a muse before dark


A long, wiry man with curly dark hair and wings was laying on my couch. It was confusing.

“Hey.” I said, to be polite. I was in a hurry though. I had a date. And I still had to shower and walk the dog.

“How was work?” He asked, gently.

“Good?” I responded with a question, I think, because I wasn’t quite sure yet how work was. I was an executive assistant, and quite bored with it. So even on my best days, I was still standing at the very bottom of the gaping hole that was my life, looking for a rope. But there was food down there!

The man with wings was laying very seductively, propped up on one elbow with his hand on his head. His other hand rubbed his naked belly.

“I’m not going to have sex with you.” I told him, flat out. I didn’t know who he was or where he came from, and frankly, I wasn’t interested in the wings, as liberal as I claimed to be.

“I know.” He smiled at me, almost painfully.

My dog, Aura, bit at my hand. She was ready to go out. I felt like I should figure out why this guy was in my apartment before I went anywhere. He couldn’t have been too dangerous, if Aura was okay with him. But still, something was off.

“So, how did you get in?” I sat at the edge of the couch, careful not to touch his feet. I didn’t know where they had been.

He sat up, clutching a throw pillow to his chest. He really was very docile. His wings fluttered, tenderly. His eyes were colorless, and his cheeks were rosy. If not for the hairy chest and the day old stubble, I would have found him literally cherubic.

“I floated in through the window. I was actually trying to get to the third floor,” he put his hands to his little poochy belly, “But this was easier.”

Suddenly we were holding hands. He was very soft.

He produced a pair of wire glasses, and put them on.

“I’m your new muse,” he announced. His wings flittered with excitement and his cheeks flushed a new bright pink.

At first I was very excited to hear this. Maybe now I could quit my job. Then I realized that I wasn’t his intended partner.

“I thought you were trying to get to the third floor.” I shook his hands off of mine.

He smiled wide for the first time, and I realized he was missing a few teeth. I found this comforting, since the rest of him was nearly perfect. Minus all the body hair.

“Art!” He yelped, and then the dog yelped too, “is a mysterious lover.” He paused dramatically.

I decided to multitask so as not to be late for my date. I clipped my nails in the silence.

“What do you think?” he asked.

“I could get behind a muse.” I decided. Although I was skeptical.

He snapped his fingers:

And I was confronted by a wave of nostalgia and longing that I didn’t even know I possessed. It was as if every happy moment in my childhood, every adolescent fancy I had ever inhabited, collided inside of me. A black hole was collapsing, and I was nearly free. Or perhaps it was a bang- a new universe had exploded to life inside of me, and I was the creator.

“I want to paint!” I was yelling and I didn’t know why.

He clapped gleefully.

“I’ve always wanted to be a painter! But I never thought I could!!”

He kissed me on the mouth. He kissed the dog on the mouth.

“Myra,” he held my face with two dainty hands, and looked me in the eyes. I felt so alive. I felt like I was holding my heart in my own hands. “You will paint.”

He produced a small leather bag from under the couch, and removed a folder.

“Packages start at 49.99 per month.”