Suffering the Clutches of the Muse

Monday 12th January

Milly had a nervous breakdown over the poet folders. She told me there was only one system and I must abide by it. That’s a summary of what was the most exasperating speech I’ve ever heard. She then spent several hours renaming the folders. She types like a polar bear in gloves.

The company then had an emergency meeting in the canteen. This was to address staff morale. Milly sent me to represent reception. The person in the best suit made a big speech about pulling together to reach targets.  After the speech we were forced to mumble “go team”, three times,  in reply to the raving suit. I realise that Milly isn’t as dumb as she looks.

Tuesday 13th January

Last night, Laura and I, decided to celebrate surviving another Monday. I know it’s only my second one as a receptionist, but my soul is heavy with boredom. I can’t imagine how people manage this menial life indefinitely. At least I know that I’m destined for literary greatness. Laura will always be in retail. The best she can hope for is an escape to the suburbs to be a stay-at-home mum.



I met the biggest tosspot the world has ever homed. He was about 5’6 and built like a stocky bulldog. He’s a gym trainer. So basically he lifts things for a living. All his hair was fashioned in one irritating peak which he kept adjusting with his hands, even though it was probably rock solid with gel. He was not impressed by the idea of being a poet. He told me he had better things to do than stick his head in an oven. He then tried to remember the names of poets. He got as far as Seamus Heaney and John Donne and then looked confused. He changed the subject back to himself. Which was like flogging a sparse dead thing.

I had to drink whiskey to cope with his existence. Which I regret now that it’s Tuesday, because I can’t remember if I kissed bulldog boy and Milly is singing the photocopying song. My brain is a thick poisonous fog.

Wednesday 14th January

Today I woke with an idea that changed the very nature of my being: a poem about Peas that shook me with its power. I rang Milly to tell her I was sick with the muse. She told me to take a Lem-sip and get some rest. She probably thinks it’s some sort of viral infection.

Thursday 15th January

The muse still has me in its clutches. It’s paralysing. I have sat before blank pages for two days, but I know that there is something, just waiting to get out. I can’t simply be given the magic of the pea poem and then go blank. There must be more. My brain is churning through the motions of creating THE POEM, I can feel the intensity of it rising within me.

Friday 16th January

It seems the muse was flirting with me. I returned to work a husk of a poet. Milly took one look at me and told me I was obviously still severely ill and it was “so good of me to be such a little trooper.” If only she knew how hard it is to trudge through this drudgery. It’s like being knee high in printers and simultaneously being stapled to the ground. She let me take it easy for the day. Taking it easy comprised of doing the exact same thing I do every day: suffer paralysing boredom.

They asked me to go for work drinks again, but I am still too raw from the muse’s flirtation.

Saturday 17th January

Mother arrived at 8am to our apartment. Laura was delighted. Apparently they organised a surprise girly day to cheer me up. We’re getting our hair done and going shopping. Everything they do is futile. Happiness is such a pointless pursuit. I only pursue misery and lust.

It’s now 9am. They are giggling like schoolgirls in the kitchen. How has mother managed to infiltrate all of my personal space. Anyone else’s mother would just go and wilt in the garden. But my mother is one of those incessant weeds, that you can’t get rid of, regardless of how much poison you douse them in.

Sunday 18th January

I told the hairdresser I wanted something different. I could not bring myself to stifle another person’s creativity. Now I wish I did. She gave me an asymmetrical bowl cut with pink tips. It is important to remember that not all artists are created equal.

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