I saw Sisyphus die on the street today. The gods, who ceased to exist
long ago due to lack of interest, cleaned out all offices and
liquidated their assets quite thoroughly, for the most part – with one
exception. Through some flaw in bookkeeping, they had lost all records
of the Sisyphus Project. Perhaps accounting had thrown them out, as
the sheets always seemed to be balanced already.
Millennia later, there he stood, gawking and grinning, on the
sidewalk. Perhaps, in some happy accident, an ExxonMobil accountant
came across this "Sisyphus Project" that had somehow ended up in their
books, investigated, and reported this minor, undue drain on the bottom line.
ExxonMobil rewarded his vigilance with a $25 bonus.
Sisyphus set forth with all intent to cross the busy street, I
gathered. Being, I infer, from another time newly come, he seemed
unsure of how one goes about this. He looked left to begin, and –
seeing no hunks of metal hurtling toward him – stepped forward. The
funny thing is this: his eyes were locked to his left for his entire
journey to the center of the street. Only upon arriving at the yellow
paint did Sisyphus turn his head right, where an automobile – denizen
of the leftmost lane of travel it perceived to be available to it –
expressed its annoyance, its anger, its fear by making a discordant shout at him. Once it sped past, Sisyphus spun full around in place
and fell to the ground.
As I watched his crumpled body twitch on the asphalt, I swear to you,
his visage bore a smile still.