Sisyphus between myth and reality


by Mario Șerban




(Sisyphus sits on a stone block beside a stream. He glances over it, spotting a strange figure on the opposite shore)

SISYPHUS(Elated): Hello over there, my fellow friend! May I help you?

TANTALUS: Greetings camarade! I am looking for a stone.

(Sisyphus scratches his head. After a few moments of silence he sighs)

TANTALUS: Have you thought about it?

SISYPHUS: About what?

TANTALUS: About the stone.

SISYPHUS: You look familiar.

TANTALUS: I can say the same thing about you.

SISYPHUS: I am Sisyphus.

TANTALUS: Of course you are! I am Tantalus!

SISYPHUS: Of course I am!

TANTALUS(Disappointed): Well, that must be baneful.


TANTALUS(Laughing): Pretending to exist


SISYPHUS: So, the stone.


SISYPHUS: How does it look.

TANTALUS(Gesturing impatient): Round and big. Last time I have seen the stone, it was falling down the valley.

SISYPHUS(Confused): I have no clue.

TANTALUS: Thereby, you can not help me?

SISYPHUS: Of course I can! I have the answer!

(Tantalus waiting for the answer)

TANTALUS(Shouting): What is the answer?

SISYPHUS: I do not know.

TANTALUS: You claim owning the answer, meanwhile you do not know it?

SISYPHUS: Exactly.

TANTALUS: Now all does make sense.

SISYPHUS: Forsooth?



TANTALUS: If nothing makes sense at all, there is nothing to be wrong, therefore meaningless and absurdism sprinkled with nothingness is the root of a happy existence.

SISYPHUS: Would you mind if I drink some water?

TANTALUS(Disturbed): I would prefer not to.

SISYPHUS: Why not?

TANTALUS: Wine is healthier.

SISYPHUS(Feebly): Infeasible…

TANTALUS: Of course it is! We need some bread.

SISYPHUS(Wrathful): That’s mockery!

TANTALUS: Ambrosia? It’s edible and you can drink it too.

SISYPHUS: It’s only for gods.

TANTALUS: You could be one of them.

SISYPHUS: Everyone could be.


SISYPHUS: Would you mind if I ask you something?

TANTALUS: You already did it.

SISYPHUS: Oh, right. Silly me.

TANTALUS: Very silly.

SISYPHUS: Such foolish.

TANTALUS: Very foolish!

SISYPHUS: You know what else is foolish?

TANTALUS: I have a sketchy idea.

SISYPHUS: Having desires. Seeking for a reason to overwhelm your nonsense.

TANTALUS: Well, that has to be miserable.

SISYPHUS: Sorrowfully, humanity’s grievances are not concerning what we do while living. It’s all about death and decay.

TANTALUS: I used to be in touch with humanity.

SISYPHUS: Didn’t we all?

TANTALUS: Does this make us inhuman?


SISYPHUS: You have two legs.

TANTALUS: As you can see.

SISYPHUS: Two hands.

TANTALUS: I can relate.

SISYPHUS: And a head.

TANTALUS: Eminently

SISYPHUS: Congratulations!

TANTALUS: This is fallacy.

SISYPHUS: What does it really mean to be human?

TANTALUS: Beeing free to do anything and moral at the same time.

SISYPHUS: Humanity doesn’t come with morality.

TANTALUS: What about freedom? Liberty? And free will?

SISYPHUS: A hoax perpetrated. You are free to know that you are the prisoner of own desires. One must imagine man not being deceived by himself.

TANTALUS: Do you feel any kind of aversion regarding humanity?

SISYPHUS: Ceaslessly. The resemblance between humanity and ignorance is limpid enough to let the disdain glistening and glowing over fulfillment.

TANTALUS(Sighs): Still, the stone. Where is the stone?

SISYPHUS: The stone?

TANTALUS: Yes. The stone.

SISYPHUS: That stone which is round and big?

TANTALUS(Elated): Yes!

SISYPHUS: The one which was falling down the valley?

TANTALUS(Clapping): Exactly!

SISYPHUS: You won’t believe me if I tell you.

TANTALUS(Unpatient): Do it!

SISYPHUS: Are you sure?

TANTALUS: Of course I am!

SISYPHUS: Now who is pretending to exist?

TANTALUS(Resentful): You tell me or not?


TANTALUS(Wrathful): Where is the stone!?

SISYPHUS(Calm): I don’t know.

TANTALUS: Then what you were about to say regarding the stone.

SISYPHUS: I forgot.

(Suddenly, after all huffing and puffing, Tantalus becomes calm and rational)

TANTALUS: We all forget things.

SISYPHUS: I would like to forget my eternal damnation and forsake my curse of living.

TANTALUS: What keeps you alive?

SISYPHUS: Nothing.


TANTALUS: What kind of damnation you have?

SISYPHUS(Smiling): Every day, I am condemned to roll a stone up to a hill and watch it fall. Every sweat drip is hopeless. My fate is to swing ceaslessly between two chasms. Henceforth, my verdict is to find meaning in suffering and futility. I am Sisyphus.

TANTALUS: You’re smiling.


TANTALUS: You must be happy.

SISYPHUS: They say so.


SISYPHUS(Curious): So?

TANTALUS: Where is the stone?

SISYPHUS(Confused): I have no clue.


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