Her nose had been broken once, and perfectly.
By everyone’s measure, Cidaris Musz is the most beautiful creature to matriculate Caliyuga University since its conception, buried deep in our colonial past. Her looks may be characterized in many ways but never accurately or consistently described by anyone. She looks different to every camera.
The problem of description begins with the overcomingly immediate and instantaneous impression of Cidaris’s… loveliness. Beholding her, you cannot believe someone this comely is in your field of vision, let alone, perhaps, speaking to you. Commonly agreed-upon baselines for accurate description are swept away. She is surpassingly beautiful, surpassing our own roots in place and time. Hers is a beauty not so planted.
Each of us sees a distinct different Cidaris, distinct, distinctly similar, yet utterly different, and it is your first, searing and indelible sighting of her that forever obtains in your mind. This image, or, truthfully, afterimage of what you’ve seen is now your possession, and yours alone. No one will see her as you did, that first time. It will never leave your mind. Cidaris at once affirms the yawning, echoing separateness of us all while stoking an immediate fire for her possession, to again make the timeless human attempt to erase the boundaries between two people and to join with her in perfect Oneness.
To glimpse her is to emerge from Plato’s Cave for one Femmeto-second of awareness before your instant obliteration. To know her true beauty, of the joyousness of her spirit, her kindly wisdom, empathy, outright, clear-eyed sincerity, her occasional uncontrolled and funny-sounding belly laugh and, of course, her surpassing, utter physical perfection needs possessing her, and few, if any, have.
Rational thought and coherent syntax in her vicinity–at any time–are disabled in a way similar to the way a super-fast electromagnetic pulse crisps electronic memories and solid-state circuitry. Men perhaps babble about cellphone features or baseball or randomly make a remark about… baseball, again, while women react with furious rejection borne of jealousy, or immediately discover or reaffirm the incredible attractiveness and reality of deep sisterly and or Sapphic love.
The only women unaffected by her are blind.
For the purposes of generating rational thought, it thus becomes necessary to be shielded from actually seeing Cidaris, until one is by repetition and metered doses somewhat inured to her presence, in a manner akin to achieving a high pharmaceutical tolerance. Screened by at least an interior wall or partition from actually seeing her, you can begin to piece together your own measurements, observations and impressions of her, as well as begin to reappraise the dusty relics and potsherds of your life before you saw her. This assumes, of course, that Human Resources, bouncers and law-enforcement officials of various provenances but a single remit haven’t already inhibited or otherwise constrained your activities.
Some have called Cidaris a “whiteboard beauty”; a living theorem. A speculative entity. And this accords well with your own perusal and deep understanding of the Greek and Roman religions, replete with demigoddesses and naiads, dryads, and the like. In many ways, “Cidaris” exists outside what can be diagramed or spoken. Or 3-dimensionally modeled. She thus embodies a Living Uncertainty Principle of Beauty, akin to staring at the sun and trying to catch a hard-hit line drive projected directly from the solar disc.
Those of us who think, however briefly, that they can manage a close relationship with Cidaris are wishful thinkers at best. It was just the same for those visionaries who, having unleashed the atomic nucleus, tried to console themselves that the human future could be built safely around these super-heavy elements, and all the byproducts of their creation and decay.
And, in the same fashion as those who subsequently fell prey, in dreadful penetrating flashes, or from ominous slow decay, to the unyoked, deadly uncertainties and antics of the man-handled atomic nucleus, so those who know Cidaris become her acolytes, champions, stalkers, denouncers, frotteurs, priapists, would-be killers, and on fortunate occasions, her friend.
Everyone encountering Cidaris receives a dangerously high exposure to what you could tentatively name C-Radiation. It is like a combination of blast, heat and radioactive effects. Or something. The author’s affidavit:
Like you’ve been knocked flat. You cautiously remove your welders goggles and slowly sit up then use the butt of your rifle to crutch yourself off the dirt. You jump to the firestep of your trench, as much a scientist as combat soldier, shedding, coughing and shrugging off scorched debris and finely powdered desert sand.
The deafening ring and flash blindness occasioned by exposure to her beauty gradually dissipates, leaving you in shaking wonder.
You rise through the high ringing of your blast deafness and the still flashbulb-like intensity of the residual light to assess damage in the Forward Area, leaping the trench wall and double-timing towards Zero Ground, righting upset and broken analog instruments as you pass.
A discussion has begun in your head, through the shock, and the ringing, and the flash. Your worldview has undergone irreversible change now that the concept of such a thing as Cidaris has actually been demonstrated. You and your understanding of the world have been shaken.
Thus begins, for everyone, the transformative Weltanschauungskrieg, the “Worldview Warfare” in one’s self. For the first time, you fully understand that you are now capable of doing anything, anything at all, to acquire her, because, as they say, “The Heart Wants What It Wants.” For, as one’s very marrow and lungs will relatively soon discover in the case of our soldier-scientist trudging through a sandstorm of finely-particulated gamma radiation and beta decay, so Cidaris splits the heart, that first, cosmic bifurcation whose chain of side-effects could engender an inner battle in the observer as intense and deeply destabilizing as anything you’ve previously experienced.
Under such a crimson banner of Unto Anything potentiality, Cidaris’s orbiters and fellow travelers become capable of saying and doing almost anything, even actions and transgressions as villainously carnivorous of sensually vile as anything conceived by Dostoevsky or even the horrid Marquis himself.
ZERO TIME. The recollections of a Classics Scholar at Caliyuga University:
See her, and the floor momentarily drops from under you. In that moment, you make a fateful transition, learn the middle state between life and death, the fateful irreversible slip across and into the occult realm of the Eleusinians, the Masons, or Aleister Crowley. You are transformed into Apuleius’s Golden Ass, knowing original sin, and your life before is now gone forever with this New Knowledge. Even as you are returned between worlds, how you spiritually receive that moment between worlds, that transition, will determine whether you become hopelessly “ensnamored” or are just dealt a glancing blow by the irradiance.
By all accounts, few data outrun and survive the needle-pinning, dial-breaking magnitude of this overwhelming flash of pulchritude, even those from received in the split-second before the forward instrumentation blockhouses of your senses are forcibly caved in: six-foot-thick reinforced concrete is stoved in by the subsequent shockfront.
But you’ve still glimpsed!
After your brief vacation from sanity and (in the author’s case) subsequent short stint in detox, you begin to piece together a theory that hers is a beauty inherited in a direct line from Parthian nobles of the Achaemenid Empire, the Ptolemies, or perhaps even further east, in the pungent hothouse climate of the Gangetic Plain, or farther west, risen from the Viking genepool. Or, perhaps, she descends from that early race who guarded the summits of Mounts Ida and Olympos, who rattled oceans and smoothed scorching thunderbolts from mists. Or, perhaps, her birthplace is found among the stars.
No two people can agree on her looks or even the iridescent green shade of her irises. There is, nonetheless, a universal desire in all who behold her to trade everything one possesses for the chance to hold her, or take her, by main force, if need be, someplace out of the country. Or simply take her immediately, right there, in public, if she’d let you.
Hers is a beauty you might consider yourself fortunate not to see, if such a thing is possible.
For once beheld, this jewel, this diadem (for this was the meaning of Cidaris’s name, in Persian), this incarnate perfection, this Anti-Medusa could not be un-beheld or forgotten. Many who have met her suffer immune response disorders, or something akin to a low-grade fever, with attendant rashes, coronaries, and obscure bronchial ailments not encountered since the 19th Century.
Not uncommon were the side-effects, some, like Morris Ambien, for instance, experience: jolting instep-to-anus, left-eye-to-right-bicep and other inexplicable spasms; older men suffer intense cardiovascular and prostatic effects. Her beauty so infectious, the Centers for Disease Control would note a strange breakout of a Class II IVTC-B U-PS/UO (Idiopathic Visually-Transmitted Cardio-Bifurcative Urethro-Prostatic Syndrome of Unknown Origin) centered on Edge City. She could indeed hammer the capillaries.
COMMERCIAL FOR IVTC-B U-PS/UO DRUG: Side-effects may include… encounters with rather nattily dressed minor devils, the Savior, yourself at a younger or older age, flashes of insight and compassion for Juliet and her Romeo, Richard the Third and even Fyodor Karamazov… priapism, self-inflicted gunshot wounds, cirrhosis, auto-erotic asphyxiation, nightmare-dreams in 360-IMAX clarity, visits to Hell or Paradise, seeing things anew, smelling flowers, admiring every woman, testicular incontinence, sudden muscle mass increases, joy, worry, pride in the achievements of offsrping and grandchildren, reconciliation with your father…
Lesser men, of addictive nature, brain-stalked by the beauty of this terrestrial Venus, in their turn, stalk Cidaris. Some lament of a world dead without its Sun, meaningless without her morning or evening star etcetera etcetera. Others pick up instruments and strum forgettable lyrics until passing out.
Such pronounced and often unforeseeable effects explain why Cidaris early developed such competence in martial arts (which conjured from the already dreamlike perfection of her body a still more arousing strength and plasticity) and in the operation of all manners of firearms. Upon a long-forgotten Caliyuga letter jacket, somewhere in the closets of her life, hung four tiny, slightly tarnished golden infantry symbols, the crossed rifles signalizing her mastery and eventual two-time captaincy of the university shooting team.
Those exposed to mortal levels of C-Radiation, the doomed men, could be relied upon to start drinking heavily, losing motor control and often continence, become sloppy, often underhygienic, likening her to a photograph they happen upon of the Demeter of Carthage, or behold in her Bes, invoked to summon by Lust a Pharaoh from the loins of Pharaoh, or of Rati, the Slutress, Divine Matron of Painted Skank, bent over a barstool in moonlit Jodhpur. Other serious, possibly deadly, side-effects: bridge “accidents,” self-inflicted illnesses, metal or plastic restraints binding limbs, jail cells, graves. Relatively fortunate others would carry on, catastrophe remaining latent, but ever-ripe for metastasis.
To see her is to initiate an unknowable, possibly geometrically-growing series of events that in many cases, can result in a runaway chain reaction, meltdowns, personal China Syndromes.
And, walking, yes indeed, walking… right now, into Morris Ambien’s next meeting.