My muse sits on the patio, elbows on the glass-topped table, shoulders hunched, a shock of dark hair streaked with golden sunlight fallen across his brow as he idly pushes the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle around, occasionally making an attempt to unite two pieces. When he has bent and peered underneath the table for the hundredth time, craning his neck to look up at the underside of the table and the pieces thereon I step out into the shadow beneath the eaves and ask, “What are you looking at?”
He straightens up in his seat, fastens those piercing eyes upon me and replies, “Sometimes you have to look at things from both sides in order to understand the thing in its entirety.”
For someone who appears to live like a bohemian, so casually, he sometimes spouts raw wisdom that can cut you to the quick. His intelligence comes in slashes like the flashing blades of too sharp knives and leaves me feeling wounded with inadequacy for not having had these insights on my own. “I see,” I say.
His grin is quick and infectious. “Don’t lie to me,” he says, “Just tell me how lucky you are to have me around.”
I capitulate too easily. “I am incredibly fortunate to have you here tormenting me with your brilliance as you do.”
He picks up a piece of the jigsaw, holds it up as though it is a glass of wine he is studying. I frown slightly for the piece does seem opaque as though it has captured some of the light and locked it away deep within itself. “Here is the heart of the matter,” he says, winking before he locks the piece in place. “Now go inside and write like the wind.”
“Will you be breathing down my neck?”
“With every period, every semi-colon, every exclamation point. I really do adore exclamation points, you know. They’re so cheeky.”
“British today, are we?” He usually prefers French, sometimes Latin, occasionally Irish as he can be so full of blarney at times.
“Cars or pumpkins?” I inquire, turning away. In my peripheral vision he shimmers.
“Why not success?”
“That’s it, love!” he calls.