Geb and Nut
The following is a partial transcript of the first marriage counseling session between Geb and Nut (and their father, Shu, for reasons made clear in the transcript). Dr. Ibis made a house call to Egypt for this session; their father decided it was better to be safe than sorry and sent Dr. Ibis to them rather than risk cataclysm by inviting them into the office for their session. It is our opinion that this will be a tough case, and more experts might be required.
[The therapist finds Geb stretched out on the ground near the Nile, with two chairs nearby. With a shrug and a raised eyebrow, Dr. Ibis takes one of the chairs and pulls out his notebook.]
Dr. Ibis: I'm glad we were all able to get together, though I admit it's a little awkward not to be in my office, and the seating arrangements leave a little bit to be desired….
Geb: I know, but it was the best we could do. Thank you so much for coming, doctor. I really appreciate any help you can give us.
Dr. Ibis: So where's your wife?
Note by Dr. Ibis: Subject Geb points upward at the sky.
Geb: Up there. [Louder] Nut! Are you listening, dear? Dr. Ibis is here.
Note by Dr. Ibis: At this point in the session, a large man wearing nothing but a white kilt and a white ostrich feather behind his ear appeared from nowhere, hovering in the air a few feet above me and Geb. I did not hear him coming and was quite startled by his appearance.
Shu: Good afternoon, Dr. Ibis. Don't shout, Geb. It's rude. I'll get her attention.
Note by Dr. Ibis: Immediately after Shu disappeared again, the sun went down and the nighttime sky, full of stars, came into view. I could see a woman's face in the stars, and it appeared to be smiling. Shu reappeared and sat in the chair next to me.
Dr. Ibis: The woman in the sky. If that is a woman and not my imagination… is this Nut?
Geb: Yeah. Isn't she beautiful? Hello, baby cakes!
Nut: [speaking from the direction of the star-face in the sky] Good evening, Dr. Ibis. Geb and I appreciate your coming. It's been a long time since we talked to anyone about our problems.
Shu: What problems? You kids are fine.
Dr. Ibis: Shu, thank you for getting Nut's attention. Now that she's here, I suppose she can come down here and sit with Geb and me, and you can leave us to our work.
[Nut, Geb, and Shu gasp and make many "no" noises all at once; transcript is garbled for several seconds.]
Dr. Ibis: Is something wrong?
Shu: Not yet, but there certainly will be if Nut comes down here. No, no, no.
Geb: That's our problem, Dr. Ibis. Nut's my wife, but Dad won't let us spend any time together. He's always getting between us.
Shu: Of course I am, son. You can't be with Nut. You know that. We've been over this a million times.
[The sound of writing.]
Dr. Ibis: You're married, but you are also brother and sister, is this right?
Geb: Yes, sir.
Dr. Ibis: Is this why your father is trying to keep you apart? Because it's culturally inappropriate? Because—
Shu: No, that's not it. It's because of what they are. Look at them. She's the sky, and he's the earth.
Dr. Ibis: Well, yes, I noticed that. It was a little difficult not to.
Shu: Think about it. If they were able to be in the same space, without anything between them….
Dr. Ibis: Oh. Oh, my. That would be bad.
Shu: Bad? That would be the end of all life as you know it. Squish. No more anything. No atmosphere, no wind, no rain, no weather, no place to live. It'd be like the moon. Rocks and space. Nothing else.
Dr. Ibis: Hm.
[The sound of writing.]
Dr. Ibis: This is quite complicated.
Geb: Wait a minute. Nut's hanging out with the moon, and you don't keep them apart.
Shu: Now, son—
Geb: I thought you said you were between her and everybody, making sure she didn't smother anybody! What's this about? Nut, how come you never told me about this moon business?
Nut: Honey, I'm not doing anything with the moon! We're just friends. Iah is my friend just like Ra is, and just like the ancestors are. You know, moon and sun and stars? We've been hanging out since creation.
[Short silence, punctuated by the sound of writing.]
Geb: I've seen Ra look at you. I know about how he didn't want you to have your children. He was jealous! Why's he jealous? At least he gets to touch you.
Nut: Listen to yourself. You're jealous of a bird-headed guy in a boat who could have any woman he wants.
Geb: Yeah, but he wants my woman. I don't care if I'm not allowed to touch you. You're my wife, and nobody is going to take you away from me!
[Rumbling sound, growing louder. Something that sounds like rocks falling, and then papers and chairs falling. A small breeze and undecipherable sounds.]
Shu: Geb! Calm down, son! Calm. Breathe. You know you can't get angry.
[Rumbling sounds slowly fade. Sounds of papers being picked up.]
Nut: Are you all right, doctor?
Dr. Ibis: I will be… Geb, I will have to ask you to try to keep your temper, if only because it's a little difficult writing when my chair is bouncing up and down…
Geb: Sorry. I'm sorry.
Nut: Geb gets excited sometimes. He doesn't mean anything by it. And I do miss him terribly as well. It gets lonely up here.
Geb: Lonely enough to go hang out with the moon? Huh?
[Some moments of argument between Geb and Nut, and more rumbling ensues.]
Shu: Come on, both of you, this is supposed to be helping. See what I have to deal with, doctor?
Dr. Ibis: Yes. I'm not even sure where to begin…