by Frank Hinton
THE SOUND OF A PHONE BEING ANSWERED AFTER MANY RINGS...
Kendra: Motivational Urge Support Enterprises, my name is Kendra how may I help you?
Frank: Ah, hi, yes. I was just calling about your service, the muse service you provide. I read about it in the paper.
Kendra: Yes, miss, what would you like to know?
Frank: I'm a male, miss.
Kendra: Your caller ID says Francine Hinton.
Frank: That's my mother. I'm calling from my mother's phone.
Kendra: You live with your mother?
Frank: No, I'm just..I'm just at her house for lunch. She has the long distance plan.
Kendra: I see. Okay sir what would you like to know?
Frank: Well, I'd like to inquire about getting a muse. It says in your ad that you provide muses for people who are creatively challenged by their art form.
Kendra: Yes we provide that service.
Frank: Okay, excellent.
Kendra: We would have to ask you some basic questions first though, sir.
Frank: Alright, sure.
Kendra: Okay, wonderful. I'll start. Are you a songwriter, author, poet, playwright, painter, sculptor or other?
Frank: Well, I guess I'm a writer.
Kendra: A songwriter?
Frank: A story writer.
Kendra: So you're an author?
Frank: Well I'm not published.
Kendra: Let's just say you are an author.
Kendra: Excellent. Now, what is your primary mode of composition? Short fiction, long fiction, ballad, serial, blogging or other?
Frank: I guess you could say it is a mix between blogging and short fiction.
Kendra: Alrighty. And how would you describe your literary style? Romance, suspense, mystery etc...
Frank: Maybe, angst-fiction.
Frank: Yeah, like, I have a lot of anxiety and I write about it.
Kendra: Okay. Let me continue. Are you currently a habitual drug user, alcoholic or clinically depressed?
Frank: No, no and clinically? No.
Kendra: Are you in a relationship?
Kendra: Describe what you ate during your last three meals.
Frank: Describe what I ate? I don't see how that's relevant.
Kendra: It is the last question, sir.
Frank: What is the purpose of the question?
Kendra: I'm sorry sir, I cannot tell you that. It would defeat the necessary mystique of our muse matching process.
Frank: Alright, I had a boiled egg for breakfast, some canned tuna for lunch and meatloaf for supper.
Kendra: And what did you drink?
Frank: Chocolate milk and coffee.
Kendra: For which meal sir?
Frank: All three.
Kendra: Alrighty. Excellent. Thank you Mr. Hinton, I think we can set you up with somebody. Your profile seems to be shaping up here. Could you please describe your situation in a little more detail?
Frank: Ah sure. I guess I'm just looking for someone to inspire me. Someone to help my writing along, maybe make it a bit more positive? Maybe someone decent looking, I mean, I find my thoughts slow down and I'm able to focus more when I'm around beautiful people. I know this isn't a dating service, and I'm not looking for anything like that. I just want someone who can stimulate my mind, maybe give me some decent conversation.
(A long pause while the sound of keys being typed on passes between the phones)
Kendra: Excellent, alright I have matched you up with one of our more popular muses, his name is-
Frank: Wait a minute his? It's a he?
Kendra: Yes sir. His name is Ramon. He is from Spain. He is a very popular muse. Have you ever heard of The Edible Woman?
Frank: The Margaret Atwood novel? Of course.
Kendra: He helped to inspire her to write that.
Frank: Ramon inspired The Edible Woman?
Kendra: Of course. He gave her the idea of the screaming carrots. He's great with food metaphors.
Frank: I see.
Kendra: Alright, so we have you matched and I've scheduled your first muse-artist meeting for Tuesday afternoon, is this alright?
Kendra: Perfect Mr.Hinton, now if we could just discuss the payment options. Our daily rates start at one hundred dollars a day while or weekly muse visit rates go for about-
Frank: Let me just get my credit card and I'll read you the numbers. This guy better be good.
All rights reserved.
A story about a dial-up muse story. Originally published at metazen.