The Muse

My muse is like no other woman I know. Or have ever known. Once a week I am blessed by her presence, for a three hour block. More than enough. But far less than I wish for. She is the reverse of all others before her. She bares her body, but conceals her soul.

The bristle of my brush caresses the canvas in the same way I long to do to her. Long gentle strokes. Short dot work. But either way, a work of art. An expression of passion. Emotion given shape, given form, visualized. Sometimes I am lost within the moment, using my fingers to smear my vision, my paints, between the tiny cracks. And I hate getting my fingers dirty; I eat pizza with a knife and fork.

But not for her. Nothing is taken for granted nor immune to the very thought of her. I go all in, every fibre of my being finds its way to that canvas, pining for the three dimensional version. By now I could paint her from memory. I know every curve of her body, the location of every mole, the precise point her hair brushes against her slender neck.

Without her, my canvas remains blank, no matter how hard I try. How high I get. The white frame just stares back at me. They say if you stare into the void long enough, it begins to stare back at you. So what then, becomes of staring into desire? Into love?

She is my inspiration. And in the cold of night, my perspiration. Alone in body, but not in mind. I’ve attributed her the skill of the soft touch. With my hand stroking the length of my cock, mimicking her gentle ways. Slow yet purposeful. Impassioned, yet lingering. Indulging myself in the moment, longing for release, but savouring the moments.

I take my time with myself, like never before. No internet. Just my thoughts. My filthy, dirty, unrequited thoughts. She lays herself before me, everything laid bare, except her mind, her soul, her being. Just her perfect form. Naked, for none others to see by me. Unless I paint her. Unless I share her with the world. Allow them to see what I am blessed to see.

My muse has a body worthy to commit to stone, had I that skill. Not the surgically enhanced, app filtered duck faced shit we are forced to endure on a daily basis. She is a woman, with everything that brings with it to the table. She gets rolls on her belly when she sits, but doesn’t try to reposition herself to hide them. No awkward reclining, just natural curves, the way a body was meant to be.

While my brush can nearly mirror each of those curves, where I struggle is to capture the light in her eyes. She has a love of life that permeates beyond anything my art can reveal. A spark, as it were, and as whimsical as that sounds, I can find no other words. That’s not my forte.

Until yesterday.

Something changed yesterday. Not in our lack of conversation, not in my ability to paint this divine being. Something deeper. Something, beyond her body, that I couldn’t put my finger upon. A change my mind hadn’t even acknowledged, but then my mind was never really on my art when I painted her. It was just sprawling, strokes and swirls, my hand acting from outside my being. It was nothing I put a logical mind to, just a feeling I let my hand take hold of. Much like my nightly solo visitations with her.

At the end of our session, when I was sure I had captured her spirit once again, she shuffled over towards her clothes, hesitating before she reached them.

‘May I please see?’ her husky voice echoed through my studio. It took me by surprise, her time after posing was something she always enjoyed in silence. And never, within the past year or so, had she asked to see my work. For all she knew, I was doodling finger paintings while perving from not so far away.

Not entirely untrue.

‘Of course,’ I stammered. As she moved closer towards me and my canvas, I tried to ignore her state of undress, and bumbled some excuses for my weak skills. She either ignored them or didn’t hear me, and continued to approach regardless. I felt my heart stop beating, my breath escape me, the nearer she got. Not for my midnight infatuations with her, but that she would see my art. And once seen, that meant it could be judged. And by her, at that.

As she stepped around the easel, I shuffled back a few steps, terrified of her nakedness. Well, her nakedness in close proximity to me. What she saw was closest related to what I would call, ‘the lazy thinker’. Her right foot propped up onto the chair, her matching arm dangling uselessly over it. Her other appendages hung limp on the other side, her face, almost vacuous. She regarded it for a moment, and my breath was still yet to return.

Finally, within a minute, or a lifetime, she reacted. And not at all the way I anticipated. Her hands clasped her face, trying to withhold the tears welling within as she sank to her knees. Her strong facade crumbled, as her body, and the uncontrollable shaking of her shoulders told me all I needed to know.

It was then I realised her face hadn’t been expressing emptiness, but in fact the very opposite, and somehow my futile little brush had managed to perfectly encapsulate that moment. That emotion I hadn’t been able to see with my own eyes, but my brush knew. My heart knew. My spirit knew. I’d perfectly stumbled across expressing exactly how she felt that whole time while sitting upon her chair: not at the circumstance, but at whatever she had carried inside her that day.

I’d often wondered, beyond my own very fleeting fantasies that it was to tease me with her perfectly formed body, what kept her turning up each week. Perhaps it wasn’t the dollar value of her time, but the chance to sit and let the world roll on by. Three hours of forced meditation, as it were. But whatever was going on in her life at that point, could no longer be contained solely within her heart and mind. Because there it was, exposed for all, or me, to see.

Of all the times I’d longed to wrap my arms around her naked body, this was unlike any of those. My own fantasies were rapidly cast aside, as I engulfed her within my arms, as a fellow human that has previously suffered. She let everything go, and sobbed uncontrollably. That kind of sobbing some call ugly: tears streaming from eyes and nose and mouth, shoulders convulsing, chest trembling.

I don’t know how long I cradled her for, nor did I ever find out why. ‘The Muse’ was the only piece of art I have ever sold, months down the track, when I could finally allow it to leave my side. Send it out into the world so it no longer watched me, hurt me.

The creation of ‘The Muse’ was also the last time I ever saw her.

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