"I hate this," the Muse said, pointing at the screen. The movie we were watching had reached a point in the narrative where there was some post-coital bedroom discussion underway.
"What?" I said. "Post-coital bedroom discussion?"
"No," she said. "I hate the way the women in film always have sheets draped over their breasts after sex. I don't know about fictional women, but I have never seen any point in covering myself at this point. The guy has already seen me naked, hopefully from a variety of angles, so seriously. Why hide the delicacy of my shame now?"
"Maybe she's cold."
"How can you tell, though? Her breasts are covered."
"You're a pig, Muse. I like that about you.
She patted my arm. "Takes one to know one, honey."
"What are you writing about?" the Muse asked. She traced her fingertip along the rim of her coffee cup. "You've been mum on the whole thing, and it's starting to bug me."
"Have to have some secrets, you know."
"Not from me," she said. "Once there's nudity involved, secrets go out the window."
I closed the screen of my laptop. "When did we decide that? I don't remember that clause in our contract. You're also an exhibitionist, so your being naked around me isn't really a good yardstick for our relationship."
"I wasn't talking about my nudity, sweetie."
"Hey, I gave up my modesty when you kept walking in on me in the shower, and that wasn't me offering myself up to you anyway. You're the one who kept coming in the room."
She picked a blueberry from my muffin and popped it into her mouth. "You could have locked the door at any point."
"The door doesn't have a lock."
"You could have put one on. That's just an invitation as far as I'm concerned."
"That's because you have no respect for boundaries, Muse." I slapped her hand as she reached again to pick at my muffin. "Like that. There is an invisible wall around my muffin. Respect it. Respect my muffin."
"Don't change the subject," she said, then slapped my hand and took the entire muffin for herself. "What are you writing?"
"I'm writing about you," I said.
"Well it's about time. I was wondering when you were going to get around to that."
"Apparently everyone else was wondering that, too. All I ever hear is 'why aren't you writing more about the Muse?' and 'why don't you put her in a book?' So I gave up. You're going to be in a book. Get used to the idea."
She tore the muffin in half and picked out a few more blueberries. "There'd better be sex in this book of yours. Lots of sex."
"There might be. I'm not sure yet. I'll get back to you on that."
"You'd also better not make my ass too big, or I'll kick yours."
"Your ass is wonderful, Muse. It's like a peach."
She paused in her muffin savagery and regarded me. "I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not. You could mean that I have a hairy ass."
"It's hardly covered in a pelt, you know. I love your ass. If I could wear your ass for a hat, I would."
She nodded. "Okay, that sounds suitably dirty. I'll take that compliment." She chewed on another berry. "What's the plot?"
"None of your business, nosey."
"C'mon. I'm the main subject, and you won't even tell me what it's about?"
"Of course not. That would spoil the surprise."
"You suck," she said brightly. "I'd tell you if you were a character in my novel."
"No, Muse, you wouldn't. You'd tease me endlessly about it, and then either have me killed off in some horrible and bloody way, maybe something involving a combine or a diabolical sex toy of some sort, or you'd give me a hump and a speech impediment."
"I'm good like that," she said.
"If by 'good' you mean 'bad,' then yes." I reached for my muffin and she slapped my hand again.
"Just don't make me look like an idiot, please," she said. "Because if you do, you know what will happen to you."
"What will happen to me?"
She tossed the mangled and de-blueberried remains of my muffin onto the plate in front of me. "I'll rip off your berries."