Aaron Steinmetz

...be very still...the bird's angry...and I think he can see us.

A Muse

Look at him.  He’s staring at the blank page of his word processor.  I always get a kick out of that blank stare he gets when he calls to me; he’s a vegetable in a computer chair, sitting in front of that laptop he got so he could even more so take advantage of my kindness.  He wants his writing fix, and I’ll give it to him, eventually.  But I’m gonna let him sweat it out a bit.  I’m gonna make him learn who’s the writer here.

His skin is pale; he’s barely been outdoors for days.  He hasn’t spoken to anyone except periodic back-and-forths with co-workers in that labyrinthian dungeon he works at.  And he thinks that he can write something in this state he’s in.  He’s suffering from authorial withdrawal symptoms, and he’s so desperate to get his writing fix that he’s kissing off all sleep until he writes something.  Anything.  

I met Aaron one day after he’d had one of those middle-school school days that last a week.  He’d been beat up again, and was looking for some kind of creative output, so I helped him out.  I gave a him a few poems–mostly cute, kidsy crap–and it made him feel better.  Perked up his parents, too.  He felt good.  I felt good.  Everybody felt good.

That was sixteen years ago.  He’s older now, and he’s not willing to settle for juvenile writing.  He’s not trying to get anything off his chest anymore.  Now, nearly everyday he’s pushing me on and on, more and more, better writing every time; it’s like he can’t stop.  He’s addicted to me.

It’s a classic scenario; I start off doing a favor for a little boy, helping him out, free of charge, and now that he’s become comfortable with my contributions, he’s expecting it.  He takes it for granted that I give him all his story ideas.  At times, he’s even foolish enough to think that he actually writes these things himself.  It’s a thankless job I have, and I’m getting tired of it.

Ha.  He’s trying to write without me.  Give it up, it sucks.  Yeah.  You backspace, little man.  You can’t do this without me and you know it.

Look, don’t get the wrong idea about me; I’m not a mean person.  I just don’t want him to be so cocky that he thinks he can work without my help.  I’ve seen him try.  It’s not pretty.

And it helps him if I step away for a while.  If Aaron spends all his time writing he’ll never develop a social life, get married, raise children; he’ll never do the human things that help build greater stories.  I need to wean him off me from time to time for his own good.

I mean, this guy is so addicted to me that he’s actually writing a story from my perspective just to get his fix.  That’s not healthy, you know.

For more stories like this, check out Anomalous Confessions by Aaron Steinmetz.