To Marry Medusa
or The Cosmic Rape

Theodore Sturgeon

Yesterday's empty belly is nothing to fear, yesterday's full belly is meaningless today; so never look back, never look back...(20)

He will never understand, never predict, and never, never be there when Guido strikes. Because Massoni cannot understand anything as simple as this: I am Guido, and I hate because I am Guido, and I break and maim and destroy because I am Guido-because that is reason enough. Massoni is afraid because Massoni is a policeman. His life is studying things as they are, and making them into what they should be. (21)

--put it on, puts the needle down, and again it begins, oh why, why, why is everyone in this accursed country forever making music, hearing music, walking from one music to another and humming music while they walk? Why can Massoni not make a pot of coffee without this? It is the one thing I, Guido, cannot bear...and I must bear it now...and I cannot…Ah, look at the fool, swinging his hand, nodding his head, he who was too tired to move not ninety seconds ago; it is as if he drew some substitute for sleep from it, and I do believe all these fools can do it, with their dancing half the night and singing the rest...Why, why must they have music? Why must Massoni make it now, when I am trapped up here hiding and cannot stop it and cannot stand it...

Oh look, look at him now, what is he taking from under the bed...surly not a...Oh it is, it is, it's a violin, it's that horror of shingles and catgut and the hair of horses' tails, and he, and he...

I will not listen, I will wrap my arms around my head, I…he goes now sawing at the thing, and the caterwauling starts and I can't keep him out of my head!... He plays a lot of notes, this policeman. A lot of notes. He plays with the record, note for note with the swift fall of notes from the machine.

I look at last. His feet are apart, his chin couched on the ebony rest, his eyes half asleep, face quiet, left ringers running like an insect. His whole body...not sways...turns a little, turns back, turned by the music. His right hand with the bow is very...wide, and free. His whole body in a way, like...flying…But this I cannot stand! I will--(23-24)

This country has music through its blood and bones like a disease, and a man cannot draw in a breath of air that isn't a-thrum with it. You can break the legs of a singing beggar and stop his music, you can burn the printing presses and the stacks of finished paper bearing the fly-specks and chicken-tracks by which men read the music, and still it does not stop; you can throw a brick through the shining window of a shrine and the choir practicing inside will stop, but even as you slip away in the dark you hear a woman singing to a brat, and around the corner some brainless fumbler is tinkling a mandolin...

Ah, curse that screeching record! What madness could possess what gibbering lunatic to set down such a series of squeaks and stutters? I do not know. (I will not know.) (25)

There before you play a note, it is to be seen. Your feet planted so, to balance you when your music tilts the world. Your chest full like the beginning of a great voice which will be heard all over the earth. Throat, chin, belonging to the violin and it to you...(28)

A man with talent eats, sweats, and cares for his children like any other. And if talent is a natural thing, remember that water is also, and fire, and wind; therefore flood and holocaust and hurricane are as natural as talent, and can consume and destroy you…You do not understand me?...(29)

It is a sad thing. If music angers him so, his days and nights must be a furnace of fury, living as he does in the most musical land on earth, with every voice, whistle, bell, each humming, singing, plunking, tinkling man, woman and child reaching him with reaches him, you see, as nothing can reach you and me; it reaches him more than rain; it splashes on his heart and bones...(32)

We are human beings because there are communications between us which are not experienced by-by rabbits, we'll say. If a man is willing to make some great sacrifice for a woman, it might be a proof of love. Considerateness, chivalry, kindness, patience, the sharing of great books and fine music-these are the things that prove a man. It is hardly a demonstration of manhood for a man to prove that he wants what a rabbit wants as badly as a rabbit wants it. (42)

She agreed immediately, because she had always agreed with anyone who had a clear opinion about anything...(73)

I stop and look down the hill, across to the other hill, and I listen as I have never listened before, and I make a great finding, one of those large things you come to know while realizing that others have always known it. How many, many times have I heard a man say wind sings in the wires, a musical waterfall, the melody in certain laughter. But in fighting music all these years, I have not known, I have not let myself hear all these words, not heard the music which is their meaning.

I hear it now, because through owning this violin, something has happened to me. I hear the city singing while it sleeps, and I hear a singing which would sweetly cry among these hills if the city had never existed, and will cry here when it is gone.

It is as if I have new ears, yes, and a new mind and heart to go with them. I think, in the morning, when this world wakes, oh, I shall hear, I shall hear…and I loose the thought for its very size, thinking about what I am to hear from now on. (125-126)

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