Nokoma awakens from a dream of passion and death. Solly, wanting him, pushing him away. The two fighting until they float off at sea, clinging to each other as they realize they are facing their inevitable end.
This is Eros, Nokoma thinks. Sex and death. The other side of Eros is Thanatos.
You can’t truly love, in the erotic sense, without losing yourself completely. And you never know what will be left afterwards. Your entire life could be in ruins. You can lose it all.
He looks around at the castle pillars surrounding him as the sun rises. The waterfall. The high ceilings. The marble floors. He pictures the lovers in the glorious room just behind him. The matron beside him, with her sisterly smirk. The artisan making noise in a nearby room as she tortures some innocent robot. The dreamer, humming in the lake before him. The dogs wrestling in the water.
My family, he thinks. My home.
I have so much to lose.
His heart feels heavy as he sits with this realization. Up until now, he had nothing to lose. The wild man. The animal. He embodied Eros in its purest form. He was willing to die in his own fire if only to be closer to his lover’s embrace. A kiss with no poison is no kiss at all.
But now, just like every other uppity prig, he has a home. A family. Something to lose.*
And with that realization, Nokoma wonders: Did I just lose myself?
Did I trade Eros for the soft comfort of family and a life of endless labor?
Can I still love so fully with so much at stake?
He stands up, exasperated. Time will tell, he thinks. But he can’t help wondering if he just sold his soul.