The Night Stalker
WES: Oh, Shel-l-l-l-l-don.
SHELDON: Yes? What is it?
WES: You’re doing it again.
SHELDON: It? What? Doing what again?
WES: Don’t play innocent with me. It’s 4:53 a.m. and I’ve been awake for probably an hour now. You’ve been pacing my brain again.
SHELDON: Pacing your brain? What does that mean?
WES: It means you’ve been keeping me awake with a lot of clatter like an upstairs tenant pacing back and forth in combat boots. And it’s much too early for reveille.
SHELDON: Oh, yes, well . . .
WES: It’s really annoying, you know.
SHELDON: My apologies. But, you see, we muses have no real concept of time. We just sort of float around aimlessly and then, suddenly, we bump into our protégés and . . . poof! Inspiration. You’re inspired.
WES: Well, can’t you wear a watch or something? I have one lying around here somewhere. I’ll be glad to loan it to you.
SHELDON: That’s thoughtful of you, but how would I wear it? After all, I don’t have a body to hang it on. The thing would just end up on the floor.
Did The Bard Play Pinball?
WES: Yes, you’re right. But couldn’t you check the time on the clock and wait until I’ve had my usual 71/2 hours? Then I’d be awake.
SHELDON: But you are awake.
WES: Yes, I’m awake. . . now! But I don’t want to be . . .
SHELDON: To be, to be. Ah, yes. To be or not to be. Now that’s an inspired concept.
WES: Yes, it is, but it’s been done. Shakespeare, remember?
SHELDON: Oh, yes, of course. His muse was quite good.
WES: Never mind that. We were talking about my muse and how he shows up in the middle of the night.
SHELDON: But that’s the point. A muse is never bidden. Bidden. That’s a funny-sounding word, don’t you think? Bidden, bidden . . .
SHELDON: Sorry. As I said, we just float around until we make contact with your mind and you take it from there. It’s up to you, don’t you see?
WES: But to come in at such an ungodly hour. It’s so inconvenient. All that tossing and turning, waiting to go back to sleep and all the while thoughts keep popping into my head. It’s like a pinball bumping around inside my brain setting off bells and flashing lights. Tilt! Tilt! And it goes on and on. It’s all your fault.
SHELDON: Hey! How you deal with it is your responsibility. Don’t shoot the messenger.
WES: Now there’s an idea.
SHELDON: Uh, uh. Don’t be nasty.
WES: Well, it’s just so damn frustrating. It just ruins my sleep so, of course, I’m still tired when I get up.
SHELDON: Why don’t you just get up then? Start working on your ideas?
WES: Because I keep thinking I may go back to sleep any minute. It’s bad enough I’m already up at least twice a night going to the bathroom. Besides, if I’m awake too long I start feeling hungry and eating in the middle of the night doesn’t do my diet any good. Then I have to brush and floss all over again.
SHELDON: Just have a glass of water instead. That always helps.
WES: If I drink any more water I’ll be running to the bathroom all night! I might as well not go to bed at all then. It would be an exercise in futility.
SHELDON: The only thing I can think of is what I suggested before: Just get up and start working.
WES: That’s another thing. I have a real aversion to getting up while it’s still dark. How dreary is that? It’s as if I’m the only one left alive in the world. It reminds me of when I was in college, pulling an all-nighter studying for an exam. I mean, the whole process really screws up my day.
Up For Bids
SHELDON: It is a dilemma, alright. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience. Unfortunately, I can’t do a thing about it. It’s just my nature to come and go as I do. There’s a lot more to writing than most people realize, isn’t there?
WES: That’s for sure. Think, research, write, rewrite, edit, write again. It can be challenging.
SHELDON: Including those odd moments of unbidden inspiration. Oh! There’s that funny word again. Unbidden. Not bidden, unasked, uninvited. Bidden, bidden, bidden.
WES: Good grief! It’s daylight. 6:45 a.m. How am I going to get back to sleep now?
SHELDON: Sorry. Can’t help you there. I hope you sleep better tonight, though. For now, I bid you farewell. Oh, there it is again! Did you hear it? I bid you farewell. How droll. Bid, biddy, bidden. Biddy bye-bye. Bid, biddy, bidden . . .
WES: (Sigh). And to think he’s my muse. Maybe I could work a trade or something. I wonder if you can auction off a muse. Anyone? Do I hear a bid? Oh, no-o-o-o-o! Now I’m doing it. I guess I will have some water after all–I’ll need it for the aspirin.
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