I implore you, do not mistake me for a mere ruffian, for that which I steal, most people squander rather aimlessly, and regrettably, I have no other means to procure it.
I do it all for love, you see.
I never thought of myself as much of a thief to begin with, it was always Loki’s job. I used to ponder a lot, glancing at him sideways, while feasting in my rightfully earned place in Valhalla. Why does he steal? At least we, the gods, are exempt from such ungratifying deeds. And I must admit that I looked down on him from my moral high ground, and threw at him the very words the world echoes at me now: ruffian, thief and pickpocket!
There is a phrase humans wash their mouth with nowadays called fifteen minutes of fame. Andy Warhol was the one who spat it out publicly at the world, but it has been uttered for countless aeons now, by a plethora of peoples and languages. Sure, the amount of time always differed, but they all wanted the same: to be god-tier, thy will be done, lads and ladies, even for that speeding minute of time. Truth is, most people devalue time to the greatest extent, and wouldn’t recognize the fifteen-minute fame train even if it moved past them at a snail’s pace. Yes, yes, you got it right, I am, among other things, a time smuggler.
It takes the Earth approximately 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds to circle the Sun. I smuggle a minute here, a second there, the building blocks of the barge for my Nefertiti. She will only come to me if the day is fashioned for her and her alone. That is why February lacks its offspring sometimes.
I, Bragi, whose very pauses between stanzas were enough to cause a stream of women, from washerwomen to Valkyries, to flock by my side, stand lost for words. I take to my poetry, a skill I have honed to a staggering degree, but my utterances seem dull, like the point of a battle-worn spear. Everything I say reeks of watered wine, but finally I have no pauses between my words, as her name fills every crevasse of my timeless being. Is she aware of the sheer power she has over me? I panic thinking she must be, being a real goddess, not some waned-god-turned-thief. False gods? Real gods? Many? One? You must think I’m raving mad, but in the world of gods, everything is about the worshippers, the more you have, the better, just like with venues and tickets. Comus, that old Greek master of revelry, has called our line of work the world’s oldest reality show. Unlike the battered and buried faith of the Nords, the cult of my queen still flourishes today, and millions of humans prostrate themselves at her feet, muffling my cries for her love. That is why I have taken upon myself to inoculate her from the kneeling masses once every couple of earthly years.
Nefertiti is a false name, but it suits her, don’t you think?
Surprised? Oh, we like to carry the names of exemplary humans around, just as your ilk likes to bear ours. Skins are always tighter than they look, even more so for the likes of us. Do you know how many daylights this bark of mine has seen? It matters not, I long only for the night now, for night is her domain. There you have it, yet another hint. I’m afraid I cannot risk dropping more breadcrumbs, my fellow Aesir have the dogs after us, so to speak. I know it won’t be long now, the Allfather’s ravens scour every plane of existence, but I have chiseled out this pocket of time and space (a distasteful little café called Twosomes – all too profane for a godly abode, which is quite the catch, eh? Do you think she will find it humorless?) and am safe for now. What are they up against? Want a one-word punchline? Love. Of course, they try to mask it, talking about “them”, “us”, and the order of the world. They will never hear me out, their talk is, like so many conversations today, a one-way lane. Talking about what they are for, not thinking about what they are against, not even for a split second. Personally, I think all the godcest (take a look at our family trees and you will know what I’m on about) they have been having went straight to their heads. So what if we do not share common ground? If you never share, nothing will ever become common. When will we learn to branch out? When will we learn that no one is watching? Oh, I hear humans suffer from the same maladies. Must be a faulty equation in the calculus of the stars. Severe enthrallment awaits me, my friend (can I call you that?), but we both know the name of my true jailor.. The bonds that they will later fasten will be feather-light, compared to this. Am I afraid? Yes, but not enough to be deterred. My immortality will vouch for my affections.
Come to think of it, I don’t think I have done much in any case: what is a stolen day compared to a woman’s glance? What punishment can they inflict, when nothing matches my longing? I hear footsteps, the rumbling echoes made by my brethren, most probably. Although, it might be her, carried on the backs of her worshippers beyond count.
I must prepare for whatever is to befall me. My immortal quill is laid to rest.