"'Nmph," she mumbled when her eyes settled on me. She let her head flop back onto her pillow. "Morning."
I looked at my watch. "Nearly afternoon, dear."
"'Nmph," she said again, then, "What are you doing here?"
"Watching you sleep."
"No, I mean, what are you doing here in my house?"
"I've got a key, remember?"
She considered that a moment, or she might have dozed back off, I couldn't really tell. "Are you stalking me? Should I be concerned?"
"Muse, I've been stalking you for well over a year now. If you aren't used to it by now, you're just not trying."
"Hmm... good point." She threw back the sheet covering her and rolled naked out of her bed. She didn't bother with modesty, and I didn't bother averting my eyes. In our relationship, nudity with one another was as comfortable as being fully dressed, a fact which certainly weirded some people out, so we both had long-since stopped trying to define ourselves to other people. It is in fact possible to have a close, intimate, comfortable relationship with someone without actually having sex with them, although I've met very few people who seem to be able to get their heads around the concept.
She padded into the bathroom, and I followed. "So now why exactly are you sneaking around my apartment and watching me sleep?" She reached into the shower and turned the water on.
"Movie day," I said. "Figured you could use a little break from reality for a while." The Muse had been going through a few troubles of her own recently, the boy kind, and had been in a funk for a few weeks. "I'm playing the role of your knight in shining armor."
She ran her hand under the stream of water, searching for the perfect temperature. "And the flick du jour is..?"
"And we are prepared for this how..?" She stepped into the shower and pulled the curtain closed around her.
"The Canadian stocked me up for the pre-show smoke," I said, "and I'm going to fill the flask while you're washing your hair." I'd purchased on a whim at an art festival one year a steel hip flask, I don't know why, about the size of a small paperback book. It had sat unused on top of my fridge for a few months until someone had hit upon the idea of sneaking it into the movies with us. It couldn't hold enough for us to get obnoxiously shit-faced, but as a courtesy to our fellow film goers, we would sit in the very back row beneath the projector booth, as much out of ear-shot as possible, and try not to see any showing that started after noon, when the theaters were more crowded. At an 11am showing, you were almost always guaranteed a nearly-empty theater.
After her shower was when I found the Muse most interesting to watch. There's something fascinating to me in watching a woman get ready to face the world at large, all the prep-work and considerations to be made... it almost seems religious, thick with ritual and solemnity... apparently it appeals to the inner transvestite in me. Honestly, however, it's almost exclusively watching the Muse do it that appeals to me so much. I'm nearly 35 years old, and I've seen a lot of women getting ready to go out, but there's something about the way that she does it which completely and totally enthralls me.
It goes as this: the Muse, a towel wrapped around her, begins with her teeth, brushing, flossing, certainly not something that would seem to be something that anyone would find interesting to watch, but I can't look away when she does it. She uses an electric tooth brush, and the hum of the motor is soothing to me, as is the electric flosser's. She's a modern woman, in love with her electric toys.
Following the teeth comes the eyeliner, dark, quickly applied with a practiced touch, her face inches from the mirror as she leans in close. She follows this up with her eyelash curler--which had me from the moment I first saw her using it... it was the only piece of the puzzle that I'd never seen another woman using, and so to me it is intimately her, exclusive and unique to the Muse--first the right lashes, then the left, always in that order. She then uses some product I don't recognize on her eyebrows, a salve in a small jar. She wets her pinky in the stuff and trails it over each eyebrow, again right to left.
Lips come next, sometimes liner, sometimes not. Generally, she sticks with something glossy from a small vial, brushed along her small lips, top before bottom. On those occasions when she wears lipstick from a tube, however, it's always red, a dark shade the color of a pomengranate's skin. I don't enjoy watching her applying the stuff because of some typical male oral sex fantasy... I sincerely just love watching the process she goes through.
The true moment of perfection for me comes while she is blow drying her hair, and when she doesn't end with that, I sometimes feel that the process is incomplete, that the last chapter of the book is missing. She bends her head down low and runs her fingers through her dark hair with one hand while aiming the blow dryer up, as millions of people do, as I've seen dozens do myself, but it's the way she does it that fascinates me. She contorts her body into poses that are nearly sculptural in their beauty, all curves and soft angles, and I find that I cannot take my eyes off of her. Generally, she loses her towel when working at her hair, and she doesn't bother to pick it up from the floor until the hair is finished. I do admit that this is the one point at which I always find my eyes roving over her body, finally looking at her, and not watching the process. The Muse is a beautiful woman, and I'd be a fool not to gawk from time to time. Apparently she doesn't mind, as she's never told me to go fuck myself.
"Snap out of it, you," she said, picking her towel up from the floor and tossing it in the hamper. "The eye candy is feeling sugar-free today, so you're not going to want a bite of me at the moment."
"Muse," I smiled, "you're always delicious, even if that idiot of a man can't get his head around the idea."
"Fuck him and forget him," she said, brushing past me and walking towards her bedroom. "You and I have a date with pot, alcohol and a teenage witch."
"Wizard." I followed after her.
"Whatever. Let me get my panties on and we'll be off."
"Just panties? Muse, I won't be able to let you out of this room if you don't at least cover yourself with a little more effort than that. The man in me would never allow it."
"You just want to grope me."
She came next to me and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. "Maybe once we're in the theater, darling."
"You're much too good to me, Muse, you know that?"
"I am, and I do. Now let the eye candy put her wrapper on, would you?"