Should Have Stayed Home (A Tragedy in One Act)

Sid Eupo: But what if I had run into a stranger, and I didn’t know at the time she’s my cousin?

Em Pore: Well, I suppose if you look at it that way — wait, why am I agreeing with you? We already know she’s your cousin, that’s why you have to go. That’s final. [aside: He can’t possibly suspect that prophecy is the real reason …]

Sid: Yeah, but she’s been so NICE to me and took care of my swollen ankles and everything, you’re saying that we can’t date because that would offend the gods?

Em: Exactly. If there’s anything in this world that’s certain, it’s that if you want to escape your fate, you’ll just have to remove all kinds of temptation, because this happening is just a freak accident. This household is not in the back woods where this sort of thing just happens.

Sid: All’s I’m saying, after all, is that if I’d gone on this journey a year ago, ran into her in her home town, and brought her back here my bride you wouldn’t have known anything until the banquet.

Em: Yeah, when my BROTHER shows up and turns out to also be my BROTHER-IN-LAW — enough, I absolutely forbid it!

Sid: Or, y’know, what if she had been given up for adoption at birth, or your brother might have been cuckolded, you know — that could have happened, right? Stranger things have happened in this world.

Em: But —

Sid: I never grew up with her or anything so you might have thought it was even natural to be a little attracted to my cousin once she was introduced — even you have to admit that she’s pretty hot.

Em: B —

Sid: And she’s so nice besides, who wouldn’t want her in the family?

Em: But that’s not the point! She’s already IN the family! Plus she doesn’t like you anyway — she said you keep following her around with that creepy simpering face — yes, that one!

Sid: So … so she’s not interested?

Em: Yes. So not interested.

Sid: But she said she loved me?

Em: No, I’ve told you a thousand times you don’t listen closely enough. She said “Here’s some olive juice for your bread.”

Sid: Not “Cheersome, I love you for eons ahead?”

Em: No.

Sid: Oh. Who the hell calls it olive juice anyway? Glad I dodged that bullet. And what kind of pillow talk pet name is “cheersome?”

Em: No, you didn’t …

Sid: No, no, just a daydream about the future — you know, the kids, waking up tomorrow next to —

Em: (hands on ears) DIDN’T HEAR YOU … WON’T …

Sid: Well, I guess this trip does make sense. Nothing good can come of me staying here …

Em: [Finally!] I’m just glad that you see my point. Plus it’ll do you some good to get out of here, spread your wings a little, sow your wild oats — not in your cousin, mind, we just sorted that bit out — see the world, experience life, find yourself out there.

Sid: OK. I guess I’d better go and get packed. Bye, mom, I love you.

Em: I love you too, Oedipus. Say hi to Jocasta and Laius for us when you see them. [Man am I glad that’s over — wouldn’t that prophecy have been AWKWARD to discuss with Polybus?]


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