When Pan Holds Court in the City Streets

Twilight comes early in Boulder, as it’s so close to the mountains that the sun sets and twilight begins about two hours before it does out on the plains, eighty miles to the east. It is an odd place at twilight, when street performers and panhandlers are every ten feet, and people are laying down their beds here and there in the bushes in parks and grounds.

If you walk Pearl Street at twilight, and have eyes to see and ears to hear, you’ll be surprised at what is happening around you. For the Old Gods walk the city streets, and Great Pan holds court in the twilight’s light. I saw him tonight, under the fading sky and almost full moon, I was him on Pearl Street in Boulder as I walked in twilight tonight as my other self. He looked quite human, in human guise, and his dress the same, but his words were honey, and anyone with eyes could see if they watch that gait and sway as he walked on the balls of his bare feet that it was only glamour that hid the goats feet of his true form. And walking behind him, the urge was strong to join his court among the merry throng that were gathered there, and follow him, to dance and ecstasy.

I saw young Artemis, down and out, her dog content but too small and too motivated to join the hunt. She sat there on the sidewalk, it worn clothes, a boot in front of her with a sign, her pack beside her and her dog half snoozing on top of it. I stopped and turned aside and talked to her a moment about her dog, and gave her a dollar before heading on my way.

I spotted Hermes upon a wall holding a sign. He looked serious and like any other panhandler, but his sign was a bit different, and I read it, and couldn’t help but grin. “Slept with Lindsey Lohan, need help.” He spotted my grin and matched it with his own, his eyes passing from serious to mischievous in an instant. He pointed at me and snapped his fingers, and said quite loud but too quiet for anyone but me to hear as I passed almost twenty feet from him, others closer, “Gotcha.” I went on my way.

I spotted Hephaestus, sitting on a bench as an old man, his eyes down, not noticing anyone, lost in his own thoughts and memories. He seemed weak and feeble, but you could feel the strength and power. A hard life, unsure what to make of it.

I saw Athena, sitting on a bench beneath a street light, the thick book in her lap more important than the street performers around her.

I saw Apollo standing on the edge, a guitar instead of his Lyre, his voice singing out an Alternative song from the ’90s, load and clear, but smooth and glorious, a voice that can move the soul.

And I saw Neptune, walking the opposite way as me on a dark sidewalk, empty except the two of us. He was a shadow of an old man, hidden in shadow. He moved off the sidewalk as I passed, giving me room, and I saw a glimpse of his khaki trousers, his Hawaiian shirt, his thick grey beard, his straw hat, the cup of rum in his hands. He didn’t look at me, and we both continued on our way.

If you walk Pearl Street at twilight, and have eyes to see and ears to hear, you’ll be surprised at what is happening around you. For the Old Gods walk the city streets, and Great Pan holds court in the twilight’s light.

Twilight comes early in Boulder, as it’s so close to the mountains that the sun sets and twilight begins about two hours before it does out on the plains, eighty miles to the east. It is an odd place at twilight, when street performers and panhandlers are every ten feet, and people are laying down their beds here and there in the bushes in parks and grounds.

FFF,
~Muninn’s Kiss