H is for Hebe

It’s hard to remember Hebe. My current self doesn’t want to remember her and Hebe herself wanted to change so badly. Trapped by a sense of futility, losing her function at her father’s side to a pretty boy Jupitre plucked in his claws, subject to her mother’s protective disappointment, her purpose dwindled to finding cups at the Navel. She’d take them home, smash them, and return to the Navel for another one. What a sad, pathetic existence. Was it truly once mine? Not anymore. I changed in the Shadow Forest. I discarded Hebe. I got my wish. I can’t help wondering, though, who found her? Who absorbed her memories, the pieces of self she discarded in Stealing Myself From Shadows? Would I recognize these pieces if confronted with them in a different form, a different person? Or would they hide themselves within dolls, crystals or cups on the Navel’s shelves? Are they waiting for the right person to walk into the shop, to pick them up and claim them? I hope that person isn’t me. Why would anyone else want them? I certainly didn’t. The only person who wants Hebe back is her mother. She’s found herself a surrogate daughter, as big a disappointment as Hebe was. The disappointing daughter, perhaps she’s an essential part of Juno’s existence. Perhaps she’s happy with her disappointing daughter. Hebe never made her mother any happier than she did her father. Together again, perhaps Juno and Jupitre are happy. With her husband in her grasp, Juno may no longer need Hebe to need her, even if their marriage is only a shadow of what it once was. The sight of Jupitre in Omphalos makes me so angry. Is this the father I tried so hard to impress, the father whose rejection made me spiral into despair? A broken, feeble, lecherous man, dreaming of the glory of the god he once was? He truly hid behind the thunderbolt. I thought I’d moved past both of my parents, but part of me can’t forgive or forget them. Maybe this means there’s still a part of Hebe within me, even after I thought I’d discarded her completely. Can you completely discard yourself in the Shadow Forest? Or does your essential core remain, bured beneath the manifestation of your wishes? I’m not sure. I tried not to think about it too much. Too much thought leads to doubt. Doubt seems to be catching up with me, no matter how many Doors I escape through. Doubt and the ghost of my former self. I guess there’s no escaping Hebe, no matter how far I try to run.

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