The Muse

7.37AM. I’m already there. Taking first watch; protected from the artillery fire of early morning sunlight by this ridiculous excuse for a curtain. Vibrant, once upon a time. Some might have called it stylish. Or ‘chic’. Or anything else they say in those vapid magazines. Now it just hung limply, and served its purpose. 7.38AM. It’s nearly time.

Admiration, that’s all it is. Nothing wrong with that. The Greeks had their muses, didn’t they? There to inspire you; help you create something; leave your mark on the world like a red wine stain on an expensive cashmere sweater. Mneme, Thelxinoe, Calliope. She could never tarnish herself with something so unpronounceable; such an inelegant mishmash of consonants. In my head, she’s been many things. Simple things. A Ruth, or a Sarah. 7.40AM.

So what’s she inspired in you then? Do enlighten us, oh learned one. Greasy hair, unwashed in god-knows-how-long, matted to your head? The dirt encrusted beneath your fingernailsYour spotless kitchen and living roomnot a speck of dust to be found? Don’t kid yourself that what you’ve created in the spare bedroom passes for ‘art’…

Shut up. I’ve got no time for your shit. She’s late. She never rounds the corner any later than 7.47AM. The dread begins to sweep up through me. Every early morning trill of birdsong becomes an approaching police siren. ‘Good morning Mr Redacted, we’ve had a call from a concerned passer-by. Do you mind if we come in for a quick word?’ 

‘If we could just have a look upstairs….’

Calm down dear, you’ll do yourself a mischief. You know she’s got two brats, you’ve watched them enough times. Taken enough pictures. Stored up enough material. One of them will be playing up – refusing to put his socks on, or brush his teeth, or whatever passes for rebellion in a 6-year old’s mind. She’ll be along after she’s sorted him out. Silly little pricks don’t know how good they’ve got it, unlimited time and exposure to her radiance and they’re acting like fools. You’d be a good boy for her, wouldn’t you? Servile. Pathetic. It’d be right up your street…

Insults aside, I do hope you’re right. I could show it to her! My masterpiece. Months of work. Look what you inspired in m…

7.52AM – it’s The Muse! My smartphone’s up to my face before my brain’s even registered the action. Video mode. Ultra-high definition. Record. 

The long green jacket, fourth day out of the last five. That flirtation with denim on Tuesday looking more of an aberration than a sign of approaching springtime. Black tights. Modest heels. This probably wouldn’t be going ‘top row’ in the footage library, but I wouldn’t rule out some stills for the collage. And before I know it she’s gone, floated past in her own little world. Not perceptive enough to note the twitch of the curtain falling back into place.

So, what are we doing for the rest of the day then?  

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