She took to reading obscure science fiction novels
by candlelight, drinking wine under the covers, and pretending to smoke. Her repertoire consisted of learning strange accents and using them to enlighten ironic circumstances. Such circumstances included but were not limited to: sneaking up on the cat, under(more)standing Bob Dylan, and making faces at people while stuck in traffic. Sprucing up one's life is satisfying work, as long as one makes adequate concessions to intrigue and fine literature.
A dive bar called the Spruce stood in a dirt lot off the main artery through the rural town I lived in. Although the place was only a a few minutes from my house, I didn't visit often. But on one unfulfilling night I didn't feel like going home just yet,(more) so I stopped. It was not a very welcoming or friendly place, and when I walked in the whole line of grizzled husky men seated at the bar turned to look at me in unison. Thankfully, the jukebox played some drawling tune and filled a sudden uncomfortable silence. The nicer you were dressed, the longer they looked, and as I was returning from a formal affair, they looked a good while. It was a bored, red-eyed, slack-jawed look, many wearing hats with flaps that came down over the ears. They looked like a chain of Saint Bernards (some more resembled Cujo, as it was getting late) eyeing me until the first turned back to their drink and the baseball game, which seemed to be a cue for the rest of them to do the same.
I noticed a lone lady standing by one end of the bar, and her look lingered on. I noticed that she was standing next to an empty stool, and I wondered if she was with someone not present at the moment, or if her bottom was too big to fit into the seat. She smiled at me, and answered my unspoken question by patting the seat and waving me over. A powerful wave of deja vu swept over me, and I suddenly felt the decision to sit down or not had a certain wieght to it. Almost as if it were a life-changing moment. Looking back on it now, I consider it a warning.(less)
The two of them stood side by side, cans of spray paint spread across the pavement. Their heads are tipped to the side like confused dogs. The orange light of the street lamp striates over the puddles and through the bored air currents rushing rubbish impatiently down the street. (more)
I sip my milkshake; a long, slow sip that tastes like summer and the needless exploitation of innocent animals. I open my mouth to say this to you and you put you finger up to your lips and I find myself staring. Your lips are chapped.
"We should dub them!" you squeal.
"We can't see their mouths," I reply dryly, stirring my milkshake with its long plastic straw. I watch the bubbles rise out of the bottom of the paper cup, feel the cup perspire under my fingers. Perspire? Is that the right word?
When I look up you're still looking right at me. Your face goes from passive to a full grin. I laugh uncomfortably, casting my gaze back out of the window. They've stopped wondering at their tag and are now pointing at various parts. It's actually pretty good. Looks like they're drawing - is drawing the right word? - a face.
"This side could definitely use some sprucing up!" you call, in a wafer thin voice as stereotypically fey as a Broadway musical. I laugh and look at you properly. You can be so funny when you want to be. For once, that is what you want. This isn't weird at all. It isn't strange or odd or kooky or unusual. It just... Is.
One begins spraying the wall, and then stops and steps back.
"Perfect! This will be all over tumblr by morning," I purr.
You raise your eyebrows. You run your tongue over dry lips.(less)
"Holy shit, check out these kick-ass boots!"
Black biker boots had replaced the red desert-boots she'd covered my feet with earlier.
"What did you do?"
"Who? Moi? Look in the mirror chica, it wasn't me. You did it all by your lonesome."
She's really bad at hiding condescension and(more) man was she ever dripping with it now.
"Stop being so bitchy! I told you, this is just temporary-"
"Everything is temporary chica."
She loves to interrupt me.
"-and it was the only thing I could do at the time-"
"Time," she sneered,"you know nothing about time."
"Ahem," I give her the coldest stare I can muster, it bounces off her like a pink rubber-ball thrown against a concrete wall.
"As I was saying-"
"You say nothing but words without meaning."
"-if there was any other way- hey! My words have meaning!" She was getting under my skin and we both knew it.
Do not engage the crazy supernatural being capable of rendering me dead, I remind myself.
"You are thinking thoughts about me right now chica, just because I can't get into your mind at the moment doesn't mean I can't read your intent."
She's really pissed off at me for bottling her, apparently Muses don't like being owned.
Shit, I never thought of it that way.
I don't blame her for being furious, nobody wants to be owned.
"Look," I say sincerely,"I promise you, as soon as this is over I will release you. Pinky swear."
She did that eyebrow-raising thing again.
"Pinky swear?" She asks.
"Pinky swear," I answer and reach out to her, pinky first.
"You are a very strange human," she says as she hooks her pinky with mine. "If indeed you are all human, I'm beginning to have my doubts about that."(less)