Title: "Giving Birth To Constellations"
Summary: An unorthodox way of fighting a writer's block employed by a tired writer to rein in an unruly Muse.
Disclaimer: Title from Bella Luna by Jason Mraz.
Dedication: for my greatest ally and my toughest enemy.
A/N: This is me trying to balance every idea that I've got floating around, waiting to be turned into a story. But a certain mister is usually very hard to talk into helping me.
GIVING BIRTH TO CONSTELLATIONS
There are few things in life that he enjoys as much as floating languidly above the clouds, swaying to the sanguine Sinatra melody that fills him with vitality. Oh, he's big on music in general; it's quite assertive at work. But some things, Sinatra included, are forever.
Today he tries on the mask of a wearied dandy. He wears an expensive vest and a golden pocket watch that he takes out from time to time to cast a bored glance at the dial plate. The sleeves of his shirt are rolled up and the collar is unbuttoned. His hair is carefully disheveled and his eyes are bright and youthfully probing.
"Sorry for jerking you out of the candy land," she says, "but aren't you supposed to help me from time to time?"
He looks at the curtains, green and fairly old (neither of them actually remembers what there was in their place before), and tries to peek through and see the sky, but all he can see is a sliver of silvery bluish between the window-frame and the flowing fabric. He has errands to run, self-serving and delightful as always, and he is hardly to blame for all these ideas that keep accumulating in his head. He is too creative for his own benefit, even when he's not entirely conscious of it, but isn't that part of their agreement, after all? He invents and she expresses.
He builds himself a staircase of sheets of paper and tap-dances up and down, floor to ceiling, the glares of the chandelier reflecting in his shiny shoes.
Perhaps, he reasons, she needs a break. Tentatively, he points at someone else's characters, even though he knows full well she's not so much into it now. She clings to the idea for a while. He pulls the green curtains apart and watches the soft sunlight illuminate the steel-grey sky. It's cold outside, and half-melted heaps of snow rest on the chilled ground.
There's always something else to do.
He lets himself drift away across the world like the wind. The music is lulling and gentle. Her fingers strum the beat upon the keyboard; but she hasn't even begun that story yet and he doubts she will. He nudges her towards one of the unfinished texts. Every once in a while they both do that: come back to the older, half-discarded ideas, hoping to give the texts a second chance.
It doesn't work now.
He checks up on the others: the half-crazed one that spouts cosmic nonsense and dances to The Doors has packed up and gone up North to smoke shamanic moss; the fiery poetic one floats asleep, intoxicated with wine fumes and city lights; the playful one has immersed himself into a genre his girl doesn't enjoy writing just to see what happens.
"See?" he pouts. "You haven't got the worst deal."
"Should I thank you for being a self-centred prick?" she bites back.
She tries to read. Someone else's words can be quite inspiring. He looks over her shoulder at the dim white page covered in black print: a relaxing shade, not too stark, yet not to bleary. The words dance before his eyes, like it only happens when the book is good, when it has a deeper meaning, when every word is a door – and behind it, oh, there are hallways filled with treasures!
He can't concentrate. Neither can she.
Words can be funny. Good for juggling, good for shuffling like a deck of cards for a bigger game that he only enjoys playing with her. His kind is not one to serve two masters; she may call him fickle and a bastard for good measure, but he remains loyal to her – and he's not exactly sentimental.
There is chaos in their minds. Everything is buzzing, splashing, tossing about, turning, rising, collapsing, swinging, sizzling, a hurricane of sounds, ideas, images fused into a relentless stream of inspiration. Whistling a jolly Celtic melody, he breaks into a dance. Shards of stories float around him, twinkling like little stars.
He likes the way some words taste. Spliff, for example, something that she has picked up only recently. He has always liked the spl-, a miniature explosion on his lips, like a soda-flavoured chewing candy bursting against the roof of the mouth; and the -ff is quite satisfying too, especially if he drags it out as long as possible. Then there's poodle which rhymes with doodle which rhymes with noodle – how is it possible not to get ecstatic about the -oo- when his lips protrude as if in preparation for a grotesque kiss and the long, funny sound spills over into the tumultuous, wet, clicking –dl!
He grins and patters the chain of rhymes again and again.
"I'm tired!" she whines, glaring at the pile of papers next to the keyboard. She does that. A lot, actually. Whining, that is. But it usually leaves him unaffected. Especially when he is sailing his perfidious sea of words.
There are some words he doesn't like so much. Take luxurious. Apart from being so ponderous and discordant, it had also once cost a teacher at her university his job. Words like that acquire a special unpleasant touch over time, and he is averse to using them in the texts unless there is no other option. Of course, it is also a matter of personal history between the word and the writer. To his credit, there are far more words in any language that he likes than dislikes.
"Sometimes I think," she mutters under her breath, "that you're doing this on purpose."
He refrains from asking, Only sometimes? because yes, he is doing it on purpose, all the time, and someday she should learn to appreciate it. As irritating as it may seem, it is also stimulating – and don't say I've never done anything for you, his eloquent look tells her.
He changes into a more suitable attire; several times in fact, because he can't figure out which one would suit better. He pulls the hood of his parka low over his eyes; he knocks the Stetson on the side and chews thoughtfully on a dusty blade of grass; he inspects his lightsaber; he squares his shoulders, flipping his thick black mane back. But nothing seems to fit. He notices then that her mind is oddly at peace, anxiety gone from it as if by magic – and for once, he isn't the miracle man.
She is typing. The words come stiffly, reluctantly, but they do come.
"What are you doing?"
She smirks. "Writing."
Way to go, Captain Obvious! "I can see that." He rolls his eyes. "What about?"
His jaw drops. He peers at the laptop screen, taking in the first disorderly sentences, and then laughs and melts back into his James Dean-ish form and lies back on air and hums Sinatra's Coffee Song – and oh boy, this is working out just fine for the two of them! Just fine!