"I'm heading out in two days, Muse," I said. "What are you going to do with yourself while I'm gone?"
"I had a few things in mind," she said. "I thought I might throw a wild party at your place, invite all my friends, generally trash everything and not clean it up."
"Yeah, that's a bad idea. What else have you got?"
"Well, I might do some writing of my own. I've been neglecting my haiku recently."
"You don't write haiku."
"Bad haiku flows out,
hot puke from a bad poet,
like Ally Sheedy."
"That, Muse, is the worst haiku I've ever heard."
your kung fu is no match for
my awful poems."
"Okay. You can stop now."
"But to stop this game,
to cry defeat against you,
shame on my hot ass."
I began to sing-song, loudly, "There once was a Muse from Nantucket..."
"Gah!" she cried out, raising her hands. "I yield! Thou hast done for me."
I grinned. "Freak."
"It's a skill. I deserve an award of some kind, I think."
"Well, depending on how much of a mess you make of my house, we'll see what Santa brings you from California."
"Actually, dear, I'm not planning on hanging around your place while you're gone." She shifted and laid flat on her back on the roof, her head against my leg. "I thought I would be an extremely boring Muse and take the week off myself. It's rather exhausting sometimes being everyone else's inspiration. I'm planning on curling up on my sofa, reading a few books, and drinking heavily. I might even go ahead and get laid. You never know."
"Slut!" I exclaimed, grinning. "Got someone in mind already? Anybody I know?"
She chuckled, low and husky. "I thought I might go down and see Belle, maybe stir something up with her."
"You're musing up the wrong tree, babe," I said. "Belle doesn't swing that way."
"I think she'd make an exception in my case. I can be pretty convincing, when I put my all into it."
"No doubt," I said. "If it works, let me know. I need to keep track of just how far your powers extend, in case I ever need to try to put you down. Never know."
"Nice of you to take an interest. It's just for the hot Muse-on-Belle action, isn't it?"
"Pig," she said.
She closed her eyes and soaked up the last rays of the sun as it dipped lower over the lake. "Seriously, though, I'm going to miss you. We haven't really had any time apart for what? A couple of years now."
"February 11, 2004," I said. "That's the first time you popped up. You were making fun of my "Major Tom" obsession."
She sighed. "Only a year? It seems like forever."
"I have that effect on people. They get sick of me fast. I think it's because I'm a king smart ass."
"I'm not sick of you, babe," she said. "Matter of fact, I rather think we're sort of joined at the hip."
"If I'd have known that you were just using me to get into Belle's pants, I might have amputated you a long time ago."
She snorted, a rare happening from the Muse. "She's got her own muse, although she might not know it. She doesn't really need me crawling around in her undies. It's fun to tease her, though. She is, for lack of a better term, a hoot."
"Did you just say 'hoot?'"
The Muse nodded. "I did. Sue me."
I leaned down and kissed her forehead instead. "You're cute. Go out, have some fun this week, get laid if you can. Just be a dear and don't do it in my bed, okay? I love you, but that's just a little too weird, even for me."
"I'll leave you some pictures on your pillow, though."
"Oh yes, certainly. That's a requirement."
"Excellent," she said. "You know what a showgirl I am, deep down."
"Not that deep, Muse. I think it's right under about three layers of skin." I looked at my watch. "I've got to get back inside and do a show. You coming in, or are you going to lay up here a while longer?"
"I think I'll stay up here a while longer and work on my poetry."
I made a choking sound. "in that case, I'm going to jump back downstairs before you start reciting anything at me."
"Cowardly home boy,
this girl will eat you alive
and you will like it."
"Now that one I like," I said, grabbing hold of the ladder in the roof and starting down. "It sort of fits in with the vibe of my 'Muse from Nantucket' limerick."
"That'll be about enough of that, mister," she said. "Any further Nantucket thoughts will be explored by me and whoever I decide to screw this week."
"As long as I don't read about it in Belle's journal."
"No promises," she said.
I paused and peered at her from the top of the ladder. "You're an evil, evil girl, Muse."
"That's why the boys love me," she said. "And some of the girls, too."
"Okay, that's enough for me. I'm going down now."
She laughed. "I might be going down myself while you're gone, you know."
"Okay! Not listening! La la la! Buh-bye!"
I was listening, however, and the last thing I heard as I slipped back inside the building was the Muse, laughing herself to a snorting fit.