I averted my eyes. "God, Muse, it's beyond pink. It's so pink that I can't look at it straight on. It's too blinding."
She had been longing for one of those modern superball faux-Asian bean-filled cylindrical pillows, in love with them ever since I bought one for my chaise at home. For a period of about two weeks during the early summer, I would come home from work every night to find her curled up in the chair, asleep, my pillow clutched between her hands like a nylon pink burrito. This wouldn't have been quite so odd, except for the fact that the Muse had her own apartment during that period, and was exclusively haunting my house for the sole reason of falling asleep in my chair hugging my pillow. I didn't mind; she doesn't snore, so closing the office door and letting her do her thing was certainly the only human thing to do. Besides, it meant another morning spent watching her put on her makeup, which I've already talked about somewhere down in the archives...
"Bringing this pillow home is going to make my year," she said. She squeezed the pillow like an accordian, and it of course never lost its shape when she stopped. Freakish pink alien bean pillows never do. Mine, at least, was blue, which was a little less Timothy Leary.
"Muse, it's only the fourth day of the year."
She sighed. "Do you have to crap on everything I like?"
"No," I said. "Only the stupid things."
"You'd better not be referring to the Hello Kitty toaster."
"I'm saying nothing. It's much safer that way."
"But it makes Hello Kitty faces on the bread! It's like I get to eat that stupid cat for breakfast every morning."
I made a zipping motion across my lips, and then mixed my visual metaphors and mimed tossing away an invisible key.
"You're an angry man," she said. "You know that, right?"
"You need more pillows in your life. Preferably with Hello Kitty branded into them."
"You know, Muse, for a basically brilliant woman with excellent taste, you sometimes scare the bejeezus out of me."
"I am legion, baby," she said. "Now outta my way. Momma needs a new pink pillow." She pushed past me and started towards the checkout counter.
"Momma needs a straight jacket," I muttered under my breath.
"This from the man with a plastic pickle with wheels from 1970 in his office."
"It's a toy from my childhood! I used to ride it! I cry sentimental value on that one."
"Shut up and give me some money. This pillow ain't gonna buy itself."