joannebest











{May 3, 2013}   My Muse And Me

thismuseI’ve fallen victim to my own hype.
No, that’s not it.
I have Literary Stage Fright.
No, that isn’t it either.
Writer’s block?
Not exactly but getting closer. Sorta.
Full moon hangover? Nah.
Disinterested? Disconnected? Detached? Depressed?Disgusted?
All of the above?
I’m not quite sure just what it is, but somehow, something got between me and my muse.
Yes I know, just a bunch of words adding up to nothing more than another poor excuse.
I write, therefore I am.
So what happens to me when I don’t write? Am I no longer me? I pinch myself to check and yes, I am still here, therefore I must be me.
Although truthfully, I don’t feel very me-like these days. It’s as if someone peeled away a layer or two of me-ness leaving me baffled, bored, and brain-dead.
Hell, even a zombie has more get-up-and-go than I have lately. At least zombies are in pursuit of something but me? Not so much.
The hurricane-house has drained me dry. And I’m rather curious to see if I’ve broken through my writer’s block for good. There are only so many excuses I can come up with and I’ve just about run out.
“Where the hell are you dammit?”
I poke my head into every room in the house looking for her. Or is it Her? Whatever. Either way she’s missing and I can’t find her.
“Come out come out wherever you are,” I try a sing-songie voice hoping to appeal to her sense of, um, hearing sing-songie voices.
No luck.
She’s gone. I think.
I check the backyard thoroughly, even going so far as to look underneath the pool cover. The water looks cold, murky, dirty, and full of leaves and for a moment I think I see her down at the bottom but it’s just some tree limbs.
I nearly jump out of my skin when a dead bird floats by.
She may not be here now but the bird carcass lets me know she was here, however briefly.
Back into the house for another hunt. She has to be here somewhere. Why would she leave me? It’s not like I’ve been cruel to her. Maybe I’ve been a little inattentive lately but she’s always on my mind.
“You’re always with me.” I told her this so many times, I don’t understand why she needs constant reassurance. It’s like she doesn’t believe a word I say.
I mentally count up all the ways I love her and still she stays away.
I close my eyes so tightly white spots appear in my head yet I can’t even picture her hard as I try.
“Please don’t be gone forever.” I whisper in case she’s around to hear me, she hates when I beg.
“Don’t leave me.” My mouth forms the words soundlessly.
I’m nothing without my muse.
I’m so freaked out I don’t notice her clinging to the ceiling above me Spiderman-style looking down at me with her patented bored-now expression.
She’s invisible mostly but I see her shimmering, changing, glowing, just for me.
I should have known better,
Sometimes, she slips into my dreams and steals whatever she can while she’s there. Memories, fantasies, it’s all the same to her as long as it’s mine.
It’s creepy.
There’s this certain laugh that drips out of her mouth on occasion, it’s the color of cruelty when the sun hits it just right and it mocks me loudly.
I try to explain laughter has no shape, it isn’t tangible, but she just yawns then blows me a kiss. It tastes of sour strawberries.
When I ask her where she’s been hiding and why she ignores me so often lately she slips into a mirror across the way and looks back at me, her mouth twisted into a cruel smirk and my eyes begin to sting.
“We’ve gotten rather lackadaisical now, haven’t we.”
Her words pierce my eardrums.
Tiny little icicle-shaped drops drip down my face pooling at my feet, blood-scented and a vibrant blue.
“I’m beginning to hate that color,” I say.
“Choke on it,” she says back.
“Time’s running out,” she whispers and I want to wrap my fingers ’round her lovely throat and squeeze the death out of her.
“And you really need to come up with something much better than that.”
She buffs her long sharp fingernails as she says this and I notice the palms of her hands are bleeding out word-shaped drops of blood.
“What’s with you and blood,” she questions as she kicks me in the gut twice. I double over in pain and she yanks my hair hard just because she can.
“It’s your turn bitch,” she says this with no emotion in her voice.
“Isn’t that the whole point?” I ask wryly.
“I got nothing.”
I was met by silence at these words.
“Fuck you,” I mutter under my breath and she hears this. But of course, she hears everything.
“You’re cute when you’re grasping at straws,” she struts across the room and looks out the window. “You can’t get there from here, but you already know that.”
“Why is it you’re so good at stating the obvious,” I almost-whine.
“I’m good at everything chica.”
She says nothing after this for a good two minutes, just stares blankly at the middle of my forehead.
When I open my mouth to say something she taps her foot impatiently and my words freeze in my throat.
“You always fall for the bullshit,” and she sounds almost embarrassed as she speaks.
“How do you think I feel.” I ask the air around me.
She’s gone again like fog. Just gone.
A small piece of paper drifts down like feathers falling from a fallen angels wing.
Go to your room, it says.
“I don’t have one,” I remind the heavens as the words bleed off the page.
She’s teasing me now.
It’s beginning to drive me just a little bit insane.
“You’re already bat-shit crazy,” the words fall out of her mouth and shatter on the floor like glass. “What’s a little more insanity at this point?”
“Shut up,” I whimper.
“And it’s ‘splatter’, not ‘shatter’, as in blood splattering all over your lacy-white Communion dress. Blood of the innocent and all that.”
She gives me this grin that stretches her mouth wide across her face. I notice she has an extra set of teeth behind her pearly-whites. Razor-sharp canines click into place like she’s gonna sink them into my neck.
“You’d like that, wouldn’t you missy?”
“I-”
“Don’t interrupt me when I’m thinking. And I’m always thinking so keep it down, it’s already noisy enough in here.”
Five sharp fingernails the color of a rusted pitchfork scrape across my cheek and she finger-walks up to my left temple sinking her nails into my brain.
“It’s pink and squishy in here, don’t you ever learn?”
Her voice slides up my spine sounding like a high-pitched moan.
I shiver as x-rated images flash through my mind. I know she put them there.
“You’re a dirty girl,” she scolds,”I’m very proud of you, betcha can’t eat just one.”
“Just give me back my muse!” I shout as loud as I can but it only comes out in a whisper.
“Hush child, didn’t anyone ever teach you respect?”
She pushes me forward while sticking her leather-clad leg in my path sending me sprawling across the floor face-down.
“Ask nicely and maybe I’ll think about it. Muses are a dime a dozen bitch, don’t you know anything?”
“Please I-”
“Shhhhhhh,” her hand covers my mouth. It smells of deceit and manipulation.
“Lets start from the beginning,” she whispers in my ear.
You don’t even know the difference,”she huffs.
My brain is on fire.
I don’t know how we got here.
“Well?”
She starts that foot-tapping thing she does when she’s annoyed and I want to vomit.
Her eyebrows arch.
I say nothing.
“Oh, do go on.” She reeks amusement.”I just love this part!”
Her hands clap together gleeful and she does a suggestive little shimmy.
Shiny flecks of light bleed out her pores.
“See,there you go again with the blood, you just can’t leave a thing alone, can you? Rhetorically speaking.”
“Give me what I want,”I spit the words out of my mouth like bits of stray tobacco.
A quick knee in my gut then she’s back in the mirror, mocking-looks slither around me snake-like.
“There’s poison in them there hills,”she says this sadly.
“There always was, that’s nothing new.”I reply.
I wonder how long this is gonna go on.
“As long as you let it.”
She’s gone again after she says this and I’m just about played out.
“I pick my own battles,”
I do declare.
The empty room doesn’t answer me and neither does she when she creeps up behind me moments later.
“I know you’re there,”I say when she blinks out again.
“You don’t know anything little girl.”
Her voice booms in my ear and my teeth clatter rhythmic.
“And besides,”she then whispers seductively,”it’s just about to get interesting.”
“Bet you say that to all the girls.”I speak but she’s gone. Again.
“I don’t need you,”the lie begins as a drop falling from the corner of my mouth and pools around my ankles, warm and salty.
“You mean nothing to me.”
I think to myself.
Then outloud,”I do too know the difference.”
I can’t hide my certain quiver.
“And the difference knows me.”

And the difference always knows
“You screwed it up.”
The voice comes out of nowhere, loud enough to rattle the windows.
Shit. I’ve been outed.
As in shine-your-light-on-me-Miss-Liberty-outed.
As in all-eyes-on-me-outed.
As in oh-fuck-what-now-outed.
“You can’t just thrust yourself in willy-nilly and expect results.”
Each word is another bullet shattering my spine leaving me paralyzed.
I find myself face-down on an unfamiliar carpet in my own living room. One sharp spiked heel presses against my spine somewhere between my 4th and 5th vertebra.
I bite my lip to keep silent.
“No pain no gain chica,” she howls gleefully as she drags me across the floor by my hair.
“Rug-burn is what separates the men from the boys. Now get in position and give me 20.”
Her lovely manicured hand comes down and slaps me once, twice, three times across my bottom.
“You can’t even make yourself say ‘ass’ you whining little fool.”
As she says this I squirm in embarrassment knowing she’s right.
Her leather-clad foot stomps down barely missing my right hand as I push myself away from her backing myself up against the full-length mirror at the end of the hallway.
“You know what they say about fools and mirrors,” she sneers,”look at yourself. You disgust me with your half-hearted efforts.”
“Hey, this wasn’t my idea.”
I try to reason with her.
“What is this,the blame-game? Nothings gonna turn out right if you don’t start taking some responsibility. When did you become so complacent?”
A layer of frost formed over my entire body at her words.
“Truth hurts, don’t it chica?”
Her voice is like stale smoke.
I find it hard to catch my breath as her words began to swirl around me tornado-like.
“Bad enough you’ve bored me for so long, now you’re going for the masses?”
I hate when she’s right.

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