He finishes his room temperature coffee– store brand and brewed at home.
He longs for the days of old when a bank account was something he checked when his debit card was declined. The gruff, knotty white hairs shedding from his chin and cheeks were making him fiscally responsible. And boring. His adventurous-self retired the moment he resigned to being the (fiscally) responsible adult– spouse, co-worker, business owner, etc.
He rinses his reusable Starbucks cup before refilling it with fountain water.
He craves more coffee. There was a Starbucks on the ground floor, but was too responsible to buy coffee when he had plenty at home.
The hallway is quiet, but he isn’t alone since he has several surveillance cameras to keep him company.
He salutes the cameras.
He’s always tempted to wave at the camera, but that will just reinforce the idea that he was a strange and awkward fellow. It was true, he was the strangest, most awkward fellow in the (commercial) building, but he believes they didn’t need to know that about him.
He returns to his office and takes a quick sip of his cold, coffee-flavored tap water.
Responsible him no longer buys sugary drinks, nor does he drink them. He misses Snapple and the Arizona Half and Halfs– the one with the old golfer on the can, but his calories were now a thing to him and to his wife. She didn’t want him to get diabetes because diabetes were a thing to (fiscally) responsible adults.
He checks his phone.
55%… (Charging)… Spam likely called twice an hour earlier.
He turns off the Do Not Disturb on his phone and puts his phone on the Vibrate setting.
His phone needs to be on in case his wife calls. She wants to leave work on time so she can work from home for another five hours.
He spins his chair towards the door and reclines.
Its the week before a holiday weekend so he expected the office to be quiet.
He watches his door, waiting for Calliope, or one of her fine sisters, to twirl into his office and sprinkle magic dust on his eyes, or even his typing fingers.
It has been months since he’s written or snapped or played anything good or updated his resume or added anything to his website. He wonders whether he’s forgotten his muse in the Colorado mountains. Or whether his muse decided to remain behind, refusing to accompany or empower a person who periodically checks his bank account and refuses to buy coffee or ingest sugary drinks.
What’s happened to me?
He logs off of his computer, yanks his phone from the charger, grabs his jacket and prepares to promptly exit his office.
If his old muse won’t return, he’ll walk to the pier for his lunch hour and snap pictures of wandering pigeons and quirky restaurant signs until another muse takes notice. Or… so he hopes.
His phone rings.
Its his boss.
He removes his jacket, returns to his desk and returns his phone to the charger before answering the phone.
“Hello,” He says.
His new muse will have to wait. Or, send him an Outlook calendar request like everybody else.