamed of mirrors. My breasts once towers of wisdom, once enticing to a man, once granting me favors—now just useless udders of an old woman and her sour milk. You think a woman ages nice—like wine? Well, they don’t. But that boy… that boy might be naïve to your charms now, but he’ll age, and time’s fond to a man… That damn Bloodworth! He knew! He knew he looked good for forty, and even with that chew, that tobacco spit that disgusted me—he was experienced. He knew what made me wet… And that’s a woman’s weakness—a man’s confidence that she ain’t given him. We hate it, but we’re attracted to it. I remember how he was—why I let him in my bed. He was impervious to my threats, the fears I tried to plant in him, and the monsters I tried to manifest in his mind were just toys to him. Toys for him to play with, to swallow. I was a toy to him… He wasn’t afraid of me, and that’s what you need to be afraid of—a man that ain’t afraid of a woman and what she can do with her words, her looks… You need to know they win. They win every time. Because time’s on their side. Because the moon don’t give no light in the darkness ‘cept the reflected fire of the sun. And the mirror ain’t no good to woman with a clock tickin’… A grown man don’t need no woman in his mirror. He laughs at mirrors. He laughs at our reflections thrown over his shoulder. He forgets our names once he’s done with us. And he knows our smells—our stank. The illusions we try to put in the mirrors he laughs at. A man that knows a thing or two knows what time does to us. And he laughs! He laughs at us! You oughta know—you oughta know this. Because you’re young now, but time will do it to you too. We might be the mothers, the mothers to the earth, but a man is father to time…”

And yes, my grandmother, in her gypsy curse of Bloodworth’s—knew the myth, she the myth of the Titans, the story of Uranus and Gaea, the story of Saturn, the son of Uranus, or Heaven (Sky-Father) and Gaea (Earth-Mother), who upon the advice of his mother, the Earth (who understood the changes of life and knew that Heaven of his own accord would never yield to the younger generation), castrated his father and thus separated Heaven from Earth. The earth creating out of flint, a mineral of her own substance, a sickle with which to complete the deed. This tool by which life was cut down at the time of harvest, crescent-shaped like the moon, symbolic of its cyclic rise and fall. The spilled blood of heaven forming such creatures as the Giants and the Furies, the genitals tossed into the sea eventually producing the beautiful Venus/Aphrodite… This emasculation affecting the rotation of the generations. And the sickle, the scythe, becoming representative of that cruel and unrelenting flow of time which, in the end, cuts down all things… She knew this story—this myth. For she saw it now. She saw it in her mirror when she gazed upon her aging face, in the fear she saw there—in her eyes. She saw it in her fears for me. The story of how we began. The story of our death. My lover, and me. Bringing yet another Golden Age, and necessity…