Late at night when the room is pitch black and my thoughts are the unhurried type that come just before sleep, I find myself sensing a presence at my bedside. She has cool hands and a soothing aura, and smells like my grandmother, and when she comes, I ease into restful sleep.
Why must you sit on that lounge chair sipping margaritas and laughing at me in your oh-so-coquettish, and yet somehow silvery, voice, the one laced with irony at the fact that you sprinkle me with creative glitter only at the most inopportune times.
Three in the morning, Muse dahling, is not the time at which you should gift me with thoughts and ideas, nor should you remove all my excitement and imagination during the entire long stretches of day and afternoon, which are set aside for just such visitations.
Why can't you gift me with a little bit of Plot to temper the Characters who spring to life fully formed when you arrive, and dance mockingly around me after you leave, because I have no idea how to arrange decent verbal choreography?
Why, I ask. Why?
Must I become a curmudgeonly alcoholic in Hemingwayesque fashion, or would you prefer that I lock myself away from the sum of all humanity like a Victorian spinster who churns out tome after tome (all in three-part novels, of course)?
I can't even threaten to hide the key to the liquor cabinet so that your debauchery will at least be sober, not drunken, for you have the gall to not even be REAL, but only a fantasy whom I blame for lack of talent, if not lack of drive and ambition.
But here's a threat, oh Muse of mine, that you would do well to heed: I could return to corporate America, wear business drag and spend money on weekly manicures instead of subscriptions to Writer's Digest, and then where would you be?
Oh, don't tell me.
I already know.
You'd be partying with some midwestern housewife who would end up making a fortune writing edgy mysteries while her kids are at soccer practice and ballet lessons.
And I'd STILL have your laughter echoing in my brain.