You know that voice? The one who told me to get out of bed this morning? The one who said that if I got up and started typing that the inspiration would follow? Well, she’s on a coffee break and she won’t be back at her desk for some time it appears.
I am staring across our cubicle. Her desk is so much cooler than mine. Where I have bobble head dolls she has a series of sculptures she’s carved out of flint and onyx. Where I have piles of things to file or throw away she has clear space reflecting the light from her mission style, handmade lamp. Where I have a blinking cursor on a blank page she has lists of new ideas like loaves of dough rising, each waiting it’s turn in the oven.
I like her an awful lot.
Unfortunately, she’s a little flighty, this Muse. She’s faithful, this is true but she’s flighty. When she’s off lighting literary fires somewhere or scaling oil paintings the size of Mount Everest I sit here alone and lonely.
When she’s away sometimes her nemesis pulls up a chair. Doubt is a seedy co-worker. His voice is whiny, confidently coy, his breath smells of stale coffee and cigarettes. He tells me how useless it all is as he wraps his greasy fingers around things on my Muse’s desk.
Just as I’m about to disagree he points to his friend, Panic, across the room. I can see that Panic has spotted Doubt and is headed straight for me.
Doubt has it’s place but Panic is just too much. If I let Panic sit down I’m in deep trouble. She has that startled look on her face, the one most of us get when we’ve just dropped a glass vase on a tile floor just before a big dinner party. Glass everywhere…oh dammit, here she comes…
And then, just then I find the Muse coming in the door. She’s out of breath but not in a frenzied way, more like Marilyn Monroe running for the bus in “Some Like it Hot” kind of breathless. She shoos Doubt out of her chair, Panic takes a powder and she sits down with a wide smile.
“Where were we then?” she asks.
“Ah yes, page one…”