A WOMAN NAMED GIRLIE
Her story is almost lifted from Greek literature.
Let me begin describing Girlie from the standpoint of mythology.
A certain King and Queen had three daughters. The charms of the two elders were more than common, but the beauty of the youngest was so wonderful that the poverty of language is unable to express its due praise. The fame of her beauty was so great that strangers from neighboring countries came in droves to enjoy the sight, and looked on her with amazement, paying her that homage which is due only to Venus herself. In fact Venus found her altars deserted, while men turned their devotion to this young virgin. As she passed along, the people sang her praises, and strewed her way with chaplets and flowers.
This perversion of homage due only to the immortal powers to the exaltation of a mortal gave great offense to the real Venus. Shaking her ambrosial locks with indignation she exclaimed, “Am I then to be eclipsed in my honor by a mortal girl?”
Thereupon she calls her winged son Cupid, mischievous enough in his own nature and rouses and provokes him yet more by her complaints. She points out Psyche to him and says, “My dear son, punish that contumacious beauty; infuse into the bosom of that haughty girl a passion for some low, mean, unworthy being, so that she may reap a mortification as great as her present exultation and triumph!” (For a pleasurable appreciation of the fable, read Bulfinch Mythology, pages 71-79 on Cupid and Psyche).
That serves as introduction. Indeed, Psyche’s life, the mythological figure, is resurrected in Girlie’s novel-like biography. Like the fable, Girlie is the youngest of three daughters and considered also the fairest among them. She was smart and sociable. She was not only a pretty face but her poise was elegant, her manners majestic. She was the toast in every gathering.
Her parents, on the other hand, were so generous and kind that most of their peers and friends would attribute on them the characteristics of royalty. They were for them a royal couple, a King and Queen in terms of compassion and benevolence. Their attributes would pass on to her eventually.
Her beauty was almost absolute and it attracted several men absolutely. Like that in the fable, she became vulnerable and gullible and had fascinated even the low, mean and unworthy men circling around her. Like her parents, she too had a soft spot for the downtrodden and helpless. And so, for those who wanted to earn her attention, some must have to act with posturing. Only those who excel in fraud would be able to act convincingly. And so Girlie became related to a trickster but was disgusted later, having found the true nature of the man, she became estranged. She was introduced to another and she was dismayed later. Another relationship was founded, only to realize that she was again duped. All along in her entire marital state, she tried to be a perfect partner but she was repaid with ungratefulness and deception. Her life story could only come from a tragic chapter of a sad and a perfidious episode on love; unrequited and unreciprocated.
Her anguish exacted a toll on her health. Like Psyche, she wandered about in search of true and pure happiness, in search of salvation and at times contemplating on ending her travails by plunging headlong into the abyss due to a series of sufferings and misfortunes.
But she is still young, not as young though as she was before, but she has children from failed relationship whom she must devote her entire life. Here lies her deliverance. Here lies the conclusion of her passion. Here lies the almost copious duplicate of her life imitating art, as in a fable unaware of imitating fact, or as if through coincidence, fiction to non-fiction.
True enough Girlie is Psyche, or years before, during the ancient mythological times, Psyche has found Girlie a futuristic existence.
In the Greek fable, although as yet in real life for Girlie, Psyche succeeded in living happily ever after.