Yazan Iyad

Fluid Mnemosyne


Not to praise a god, not to pray to a god, not to plead to a god, but to touch a god is what I sought, to drown in such an entity and indulge in such divinity that I may sip a taste of Dionysian absinthe. This green, half god half poison, consumed me into a maddening sensation of ecstasy that dulled my body and mind, and both created my misery and numbed it. This spirit is expensive; I spent a fortune on it, forcing my landlord to kick me out of his flat. I have forgotten whether I poured my own misfortune with each glass I poured myself to drink, or that I poured each glass to combat the misfortune poured into my life. I have forgotten, for such is the effect of a eighty two percent alcohol by volume liquid, whether the pain was perpetuated with each sip, or diminished with each sip.

More frightening than my strange amnesia, however, is the apparition that struck present in the corner of my eye at times when I was most absent-minded. It is of a man with stitches running along the side of his back, his legs, his neck, and head. [1] He stood with inimitable pride yet his sunken, dry eyes scream of fragility, and his gaping mouth mirrored the absolute absence of life both within him and me. “What do you want?” is what I asked him whenever he appeared, for I could almost hear his desires but their voices were blurred by the loud silence of his glaring gaze into my mind. He brought me money when I needed it. I felt sad for those whom he took money from.

Once, from behind him, came a woman who took pity upon me. I lived with Helen for two years until she could not handle the green stuff anymore. I packed my things when she asked me to leave, but hours later I found the police interrogating me. I told them what I saw, that Dionysus had swallowed her whole. For that I was admitted to an asylum for twenty one years after which the doctors confirmed that there is nothing the matter with me.

A part of me wanted to beg them to keep me in, I wanted to feign illness. But a part of me wanted to drink again, but I had no money. He wasn’t there to bring me money. He abandoned me when I needed him the most. I murdered the liquor store owner, that I admit to. I did not murder Helen though, they were wrong to imprison me. I took all the absinthe from the store but it was not enough. I murdered a few more people to get more of it. I needed more to summon the god again. When I had enough, I set a trap for Dionysus. Since he always keeps his stupid mouth open, I shall drown him in his own fluids. I filled a bath tub at Helen’s with his wine and waited. I knew he was in there because there was nobody in the house, he ate them. I waited too long and he did not show up, so I started to take big gulps of the poison to pass time. Hours passed and there was no sign of him, and I was starting to feel drowsy. I looked into the clear surface of the wine and there was his face staring back at me. I got into the tub, opened my mouth wide to mirror his, plunged my head into the green and touched the god, held the god, and drowned the god.


[1]: Referring to Zeus stitching Dionysus to his thigh after being prematurely born due to his mother’s death.


Yazan I. Abu Zaid is a twenty one year old existentialist studying English Language & Literature at the prestigious University of Jordan. His odd interests include classical literature, mythology, and ancient scriptures, all of which he incorporates in his stories. His writing style tends to be paradoxical, almost detective-like in its mysterious stories, yet places an importance on clarity and simplicity. Yazan, as any other writer, hopes to touch someone with his words, maybe change their mind, or at least get them to think.