Many of the Titans were killed in the battle between the old and new gods. Their stations were usurped and given to the young gods, who cast lots for them. Fighting even among each other for thrones that did not belong to them. Epimetheus was not afraid that he too would be destroyed. For Prometheus helped Zeus, and he and Prometheus were brothers. Two heads to the same beast, two halves to the same loaf of bread. Epimetheus simply watched it all. And asked himself what would become of things with no Titans to move the Wind, still the Earth, or calm the Water. But the new gods were just. And they were beautiful, and Epimetheus believed they would do good things under the sun.
Epimetheus was happy to go unregarded by the new Gods in the summers that followed. Prometheus wanted attention. Calm Epimetheus tried to explain that things must take their course, and that Nature always balances the scales, given time. Prometheus, weak from fighting his brothers and sisters the Titans, made plans for overthrowing Zeus. Epimetheus knew of these plans and knew that, given time, nature would balance the scales and all things would be returned to normal. Given time. Prometheus, sick of waiting rushed out to the sands of the beach, where Earth and Water danced. Where there was no new god watching, because both Earth and Water were nearby. And Prometheus made a man. A man like him and his brother. Not at all like the new gods. Having made sinew and flesh, skin and hair, Prometheus struggled to teach man to be wise, like he, to fool Zeus like he had done. But man did not move. Man was a pile of sand in the shape of a Titan.
Epimetheus remembered what had happened that night on the beach. He thought of how his brother stole life from Zeus, and gave it to man. He remembered man’s awakening to this gift, and the hum of wisdom that sang in man’s chest. Epimetheus, now, thinks it is better that he did not stop it, like he may have. He thinks now that it is better to let Nature balance things for herself. Epimethius thinks. Epimetheus is contemplating, thinking of all that his brother has done to upset the balance that nature strains to keep. Thinks of all of the ways in which his brother’s disobedience has lead to the creation of man. Has lead to the creation of a body who will keep the Earth like the Titans did. Who will overthrow Zeus like the Titans should have done
Contemplative Epimetheus, called Afterthought by his brother who loves him, has been warned against Zeus. His brother who loves but does not trust him has warned that Zeus will try to balance things for Nature. That Zeus has no regard for the good progression of Nature. Prethought, who loves but does not trust his brother, has warned of gifts from the mighty new God who is thick with evil and light-footed with cunning. Epimetheus heeds his brother, wisely, and will take no audience with Zeus who calls him even now. Will not listen to Zeus who speaks of gifts for Prometheus and his brother. Epimetheus, ignoring the call, thinks that he can help man. That he, too, can be a savior like his brother. That Nature has destined them both saviors, two heads to the same savior, two halves to the same loaf of savior.
The destruction of man rides in on the back of good intentions, like a warrior carried by children.
Epimetheus remembers what happened that night on the beach. And what happened that night in his home, while his brother was away. He remembers most clearly the scent of her, like honey and myrrh which he knew, and lavender and juniper which he had never smelled. He remembers the way she walked, like she carried the burden of humanity. Her hips, the cradle of life, swaying heavily on her strong legs. Her breasts, the incarnation of health, alive on her ribs. He remembers thinking how good she would be for man. How helpful in turning the Earth like the Titans once did. How adept at creating life. He could see her belly full of pups. She spoke to him of a gift. Dora. He remembered this word, from Zeus, this warning from Prethought, but Afterthought smiled. Pandora. This is no gift from Zeus for Prometheus. This is the gift of all gods to all man. In reconcile for past misgivings. Epimetheus remembered the past misgivings and welcomed Pandora into his oikos.
His brother would be glad to hear of reconciliation for past misgivings, and would hurry to accept this gift of all. “Pandora,” he repeated her name, and called to her to explain her place. He wanted to know where she came from, and what was her purpose here, on Earth. She told him elegantly. He wanted to know what would become of her, of his gift for man, if man decided he did not need her. If man tried to turn her away. She reassured him, she had been bestowed with charms that no man would deny. Prometheus was happy and took her. As his wife. She explained about her jar and about the duties she must not forget, and Epimethius vowed that she would not forget.
But she forgot. And the burden that she carried, that of humanity, was dropped and shattered on the ground. Everything she had warned of, every crime, ever terror, every form of hatred or pestilence or woe was let loose on mankind and perhaps it was Afterthought's fault. Perhaps, in the end, his gift was war. His contribution disease. Perhaps in the end he was no great savior.