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Use Your Muse Before She Moves

Linda_HarrisonA few years ago, when I finally SAW my Muse she dressed in worn comfy denim. She had gossamer wings. She looked just like Nova (Linda Harrison) from that old Planet of Apes original, her dark hair silky and shining. Every golden morning my Muse would hover at my bedside and awaken me with angelic ethereal humming. Dazed and inspired, I would rise and scurry off to my bus route. Afterward, I would take her hand like a ritual. She would lead me to a local diner or coffee house, and sit me down, and turn on my laptop with a missing left “enter” key. While it booted up she would pass the time pouring me honeyed coffee. She would bring it to me, and curl up on the monitor and purr rhythmically, playing songs by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard into my headphones. The sound of her purring and my fingers waltzing on the keyboard was like the sweet roll of distant thunder and a warm graceful mist washing over us through the middle of the day. In the early afternoon I would look up from my laptop and stretch, and whisper thanks to her, and wander off to drive a school bus, my mind full of visions.

Then due to circumstances beyond my control I had to switch jobs and writing became inconvenient and impossible in the midst of the day. She went into a Relocation Program for orphaned muses. I never heard from her again. Maybe you have seen her? For all I know she whispering music into your ear and filling your mind with visions. Don’t waste her inspiration. As soon as you exit Facebook begin your own epic novel, dear reader.

I had to adapt. I petitioned for another Muse for evenings and weekends. The one that showed up looked the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Desperate, I girldragontatopened the door and let her in. She chain smokes Marlboro reds. She wears thick mascara and re-dyes her hair black weekly. She has sixty-six piercings—that I know of—and some I dare not ask about. One arm is sleeved-out in tattoos. She has a Ph.D in German Literature and refuses to purr. She prefers leather to denim, likes fishnet everything. She clipped her wings. From her pale neck on separate chains dangle hundreds of religious icons, peace symbols, and skulls. She reads “the lost works,” just to taunt me and quotes Nietzsche and Rousseau. She listens to Lady Gaga, the Ramones and Johnny Cash and Mozart and the Lower Chakras and drives a black hearse with a pink stripe. She speaks English with a French accent. She refuses to pour me coffee and spills her own on my papers. She never visits, I have to summon her. When she comes she’s often high and drunk, daring me to judge.

I’m not dumping her. I fear what I would get as a replacement this time. So I have the romantic memory of the one before and the reality of the next. – Inspired by a book I just read. Write Your Heart Out by Geoff Schmidt

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  1. April 28, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I believe I’ve read something very similar to this. Have you read Write Your Heart Out by Geoff Schmidt? The main character, Gus, has a muse that purrs for him, too…

    • April 28, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      “Inspired by a book I just read.” Yes! That was the book!

      • April 28, 2014 at 1:08 pm

        I knew it! Hey, give that author a big shout-out! His writing really inspired me, too, in so many ways, especially the chapters about muses. Made me think about my own muses, and my real and imagined audiences…powerful stuff! I love your interpretation, and maybe he’d appreciate it, too.

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