"Hey," she said. She took a seat across the table from me. "What's up?"
"Nada. The handyman is showing the house today to some potential buyers, so I wanted to be out of the place before they got there." The old Victorian that our apartment is in is up for sale, and has been for over six months now. I understand it to be severely overpriced, which is why there are few interested parties coming by to check it out. There have only been four showings so far. I prefer not to be at home when they are wandering around giving the once-over to the place. It's rather unsettling to have your living space eyeballed when you're actually there. It makes me feel like I'm an exhibit in a well-furnished, electronics-stocked dimly-lit zoo.
The Muse pointed at my laptop. "So you're out here eating and writing? Good for you."
I spun the laptop around to show her the screen. "Not quite."
She squinted at the screen. "Hey... that's not writing. What are you goofing off with now?"
"DVD. Watching a cartoon while I eat. I was going to write afterwards, but now you're here, so you know how well that works out."
"You should be writing anyway, and not wasting your time with cartoons."
I flicked my chopsticks snack snack at her. "Hard to eat and type at the same time, dear."
She leaned back in her chair. "Okay, I'll give you that. I know how talented you can be with only one hand, but even I don't expect that level of dexterity."
"Filth will get you everywhere, my sweet."
"What is this you're watching, anyway? Looks Japanese."
I unplugged my earphones and let the volume come out over the iBook's small tinny speakers. "It is. It's this acid trip of a cartoon called FLCL."
"Yep, FLCL. It's about a boy who has robots that grow out of his head. I have absolutely no idea what is happening in any episode at all, but showing it to someone is the closest I can come to explaining what a really, really good trip is like."
"This is why you aren't getting as much writing done, you know. Because you're watching robots growing out of people's heads."
I poked her hand with a chopstick, leaving a smear of Kung Po Chicken along her knuckle. "You can just bite me. I intend to write all about our conversation here once I'm done eating and this episode is finished. Provided, of course, that you don't sit around here distracting me while I'm trying to get it done."
"I'm so not going to do anything to distract you," she said, and then deliberately and slowly ran her tongue along her knuckle. "Nope. Not at all."
"You're evil, you know."
She smiled, her nose crinkling, her eyes squinting. "Completely. It's my job." She reached her hand into my plate and plucked out a chunk of green pepper, which she popped into her mouth. "Now finish your lunch and get back to work, monkey boy. I've got an appointment."
"Someone else to torment?"
She stood. "Photographer. I'm doing a little modeling for him this afternoon. Something 'artistic,' if you get my drift." She wiggled her eyebrows at me.
"Evil. Pure and simple."
"Yes, Hecubus, indeed I am. Now get to work, and I'll check in with you later this evening and see if you've managed to pull all your hair out in frustration. Or if you've spent the entire day watching cartoons."
"Your faith in me, Muse, is underwhelming."
"Silly rabbit. I have total faith in you. It's why you get so much shit from me." She leaned in and gave me a kiss on the forehead, quickly followed up by a punch to the upper arm. "Now get to work, before I beat your ass so hard you'd wish a robot were coming out of it."
"That doesn't make any sense at all."
"Hey, sue me. I'm just the muse, not the writer."
She growled not unpleasantly, waved and left the restaurant. As for me, I finished my Chinese food, waited for the cartoon to end, and then began typing: The Muse walked by the window of the Chinese restaurant in which I was eating.