Milo my Muse was sitting in an empty theatre looking at an empty stage with a blank program in his hand.
” What are you doing Milo?” I asked.
He doesn’t want to look at me, but he can’t help it. ” I’m doing nothing, as you very well know.”
I stand up on the seat and look around the theatre- it old, dusty, the paint is chipping off the walls and the ceiling looks warped. ” This is a lot of nothing Milo.”
He stands up and smacks me in the leg with the blank playbill. ” I can see that! Where have you been? We were doing just fine, we wrote some good things, you headed out and went on some trips that should have been inspirational”
” I hung out in a cemetery in New Orleans and I went to Vegas and played the slot machines. My favorite is a rollercoaster with candy that rides around in the cars. The first time I won on it this alarm went off and I almost ran away from it and my winnings because it was embarrassing.
Milo slumps down in his seat. ” You are so weird.”
” You know the Muses are women?” I say because I know it bothers him.
” Gee. Do you know most writers actually write?” He snaps back.
I clutch at my heart. ” Oooo that hurt.”
” What I don’t understand is why you left me here. You never go to plays, you said you’d rather pull your own teeth out with pliers than to write another script. Why here.”
This is a conversation I’d like to not have. But I owe Milo The Muse an explanation for abandoning him here two years ago.
I sit down. ” I left you here because I knew I’d have no reason to come to a place like this. And I figured some playwright would happen along and…”
” It doesn’t work that way.” he takes unfolds the blank playbill and starts to rip it into little pieces.
I watch him rip and rip and drop each little piece of paper at his feet. ” Stop that. God. You’re making me crazy.”
I grab it from his fingers and wad it up into a ball and throw it at the stage.
” What are you going to do now?” Milo asks me.
” I just did that.” I point to the destroyed playbill.
” Most people sing praises to their Muse, talk to them, confide in them. You,” he looks up at me ” wrote me into a story and my eye got pulled out by a ghoul.”
” You forgot, she ate it too.”
Milo drops his head into his hands and sighs.
” I did come looking for you Milo”
” Ta-dah.” he says without taking his hands away from his face.
” I wanted to know something.”
He looks up at me, expectantly.
” I lost my charm bracelet- you know the one with the little birds and animals and the frog that jumps when you push on it’s little head. You don’t know where it is, do you?
” Oh. I have had it with this jackassery of yours.”
” I don’t think that’s a real word Milo.”
He grabs me by my arm and he pulls me up the aisle to the doors.
” You can’t make me write you know.”
We stop dead in our tracks in front of the doors.
Milo looks down into my face. ” Want to bet?”
I push the door open slowly with three fingers. The door screeches and groans. It’s worse than listening to someone drag their fingernails across a blackboard.
When it’s open I say, ” Are you sure about this Milo?”
He walks out ahead of me, reaches back and pulls me out of that decrepit old theatre by my collar and into a night of possibilities.