Fiction

Calpurnia’s Thought Record

An Ides of March Walrus web exclusive

by
• 378 words

Situation

March 14.
Night.
In bed.

I dream that Romans are washing their hands in Caesar’s blood.
He is dead.
Murder.

Mood

Anxiety:90%
Sad:95%
Angry: 70%

Automatic thoughts

What was going through my mind?
Caesar crossed Rubicon. Civil War. Appointed dictator for life by the Senate.

What do I fear?
Brutus and Cassius may kill Caesar. (Even Cicero may get in on it.)

If this were true, what is the worst thing that might happen?
Caesar would be dead. Rome would remain a Republic. I’d be alone.

Evidence to support the hot thought
  • Since crossing the Rubicon, Caesar has made many enemies.
  • If I were a senator I’d want to kill him. Once he is dead, no one will like me.
  • He slept with Brutus’s mom.
  • Julius can be difficult. He’s a momma’s boy. He wept when they gave him Pompey’s pickled head. He tends to project his insecurities onto others.
  • They’ve been trying to kill Caesar since he was a teenager.
Evidence against the hot thought
  • They’ve been trying to kill Caesar since he was a teenager and no one has killed him yet. People are always saying they’ll kill the emperor. It’s part of the job.
  • He may be Brutus’s real dad. People are rightly afraid of Julius. When pirates captured him, he told them he’d, “capture and crucify each one.” And he did! He is descended from Venus.
  • Even if Rome remained a Republic, my friends would still like me. Once they’d killed Caesar they’d have no reason to kill me.
Balanced thought

While it’s true that many people, including Brutus, hate Caesar, this does not mean they will kill him. He has always had many enemies and they never killed him before. He is a grown man (who slept with Cleopatra) and it is not my responsibility to keep senators and others from killing him. He knew when he crossed the Rubicon that he would have detractors.

People like me for who I am, not just because I’m Caesar’s wife.

Still, he’s my husband.

Action Plan

Advise him not to go to the Senate! Tell him: “Beware the Ides of March.”

Also, spend time on pleasurable activities.