He wrote songs, I wrote screenplays. We were in love. Each others sounding boards…but that wasn’t enough. We were both, in a sense writers, but, as with so many things “writer” is just a genera. Just a box. It has many inner boxes once inside. It as many names and titles. We understood each others art but we didn’t understand each others manner. Being the pseudo-intellectual type we didn’t think to understand each others nature. We just bore the brunt of it. We made our living in words yet we never thought to use them. We were each others muses never realizing it but instead each others torment.
We had met when we were both just babes out of high-school entering a world where college was the next step but not for us. We didn’t need “higher education” to fuel, feel and express the passion within. How we met is still a happy memory fitting into one of my very own plays. It was a park. Everyday at two he would open up his guitar case, sitting on a bench, a picnic table or just the ground and play for the trees, the people who passed but what did I care of them. To me it was for me. An inspiration. Every day at two I would sit on a bench, under a tree or at a table just out of enough sight as not to be a stalker. I laughed at myself then at my quirk. But it so helped sooth me into a world or words, feelings and thought. I would open my notebook and write. Little did I know that he had in fact seen me, more than once…he noticed, yet I never felt his glance, his eyes, of notice upon me. I was too wrapped up in my own world…that is until he came right up to me and plainly said “You know I can do private shows…Knowing your habits it would probably be a more reliable income.” I looked up from my book, too embarrassed to answer in anything but wit. “Oh I didn’t know this was a bards park.” “But it seems to be a coincidental one. Everyday at two.” “Is it so odd? But never mind the time, I’m still curious about the singing gigolo proposition.” I smirked and he laughed. He took a seat beside me and by his manner I knew now, having the upper hand in words to tell the truth. “Really, I just like your music. It helps me think. It helps me write.” “You’re a writer?” He asked. “Yes, well no…well that’s what I intend to be. I’m working on it.” “Hey I still call myself a singer, and now with a the headline singing gigolo there’s nothing to stand in my way!”
He was right; nothing did stand in his way. Before I knew it he was a star. He recorded and toured and was now wanted. Me? I had two original screenplays and both off-Broadway successes. We ha both made it. And since that day in the park we had been by each others sides. As friends mostly. We would call each other daily about our grievances and the other would promptly lighten the load with a quick-witted retort. We went to water parks, amusement parks, museums, and shows, anything we could make fun with our all together quirkiness. There was a lot of laughter. A lot of fun. He went on tour, I went to set. We stayed in touch and eventually when touring was done a production a wrap we came home to each other. An unspoken union, bond, partnership. We lived together as the world watched and awaited our next successes.
Ha! Thinking about it now. Thinking about our scoffing at conventional “training”, in love with the weirdness we two seemed to posses alone. We were yet so predictable. The creative stereotype. Before we had made our successes by being alone, fighting for life, and the way we chose to live it. Through poverty and park benches we made our way up through sheer “I’ll show you” determination. He wrote his music I my scripts and then we met each other, each giving the other the boost of supported peer-ship and love. Now…now we were both at a loss…we were…happy.
Funny that word should be a curse. That it should be such a bad thing to have when it seems that it is all people look for in life. That it is all people fight for. But I suppose that is the problem. The fight, the struggle, the search is the interesting part. That is what people want to hear about. That is what people want to see. That is what we all relate to. What we all, the human race, have in common. That is why the story ends at “Happily ever after” people want the happy ending but they don’t want the boredom of contentment. Yet that is what we were now; content.
A lot of people in this situation would set themselves up for failure. Brake the bond and cut the ties. Yet we were smart…we needed each other. But what was to inspire our words now? The world knew us through our words, the fame built upon them. They didn’t know us as a unit, as a couple. We barely knew us as that…for as I said it was unspoken we just were. After all in his case people want to fuck the rock-star not the married man (At least o the whole) and people want to hear from the bitter woman, the strong powerful female who triumphs over the clichéd notions of coupledom. Where would our experience come from now? We were young, we hadn’t lived long enough to recall a time when. We had used up all our time when’s with the first of our art. We had set a standard and were now stuck in the lack of organic material. Imagination seemed forced. We needed the rawness of reaction. Of emotion.
We were each others muses never realizing it but instead each others torment.
But not in the way you are assuming. Muses not because we had given each other the boost of confidence that had pushed us forth into success and torment because we now were each others reason for the lack of creative. But for what happened next:
Unspoken bonds are set up to be pushed. We would go out, he would attract the company of a girl, a fan. I was used to it and didn’t care. The life of a “rock star”. I was never threatened. Yet it was different, as if he wanted me to react. As if he yearned for a jealous glance, a bawled out fight. I would turn away and go on to my own thing. This made him mad. We would get home and we would argue. “Why don’t you care?” “Is that why you do it? To get me to care?” “No, but,” “But what? You trying to get me to do something you don’t have the balls to admit you want?” Here I was speaking of leaving. Maybe that’s what he was trying to do. Get me to be the bad guy, to do the dirty work. Except when he turned away, the way his eyes grew, the way he covered his mouth. He was cursing himself on the inside I knew. He didn’t say anything else, instead he spent the night up on the roof of our building playing his music. The next morning he would smile, apologize sincerely, and that would be it. This became intriguing when it happened more than once. Male action and reaction: The set up to a female stereotypical reaction. I refused to play into something so unnatural to my being. If he wanted “groupies” fine. As I told him “Just don’t give me an STD.” That made him really mad, I said it so nonchalantly. He would have his girls and I…when he would present the idea of me having my own men on the side, I would just smile. These kind of set-ups would carry on for months until eventually he had a hit cd recorded and I had another play or film in pre-production. Then we’d be fine. As if those things never were. Never happened. As if we ourselves were putting on the performance and now relieved to have it over and our normal back to rights. I once wondered if it was really us needing to be apart- him on tour me at work- to be content. To have our happiness. But then we would come home and I felt as though I was complete. As though, for the months we worked a part of me was gone, was pulled another direction, A Rochester Jane Eyre situation with heart strings…Oh my god. That’s what clicked it. As if a crazy wife were hiding in the attic the secret was out. We had used each other, hurt each other well confusing and plaguing our own mind and emotions to inspire our work. We were testing situations, living them out through set ups so that we wouldn’t have to lose each other by living them outside ourselves. The lack of experience lived out through our simulated situations. The struggles, the sorrows, heart-break, tormented intrigue. We gave the people what they wanted but kept our ever after.
“We can’t do this forever.” I said. “We don’t even realize we’re doing it. Just the relief when it’s over.” he put his arm around me as we looked to the stars laying up on the roof. “We hate each other but ourselves more yet we hurt each other to fuel our inspiration.” I sat up teary eyed. “I always thought it was you who inspired me.” I hugged my knee like a child. He sat up holding my hunched shoulders. ” I couldn’t have done anything without knowing I had one fan, on die-hard. That’s how I wrote my music…by knowing someone was listening.” “But now the comfort of home has clipped our wings. We can’t create without inspiration, yet we can’t be inspired without pain.” I said. ‘But I can’t live without you.” He said. “And your music?” I said knowing too well the answer. He silenced and I spoke for both. “Just like I can’t live without writing you can’t live without music.” “Isn’t this an album right here?” He said half laughing, half turning to keep me from seeing the tears in his own eyes. “It’s about as dramatic as a play.” I carried on the front…yet we were right.
Muses yet human.
They say without pain there is no greatness of creation.
When you want to know if someone can act you make them cry.
Death is the biggest way to up your ratings.
We set our selves up for tragedy…Yet pray for a happy ending.
After happy is that all there is?