Skip the algorithm, said Marguerite.
The value reached at end of day equalled
The name given Eve, female, mother,
Daughter, wife, crone, nimble sex kitten,
And whole hosts of other meanings
A cabalistic lexicon combines
Under the menstruation hieroglyph.
The answer here now made complete sense
I'd take twenty-eight male disciples
And one very closely chosen woman.
Ha! Tokenism, sneered Marguerite.
Rank misogyny! Male chauvinism!
Marguerite, Marguerite, please be calm,
For no misogynist would ever dare
Persist in the proven error of his ways
After hearing thy soft, melodic voice,
Viewing thy compassionate countenance,
And stroking thy rounded, thy velvet contours,
After lowering thy urgent frame... Squark!
Watch your language, parrot, said the woman,
Or I'll rip out still another feather
And wreak further wreckage upon
Thy resplendent, thy fine and vinyl plumage.
Desist! I lack the pluck to withstand you.
Yet let me say this, oh Margeuerite,
Tokenism is not the sort of sin
That ever offers souls much temptation,
And not one for which I expect to burn.
Hell would rock with raucous, mocking laughter
When other damned heard what sent me down.
No, I aspired to higher sin than that,
Intended something far more intense.
The female I required to seal my sum
Was to all twenty-eight others combined
A value equal to and greater than.
An ordinary wench, woman, or witch
For this position simply wouldn't do.
I required that eternal paradigm
For all women past present and future.
I sought Godhead's first and finest thought,
I sought Sophia, wisdom incarnate,
A girl less cerebral than oft portrayed,
Less remote, less indifferent to men,
More in fact a lithe and lively Lilith,
Our first seductress, reincarnated,
Or Helen of Troy preincarnated,
Or that girl I saw onstage last week,
That buxom sexpot in underwear
Who smiled, held props for Simon Magician
And battled apostles for crowd approval.
I could spend a lifetime, nine lifetimes,
Roaming across earth, corner to corner,
And never encounter in a woman's eyes
The precise spectrum of light that displays
The new moon, the goddess, the true beloved.
And it could become a long, lonely quest
Looking into every face I meet,
Finding nothing, looking away again,
Never finding the pearl the world conceals.
Or so it seemed for one or two moments,
But a quick seek and ye shall find was mine.
As luck would have it the woman I wanted
Was located in the next booth over,
That sleek beauty I mentioned earlier.
She was drinking gin and speaking to a toad,
A large toad, squat and reprehensible.
Toad? What the hell are you talking about?
It was a toad, Marguerite. I assure you.
And while I recognize that this character,
An enlarged anthropomorphic amphibian,
Might further strain a credibility
Which is now already stretched near snapping
With my tales of talking fish etcetera,
I can provide a rational explanation.
Unfortunately, I forget the details,
But the gist is that your toad drinking partner
Was irradiated while still quite small,
Still little more than a mere tadpole,
In one of the early atom bomb tests,
Crawled out of the lagoon, began to eat,
And ate, ate until he attained a size
And intelligence and position in life
Not normally encountered among members
Of the less fortunate animal classes.
Liber Jonae Contents