The muse doesn’t believe in muses. Groupies. That’s what they are. I’m in a league with treble clef-shaped licorice, a pair of high performance running shoes designed by a ballerina, stationery filled with writing prompts. What inspired you today? And the people who inspire us are usually beloved or desirous which means they cannot be pure and so to be inspired means to abuse the nervous system. Why couldn’t you inspire yourself? The muse is skeptical, paranoid, does not believe me but believes in me. I am the product of confidence, confidence in my confidence, your confidence. Perhaps the discretion is the muse. I have none. Can’t afford it. A muse is the panic causing pirate ships of paper bags when my son has run out of toys because we are in a hostile world where Christmas is the diversion and the obstacle so now the bag that my new lipstick comes in, is part of the act, too. My son. You do not inspire me for that would be too pedestrian—and one day you’ll understand the excruciating pain of labeling yourself a cliché—but I will halt pirate ships with my bare hands for you. Lately I’ve been listening to all the exotic words in Mel Tormé’s “Christmas Song” and wonder did he have to say so much because no one would believe him if he admitted he was tired of this? Why don’t we believe him? Why don’t you believe me?