On the night of her wedding, Eurydice, tired of all the uninteresting people at her party, walked to a nearby fountain to be alone. She, a writer, had married a musician named Orpheus. They were very in love, but they had very little in common.
“This is what it is to love an artist,” she thought. “The moon is always rising above your house. The houses of your neighbors look dull and lacking in moonlight. But he is always going away from you. Inside his head there is always something more beautiful.”
At the fountain she met a snake.
“You could teach me to be interesting,” he said. “I would listen. Orpheus is too busy listening to his own thoughts. There’s music in his head. Try to pluck the music out and it bites you.”
Eurydice was uninterested. The snake struck her, killing her instantly.
In death, she crossed the river Lethe and forgot nearly everything; the wedding, the snake, how to speak, even Orpheus.
“Oh look, she’s coming to the land of the dead now.”
She built a house out of string. She stayed inside of it as a stone. In the Underworld there were no songs. No words. Only time. Orpheus came to the Underworld and sang for Hades and all the souls, and they were so moved by his sadness, they let him take Eurydice with him to earth. But there was one condition. Orpheus must not look at her until they leave the Underworld. Even if he so much as glanced at her, she would stay there forever, in her house of string.
As Orpheus led Eurydice out of the tunnel, she looked back into the depths of the Underworld. No songs. No words. Only time. They reached the edge of the tunnel, mere feet away from leaving forever.
He turned to her, confused, then everything went black.
“Love is a big, funny word. Dead people should be seen and not heard. Dip yourself in the river. Dip yourself in the river.”
Amber Bradford as Eurydice, photographed and filmed by Samantha Hearn. October 2015. Snake courtesy Yomayra Coria. Music via American Horror Story. Story inspired by the play ‘Eurydice’ by Sarah Ruhl.
Related: Lucy; Patron Saint of the Blind.