[Ed. Note: Dr. KSS writes about biotech and medicine for the Irregulars. He has agreed to our trading restrictions, chooses his own topics and his thoughts and opinions are his own. His previous columns and recent comments can be found on his Stock Gumshoe page.]
“He had never seen her body so abandoned, so unconscious of all but the desire to be taken and satisfied. She bloomed under his caresses, no longer the girl but the woman already being born.”
― Anaïs Nin, Little Birds
On a luminous Aegean day, Tiresias strolled beneath a cerulean sky in a forest in Thebes. He was a young man, but also a man in full: he knew the pleasures of having a woman, of ravishing her. Tiresias had been blinded by Athena for some or another perceived misdeed, probably a prophecy that was too candid; his powers as a prophet were legendary, and unsettling to the gods. But still, he got around. Considering how beset Tiresias was by those who tried to impose their whim upon him, he mostly got by making up his own rules.
He came upon two snakes playing at love, rolling intertwined like an animated helix. Tiresias saw them not with his physical eye, but was highly clairvoyant: The snakes were preparing to copulate. You might say that Tiresias had a knack for misadventure, and for irking people who might be watching. He found a stick, and smacked the frisky snakes atop their heads. Hera, wife of Zeus, and a moody sort, had been tracking the snakes, enthused by their amorous fandango; their smiting by Tiresias cheesed her off. Zap! Tiresias now became aware of ample flesh distending his toga at midchest level, and realized a familiar appendage between his legs had gone missing, in its place a sensitive mound.
Lady Tiresias, as he became known, became a courtesan of considerable reputation. During seven years as a woman, Tiresias catalogued vast experience in the eager embrace of lusty men. She knew the most exalted ecstasies awaiting women whose bodies were thoroughly subjected to the wandering hands of a man skilled in the art of love.
This phase of the life of Tiresias ran its course. Lady Tiresias again sought the consolations of strolls in Theban woodlands. When she again came upon mating snakes, she gently let them be, and soon found herself released from her sentence to live ...