"Admirable," the Muse said. "Plus, you like caves and you never sleep while it's dark. You've already got a few of the requirements down."
I sunk lower in the tub, my hair floating around me like tendrils of seaweed. "I thought I'd dig a Batcave under my parents' house, someplace I could park my Big Wheel."
"Did you have a costume?" the Muse asked. She was sitting on the floor, rump on the bath mat, which she had moved in front of the closed door, so she had something to lean against. The light was off, but we had two candles burning on a plate in the sink.
"Blue underwear and a towel tied around my neck," I said. "It was the '70s. Kids still used their imaginations back then."
"Old man," she said.
"I was Batman for an entire summer, saving people, fighting evil, changing the world for the better." I blew out a breath, sending a small ripple of waves across the surface of the water. "I don't want to change the world anymore. Now I just want to change myself. Quite a shift in thinking, and it only took thirty years to get there."
"Goals get more specialized sometimes when you get older. Some people look for the cure for cancer. You look for the cure for life."
"That's because life, Muse? It kicks my ass sometimes."
"It's life, sugar. After thirty-six years, I thought you would have been more used to it."
I splashed my hands through the water softly. "I'm a slow learner, Muse. Especially when it concerns my own life."
She pushed herself off the floor and took the towel from the rod. "Here, come out of there. I'm sure you're getting pruny, and you think too much when you baste in your own juices."
I stood up, and she wrapped me in the towel, embracing me as she did. "You worry far too much about yourself," she said, and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. "Dry off and come to bed. I'm staying with you here tonight, and for once you're going to bed before it's dawn."
"Gee, Muse, I didn't know you cared."
"Yes," she said. "Yes, you did. Now hurry up and come to bed. Tomorrow is the first day of you getting over feeling like a fuck up."