Sneak with a Thousand Faces
I thought the biggest problem with the Bible was that it didn't address my actual concerns, chiefly: What does God eat? How come all the killing's at the front of the book? Seriously, pets go to Heaven, right? What causes seasons?
In the absence of clear answers from the Bible, I filled in myself with mythology. God probably eats ambrosia and all the killing's at the front because it took a long time for Hope to work its way out of Pandora's box. Pets definitely go to heaven, but it's like pet Valhalla where they can run around all day and never get tired before a giant feast. These things were as real to me, as valid, as cosmically understandable as anything in the Bible. I had an admirably ecumenical view of theology.
She eats some pomegranate seeds.
They strike another deal: Because the seeds are so small, she will stay for only part of the year. For the rest of the year, she will live with her mother. When Persephone is in the Underworld with her husband, Demeter mourns and winter's chill sets in with a rustle of drying grass. When Persephone is abroad, every living thing flourishes.
Obviously, as a sneak, this myth has further resonance with me. Why would a woman choose to eat the pomegranate seeds, knowing the price? In some versions of the myth, she's tricked into doing it by Hades, who wants to keep her with him. But other versions simply state that she ate them. Did she not know what she was getting into? Did she want to stay? Was she unable to resist the lure of forbidden fruit, offered open-handed in the dark?
Forbidden fruit has been the downfall of many in the Bible and in the auxiliary myths of my childhood. For sneaking purposes this fall, it will be your salvation. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to the theater and observed the dubiously corn-syruped offerings with high-fructose disdain and thought: Not even if they were giving it away. One of the main reasons that I, an ethical sneak, am absolutely no competition to movie theater concessions is that I am not and probably never will be interested in what they're offering. The vague hint of transgression may be the seasoning salt but the food I choose to sneak in is the meal.