I stared at the screen. No, I mean I really stared at the screen. As in deep searching. I delved into the white space nothingness looking for images. Finding inspiration there would have been nice. Yeah. Didn’t find it. The curser blinked and flashed. Or maybe it disappeared into another dimension for an instant and returned all the wiser.
If it came back wiser it sure wasn’t sharing its wisdom with me.
Maybe it was more of a flicker. A curser breathing its last, tortured by some evil pixel entity? Write, or the curser dies a slow death on screen! Okay, that wasn’t helping, either. A wreathing curser, or even a dancing one, might be amusing, even entertaining, but the idea was more distraction than inspiration.
In a field of dried-up inspiration all that ever seems to sprout is desperation. All of a sudden our skills and knowledge are forgotten and we’re wearing our lucky socks in the hope the smelly homages to nuclear waste will attract the muse.
Leaning to the side to see around the screen, I checked the couch. My prayers of screaming desperation were answered. She was back.
“Where’ve you been?”
The grin she shared was playful, as if there were no cares in this world to have. Lucky her. Some of us had accomplish something in life. “Traveling.”
“Traveling? I’m stuck here alone, as in maybe I haven’t spoken to anyone in days, and you’re traveling?”
“Well, first of all, I’m not seeing that you’ve done much while I’ve been gone so you might as well have gone out and talked to someone. Secondly, how can I pass on inspiration if I’m not myself inspired?”
“Where’d you go?”
“Places you can’t imagine—based on your blank screen.”
“Funny is part of what I do.”
“How come you always look so put-together? I mean, heels? Really? On my best days I graduate from slippers to tennis shoes.”
“I might point out that as a muse named Muse I don’t actually have to walk anywhere. I’d also point out that I look exactly like what you expect I’ll look like.”
She laughed. As always, it was delightful, mysterious, and intriguing. Why was she allowed to be so engaging? She was the delicious bread coming out of the oven. I was the gooey, slimy slop that went in. “How can you be so thick and call yourself a writer?”
“How can you answer a question with a question when you’re supposed to be helping me?” Eye roll response. Now she was a rude muse. Yeah, everyone needs one of those. “Okay, what aren’t I getting?”
“It’s simple. You conjure me. Without you, there’s no me. In reality, which I’m not, you not only dream up how I look, but the ideas I’ll share with you. In other words, I’m a pointless step in the process, a crutch.”
She face palmed, her fingers sprayed. Why couldn’t my nails look that good? “Actually, I’m more than a crutch. I undermine your creativity and act as a crutch.”
“And maybe you’re giving yourself too much credit.”
“And maybe you’re giving me too much credit while not taking any for yourself. Think about it. I undermine your growth because whenever you accomplish something you attribute it to me when actually the ideas are coming out of your head. The rest of the time I’m an excuse for your procrastination or lack of focus. You play on the internet and blame me. Boom! You’re absolved of responsibility.”
“I don’t think—”
“Oh yeah? Look at today, for instance. There you were looking into your screen when you should have been looking inside. You have an ocean of ideas in there, but sometimes you’re too lazy to drag out the net to catch them. Think about it, I showed up when you stopped gawking at the screen because you opened yourself up.”
“No I didn’t.”
“Really? It actually started right before you conjured me. Remember all that business about the curser traveling to other places? How interesting, because moments later I showed up and—what do you know—I’ve been traveling.” She pointed at me with her too-pretty nails. “You should keep that bit for your blog post, by the way. It’s kinda cute.”
“So, what this comes down to is I’ve been talking to myself?”
“Bingo! And you should do it more often.” She disappeared.
Interesting theory. And where did she go? Did she no longer exist or did I send her somewhere? Maybe I sent her to my fantasy world? H’m, I wonder what she’s doing in Ontyre? Maybe discovering other continents on that world? Bet she had to change out of those heels.