"It's me," the Muse said.
"Hey. What's up?"
"Just checking in on you. It's the big SHB day today."
"What?" I said. "Come again?"
"The sob, honor and bury day. I hate funerals."
"So do I, Muse, although I can't really say much about this one, since I'm not even there."
"Doesn't matter, you know. It still sucks. Probably sucks even more, since you aren't there for all that shared grief and love stuff."
I nodded, although she couldn't see me doing it. "That's what my mom told me, although I didn't believe it at the time. That I'd be having a harder time with all of this since I couldn't be there with the family for the send off."
"I'm sure being at work doesn't make things any better."
"You know, I thought it would, seriously. I figured it would help me keep my mind off things a bit, but mostly I'm just fucking things up. I should have at least called in."
She snorted. "You never call in. You're a machine, baby."
"An idiot machine, more likely. I should be at home drinking, and not hiding in my office in the dark."
"You're in the dark? That's pretty pitiful."
"Thank you," I said.
"You're welcome. What are you doing after work?"
"No idea. Go home. Sit. Bathe in melancholy."
"I'll come scrub your back for you. When are you home?"
"Midnight, more or less."
"Whiskey or ice cream?" she asked.
"Serious grief, buddy," she said.
"I'm a grief machine these days, darlin'."
"You're allowed. Now get back to work and I'll come feed you and ply you with alcohol in three hours."
"I'm going to sit in the dark for another hour, if you don't mind. Then I'll be productive."
"You work in television. You don't do anything productive."
"Shut up, Muse."
"Love you, too, sweetie." She made a kissing noise at me, then clicked the phone dead.