And In This Corner…

So, let me tell you about my muse.

I do have one. She’s part of me, albeit a strange part. My creative side, I guess, the side that takes in information and turns it into something else entirely.

Traditionally they’re supposed to be willowy and delicate, but considering she’s supposed to be a part of me, I can’t picture that. And then when you consider the stuff she’s supposed to help me work on, all the blood and sex and horror and wonder…a fainting Greek maiden really isn’t up to that job. She’d quit day one.

My muse looks like Christina Hendricks and fights like the bastard offspring of George St. Pierre and Mike Tyson. And I don’t mean the nice Mike Tyson you see these days, the guy I follow on Twitter. I like what that guy’s got to say, but my muse goes old school. We’re talking Iron Mike here, from back in the days when he used to cuss out reporters and threaten to eat people’s children. Nice? Absolutely not. Talented and brutal? Hell, yes. Add that to GSP’s relentless work ethic and ability to exploit weaknesses, and you can see that I might be in trouble here.

And just to keep things interesting, she took smack talk lessons from Chael Sonnen. Seriously, have you heard the shit that comes out of that guy’s mouth? Not my favorite fighter, but, damn, that’s a talent in itself.

This is who I work with every day. Because she knows where the ideas are, the good ones and the terrible ones and those ones that will stick in your head no matter how hard you try to shake them loose. But she’s not going to just give them up to me. Oh no. I have to earn it. I have to prove that I want it badly enough.

So every day, I show up and work. On my stamina, and my strength, and my strategy. On delivering words sharp as a precision jab, or powerful as an overhand right. And, sometimes, as unexpected as a inside leg kick right to the junk, because this isn’t fair.

And sometimes, no matter how hard I work, she looks at me and says, “No. Not today. Try again tomorrow.” And walks away. And those are the days when it seems like a really great idea to quit and go do something that makes more sense, like trying to predict the stock market.

But I don’t. I show up the next day, and it all starts again.

Because sometimes, after a couple of hard rounds, she’ll toss me a towel and just look at me for a while. Then she’ll smile. And say, “Come here. I got something to show you. And you are going to love it.”

So I’ll wipe the sweat and blood from my face and take a look. And something new will open up inside my head. Something as fresh and raw as a razor cut, letting out darkness and beautiful things. Things I can use. And sometimes things that don’t make sense, because, hey, she’s not going to do all the work. But I look at it and know that this is what all the work is for, and in that second I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

And when I’m done, she’ll fold her arms and nod at the door. “Same time tomorrow. Don’t be late.”


6 thoughts on “And In This Corner…

  1. The more i read your writing Steph the more i love you. We’ve been friends for 12 years, yet i still feel like i get to know you a little better with every line. Give ’em hell, sweetheart!

  2. I think my muse might look like Robert Downey Jr in his sketchy(er) days; I’ll run into it after a while and it’ll be all, “oh, shit, I was supposed to tell you something like . . .like weeks ago, man. It was. . . fuck, I wrote it down somewhere. I’ll get back to you, yeah? By the way, you don’t have any inspiration I can borrow, do you? I’ll get it back to you tomorrow. Honest.”

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