“Please keep in mind that I want this to be a serious discussion about a serious disease,” I asked for the umpteenth time. Even while I said it, I knew that the battle had already been lost. The characters in my skull were a comedic bunch and I waited for the penny to drop.
“Well, its’ a twisted story,” the muse was the first to succumb.
“That’s awful,” I sputtered, feeling rather embarrassed.
“Dear, I am sure that these sufferers have a hell of a time dealing with the illness, but I think one should rather focus on the positive. They say that five minutes of laughter a day can extend your life by at least ten years.”
“Be that as it may, I am sure that it is no laughing matter. Have you seen how contorted their bodies become? Uncomfortable in the extreme,” I argued.
“Their bodies can’t be as distorted as your mind, dear?”
“How did we get from Dystonia to the state of my mind?” I asked, knowing that she had something up her very large sleeve as usual.
“Sometimes you twist and contort and stuff us into tiny holes. You have Dystonia of the mind, dear.”
“Only when you disobey or become erratic.” I felt the sudden need to defend myself against the rallying hordes.
“Sometimes I need some space and time to think, and you know that you carry on,” I said glaring at her.
“Me?” she asked innocently.
“Of course, you know that you do.” I could feel myself becoming hot under the collar.
“Oooh, the temperature around here is definitely rising,” she said, fanning her face melodramatically.
“Are you sure you aren’t experiencing early menopause, dear?”
I hated the fact that she could read me like a comic book. Yes, I was a woman of a certain age and the hot flushes were rightfully, dreadfully mine, but was it really necessary for the entire bloody world to know about them?
“Health nut now, too? Along with being a tree hugger and pet lover and stroker and all around mad cap?” she asked.
“Well, you could do with at least some form of exercise, you know.” I was adamant that 2015 should be the year in which I lost weight and wrote the next best seller.
“Wishful thinking, dear. Those hips ain’t goin nowhere,” she said, drawling like a true Texan.
“And the amount of chocolate you eat would put a confectionary out of business.”
“Well, I’ve seen your stash and lady, it ain’t pretty.” I was not the only one going down, she would join me in free fall if it was the last thing I ever did.
“Emergency sugar. Pre-diabetic, remember.”
“An excuse for everything as usual. Just go for a walk now and then will you.”
“Dear, when I walk the rest of me jiggles enough to raise the continent’s heart rate. I am an exercise machine.” She demonstrated and I saw flocks of birds plummet to earth in shock. It registered 8,9 on the Richter scale.
“I am serious, pay attention. Better health equals better creativity levels. Think about it!” I was adamant and refused to be sidetracked by her jiggling thighs.
“Well, yes dear, write more. I dare say we will be able to afford luxury cruises.”
“You know authors are not in it for the money, but for the love of the written word.”
“Words cannot be eaten, dear, no matter how much you butter them.”
The root of all health is in the brain. The trunk of it is in emotion. The branches and leaves are the body. The flower of health blooms when all parts work together. ~Kurdish Saying
For more information on the side effects of the drug Xarelto, read this link.
“Cows are such placid creatures and would run from the likes of you,” I said, trying to persuade her to love at least one of Nature’s many creatures.
“Does placid equal dumb?”
“What the hell was that!” my fanciful muse had taken a step backwards, her hand upon her beating heart.
“That was a Drakensberger,” I said, managing not to guffaw.
“What the hell is a Drakensberger?” she asked.
“A cow, turn around and look at it will you?” She turned ever so slowly, only to find that the dreaded creature had sidled up to her and was about to rub its snout against her Neiman Marcus mohair sweater. Its tongue was lollygagging about. The words that came out of her mouth were not fit for the tender, sculpted ear. She swatted at the poor animal, screeching at the top of her voice.
“Get it off me!”
“It’s just a cow, for goodness’ sake.”
“It has teeth, it will eat me! Those eyes, I am likely to drown in them!” She was hysterical. I was deciding whether a good slap to the face might be appropriate when she took to her heels and ran for the hills. The hand reared cow, thinking this was a new game, set off bravely after the retreating fat figure. She ran, turning around sporadically to hurl blistering cuss words at the docile creature.
To tell the truth, I had never seen the lady run as fast before and I am likely to never witness such an event again. I was laughing so hard that tears ran down my face.
The fragility of life lies in the gossamer wings of a white butterfly.
“Prepare yourself I am going to wax philosophical,” I warned the muse.
“Wax on, wax off,” she answered rolling her eyes which were sporting false eyelashes and yellow and blue eye shadow. She looked as if someone had punched her in the face repeatedly. It was best to ignore her when she was in such a mood as this, because pretty soon, I would be the one who wanted to punch her.
“I was standing in a grass field at nine this morning. In the blink of an eye I was surrounded by thousands of tiny white butterflies. One landed fleetingly on my arm before taking off for parts unknown. I had the overwhelming feeling of being truly blessed.”
“Shall I play the theme song to Titanic now or are you through?” she asked, glaring at me.
“Their life span is so short that their beauty should be appreciated. It reminded me of how short my time on earth truly is and how I needed to transform myself and allow my soul to metamorphose, to grow, become translucent and fragile as their wings,” I continued, wilfully ignoring the hundred yard stare.
“Channelling Plato are we?”
“You did not experience it,” I reminded her, “simply because you refused to embrace Nature. I went outside and got more than I bargained for.”
“Mmmm hmmmm, it’s dangerous out there. Have you seen the size of those cows? That would be more than I bargained for. Actually trees are more,” she said shivering dramatically.
“We are going to a game farm for two weeks. I know you heard exactly what I said. This is just more of your divaliscious antics,” I said indignantly.
“I am just not cut out for the farming life. What do you think I will do there? I am a city girl, used to the comforts of modern living. What the hell were you thinking?” She paced furiously, wearing a hole in the carpet. I could see tiny wisps of smoke coming from her Christian Louboutins.
“It’s an adventure, a time to create, away from the hustle and bustle. I could write the next Man Booker prize winning novel.”
“In your dreams, dear. Your writing will be interspersed with cows lowing, zebras yipping and the feathery flamboyance of ostriches. Last time I checked, that was not something the average reader would be interested in. Do you see this awesomeness going to waste amidst the grassy slopes and mountains of the Free State?” She was gesturing at her voluptuousness of which I had had more than an eyeful. I wondered how she could not see what we all so clearly saw when she looked in the mirror. Perhaps she had one of those magical mirrors which proclaimed her the most beautiful in the land. Sadly, I do not have the confidence our delectable muse has.
“You should not go near a game farm, but rather straight to the bloody funny farm. Strait jackets are in your future, I predict,” she sneered.
“IT WILL BE FUN!” I insisted.
“We’ll see about that, won’t we?” Her perfectly manicured eyebrows lifted to incredible heights.
“We’ll definitely see,” I said, not about to be undone.
Nevertheless, Rodney braved all the obstacles and laid his case before the Circle cum triangle. He would be the bunnies’ spokesperson. The magicians listened intently; a few heads were even nodding as Rodney explained that what was happening was an affront to all living things as well as the art of magic. He stated that he believed the magician in question should be punished severely and an example set. A young, female magician, who was transcribing the whole affair, abruptly left the building. Later, Rodney would learn that she was the Juliet to Bunny Bane’s Romeo. Normally what happened within the Circle, stayed in the Circle, but the lady in question had loose lips, quite literally as Rodney had seen her blowing raspberries when she thought no one was looking. The sight of her flapping, vibrating lips made him feel quite ill. Spittle flew everywhere and he had to open his umbrella indoors and chance the bad luck that would soon come his way.
As fate would have it, Magician Bunny Bane received a slap on the wrist and was ordered to do children’s parties for a year. He was banned from using high magic and would have to make do with sleight of hand. Children saw through his act and the ridicule stung. He hated Rodney and proclaimed that the trouble starter would soon suffer the bane of Bunny Bane, very vain this Bane. Without thinking twice, Bane had turned him into the disgusting creature he now was, cleverly disguising the fact that he had used high magic by merely bouncing Barmy Butterfinger’s uncontrollable spell off a magical shield and onto long suffering Rodney. Barmy’s spells were unpredictable at best and unhinged at worst.
The poor bunnies were tearful after each show and refused to come out of their warren for even the slightest bite of juicy carrot. Rodney decided to take the case of the perverted magician to the Magic Circle. Said Circle faintly resembled a disproportionate triangle. You see, the magicians had conjured the Bermuda Triangle to within their midst and could not get rid of it, no matter what incantations and lamentations they tried. The darn thing had stuck to them like chewing gum to a shoe. They tried to shoo it away like a worrisome fly, but it refused to budge. They even sent old Mrs. Hubbard to admonish it sharply. Her children said she had a wicked tongue and some of the words she used made the plants curl up and die. The Bermuda Triangle just folded its arms and shook its head. Their next brilliant plan was to fill it with miscellaneous items, such as old freezers, broken stoves, tyres and bicycle parts. They even went so far as conjuring a fleet of ships to pour down its gullet. It succeeded in giving the triangle indigestion and a gaseous cloud hung over the Circle for months afterwards. Unlike skunk, tomato juice did nothing for the odour that seeped into their robes and the only option was to burn them which in turn set several magical explosions loose. Rainbows and unicorns were running amuck.
Novel writing was taking its toll and I had a headache that would stop an elephant in its tracks. I knew that somewhere, in a hidden, convoluted part of my brain an angry troll had taken up residence. He had an enormous hammer which he was now using to take out his frustration on the world. Yes, he was ugly as sin. He cracked mirrors and exploded smooth pond surfaces, shiny objects scuttled away from him and hid in dark corners. His body was covered in an assortment of hair which, even he, was hard pressed to provide an origin for. He looked mangy and unkempt. He never smiled and had serious anger and control issues, which was understandable, I suppose. I had as yet not called in a psychiatrist.
Fugly (this was not his given name, but a nickname that had attached itself to him once his trollness became apparent) had not started his life in this manner. He was once, before he decided to run and take up residence in my head, a magician’s apprentice; a handsome boy with blue eyes and a mane of dark, curly hair. The magician, Sir Bunny Bane, was a perverted soul. He preferred to entice hats out of bunnies instead of the other way around. Fugly, who was then known as Rodney could not stand the singing piles that would pop out as soon as the top hats had made their appearance. They were false and only knew one song: “Ouch, ouch, ouch par de dum, ouch, ouch, ouch, par de dum, we all stand together dum, dum…”
“Let’s just throw a pity party and be done with it,” the muse said angrily.
“I will invite the grief counsellor, Crocodile Tears. We will have to send out smoke signals as he is alone in the wilderness crying his heart out. It’s a crying shame that you have to disturb the empathetic man, but we really have no choice as you have already killed and buried your writing career within the space of your egg-head. Grieve about it and then get on with it or own up to your idiotic fear and write! I can only do so much, you know and heaven knows you have been going on and on about it. I shall immediately find a Krazy Straw so that you can suck it up. Grow a pair or wear some big girl panties, better yet I can loan you my new leopard spot g-string.”
She cracked her whip, flounced away and left me sitting in a miserable heap. A dung beetle crawled over my knee and a vulture hopped closer, his beady eyes intent upon having a beak full of some cowardly chicken. I gathered myself and trudged home, feeling sorry for myself. Tomorrow, I would have to face the dreaded blank screen of Microsoft Word and try to dredge up the words that were as deeply buried in their watery grave as Atlantis. I think I should wear my brainy thinking cap, don’t you?
I was being far too clever for my boots and knew that the guillotine was quivering above my head. Yes, I was stubborn. Who amongst you would admit to being so scared to sit down and write that you could barely contemplate the thought? I had become the dreaded chicken; a yellow-bellied poltroon. I was in a dastardly funk. All the writers are most likely salivating over all these synonyms- free bibs anyone?
“I hate to state the obvious, but if you could write the above, surely NaNoWriMo is a slam dunk?”
“I am done with the obvious. I am looking for sentences that fly, paragraphs that sing and a novel that will never be forgotten. Meanwhile, my brain is as frozen as the Arctic Tundra; more lost than a chameleon on a box of Smarties, so lost in fact that not even a Saint Bernard could find me.” I said sulkily.
“Fancy being a singing trapeze artist? You would be able to check singing and flying off your list.”
“Ha, there is a comedian born every minute,” I countered, “besides which I am terrified of heights.
“Well, that was quite a lofty speech! You know, tall, sky-high, towering…” She wisely left it at that.
I folded my scrawny wings and plopped down on the ground, causing minor earthquakes in Wonderland.
“What am I going to do? I applied butt to chair, quietly opening a major vein and still the blood barely trickled. I could have a pair of fangs surgically inserted with which to draw blood and inspiration from others, but what is the point, really? I cannot sparkle; I am not a glitzy person.”