PROSE. From the Journals of a Muse by Jeremiah Matthews Part II


Once, upon a first-time
visit, a newer Muse was hit with a nasty dizzy spell while trying to absorb the bustling maze that is the Boss’s office. I remember when I walked in for the first time, I felt a sudden urge to add additional “Os” to the word “room” — the common four-letter word was unfit to describe the most beautiful chaos I’ve ever seen.

Constructing part of the madness are thousands papers swirled into piles like napkins at a wedding buffet table. The piles themselves are also swirled, not just on the Boss’s desk but around the floor as well, creating a field of landmines waiting to gash one’s ankle with paper cuts if not properly maneuvered. The piles are sturdy enough in their disguise of potentially being blown over by the slightest disruption in the air — I used to think the ticking of the clock’s second hand could create enough wind to blow the piles all over the roo(ooooooo)m, but those paper towers are more secure than they appear.

The papers themselves vary from brown, crumpled, and overused to white, flat-ironed, and pristine — but all have been written upon at one time or another. Never failing to impress was the Boss’s ability to find the one piece of paper she needed at any given time. On the rare occasion she couldn’t, Flo could easily navigate that paper sea with candid authority.

The only part of the Business without computer access is the Boss’s office. As far as I know, she’s never needed, wanted, or shown any interest in computers. She’s a “pen and paper” type, possibly one of the first. Her pens are scattered throughout the room almost as frequently as the paper swirls — on the floor, tucked in books, lying on the shelves, next to Fanny and Taffy’s cat food dish; one time, I found a pen in the mini fridge where she keeps her Dr. Pepper and Yoo-hoo.

The Boss is rarely at the beautiful wooden desk that sits along the wall of French windows, and when I walked in that day, she was on the floor next to the fridge, surrounded by a few of the smaller paper stacks. On the wall above her was a framed picture of Liza Minnelli with the lyrics of the “The Singer” right below. The Boss always enjoyed Liza, often hosting little sing-alongs in the office, but at that particular moment, she was far from one of her Minnelli moods. She looked up at me, pushed her glasses back up onto her nose, and sighed, “We’re going to have a company meeting.”

I glanced up at Flo, who nodded and waved her hand with a “what are we going to do with her” swish. The Boss’s phone — which is in the shape of a hamburger and sits on a small plate on her desk — rang softly. Nodding and shaking her head at the same time, Flo went over to the phone, but I could hear every cell of the Boss’s body scream “take a message.” As usual, Flo could hear it even clearer than I. “We all need to meet in the Storm room in about an hour,” the Boss told me, “so could you let Poetry and Tangible know?”

She leaned back and, without looking up from her papers, grabbed a Yoo-hoo out of the fridge and tossed it to me. Flo was still on the burger when I stumbled out of the office as if I had just done five shots of tequila on an empty stomach. Clearly something was going on, and I couldn’t quite decide if I wanted to know what it was — I needed some chit-chat time with Flo. Her mouth could always be trusted to say what shouldn’t be said, and I absolutely loved her the way you can love a rude waitress who gives you extra fries.

Jeremiah Matthews’ Past Works:
From the Journals of a Muse Part I

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1 Comment

  1. […] Matthews’ Past Works: From the Journals of a Muse Part II From the Journals of a Muse Part […]


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