TONY: Tati, have you ever been pissed off?
Tati doesn’t answer. She keeps looking to the door.
Still no answer.
TATI: Huh? Yes, of course. Every time you ask a silly question.
TONY: Hey! All of my questions are individual quests for truth! Don’t be dissin’ my questions, man!
TATI: I’m not a man.
TONY: Anyway, there’s this really cool poem you wrote once. It’s called ‘a Pissed off Muse’. Do you remember it?
Tati looks at the wall clock, then says with a petulant gesture…
TATI: Yes, I do. I’m not such a leaky head. Not like someone I could mention in this room…
TONY: Hey! I only forget the stuff that’s not worth remembering!
TATI: Uh hum… Indeed, why should you stuff your head with nonsense like the due date for our tax returns, or when to pay for municipal services?
TONY: Look, I don’t mind living without electricity sometimes, and since when have we ever earned enough to pay taxes?
TATI: Well, this time I’m going to agree with you.
Tati keeps flitting her eyes between the clock and the door, then glances out the window.
TATI: So, do you really think it’s a cool poem?
TONY: I do! I think it’s bitchin’!
TATI: Uh hum… Well… Thank you, I suppose. May I ask why you recalled it just out of the blue?
TONY: Well, it strikes me that no one ever asks the muse if they even want to be a muse in the first place, and your poem seems to reflect this. It presents the muse’s viewpoint.
This seems to get Tati’s attention. She looks at Tony for a moment.
TATI: Yes. By the way, Tony, did you know that ‘muse’ can mean not only a source of inspiration but a creator or poet also?
TONY: Oh. Really? That… That doesn’t sound quite right…
TONY: Because muses are usually only presented as some kind of insipidly romanticised ‘source of inspiration’ (to use your words). But the whole thing’s not so romantic really, is it?
Tati’s eyes have gone back to the door.
TATI: Sigh. Never mind. Do you have a muse?
TONY: Nope. Why reduce someone to nothing more than a source of inspiration for my creative endeavours? They don’t exist purely to orbit and nurture my every brain fart, do they?
TATI: Not everyone is such an egoist, Tony! ‘Nurture my every fart.’ Many creators take their muses as higher beings, not mere servants of their creative labours.
TONY: I’m not so convinced! I can’t shake the feeling that a lot of muses are mere extensions of their creators’ egos, and therefore not considered to be the higher beings you sugge—Hey! Are you listening at all? I said ‘my every brain fart’, not ‘my every fart’!
TATI: No. I don’t sleep.
Tati shakes her head, as if to clear it, then continues to give the door, clock and window her full attention.
TONY: See?! You’re not listening!
TATI: Not at all. Pardon? Oh, of course, you have my undivided attention.
TONY: Are you sure? I’ve been talking to your nape for the last bleedin’ hour!
TATI: I only wonder if we can talk about something else…
TONY: Okay. Fine. What would you prefer?
There’s a knocking at the door.
TATI: Wait! Do you hear that?
TONY: You bet your sweet bippy. I wonder who it can be?
Tati starts to fuss around a bit. She goes to a cupboard and pulls out some slippers, then runs to the kitchen to brew some tea. When this is done, she brings out a huge pile of fresh newspapers and tosses them on the table.
TATI: Okay, could you get the door, Tony? I think that may be for me.
Tony answers the door. A huge, glistening penguin wearing a monocle and biting down on a pipe enters the house, brushing past him like he’s not there. It waddles towards the kitchen, its pipe leaving a trail of soap bubbles.
TONY: Oh, of course. Now I understand who serves whom, my Dear Genius.
TATI: Hush! Don’t piss off the Muse!
by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018