Anaiis, the vanishing muse


anaiis3Anaiis was supposed to be a call girl. Her website advertised her as “a professional muse”, capable of providing an “ecstatic night of tantalizing inspiration.” Businessmen who found her ad read between the lines and thought they would be meeting a regular escort. Instead, she’d show up at their hotel suites with bags full of pastels, paints, sketch pads, and collage-making materials. Then she’d play shocked when they tried to get frisky. “What kind of girl do you think I am?!?!”

The thing was, Anaiis was so charming, so charismatic, so beautiful, that the johns wouldn’t even care that she’d pre-charged their credit cards. They’d get down on the floor with her and draw or paint or write poetry, re-discovering the joys of self-expression for the first time in decades.

When I met Anaiis at a party in the Hollywood hills, she didn’t tell me her line of work, she just said she was a blogger, which was believable enough. I told her how I was on deadline to finish a screenplay in the next two weeks, otherwise the investors would pull out. “And it’s not going well, is it darling?” She lit a cigarette, smiled and said, “I think I may be able to help you out, Mr. Dupree. Have you ever been to Palm Springs before?”

On the drive out to the desert, I offered her my flask and she looked at me a little cross. She said, “Liquid inspiration, huh? We won’t need that where we’re going,” and tossed it out the window.

We spent 10 days at her friend’s vacation house.The arrangement was that if she could break me through the writers block, then I had to give her 10% of my payment for the script. The first day out, I immediately got into my groove, sitting by the pool with my laptop. Her method of inspiration was subtle. She wouldn’t offer notes or ideas. She’d just walk up behind me in her bikini, look over my shoulder at what I was working on and whisper things like “You know where you’re going,” and it would send me typing like a maniac.

On the seventh day, she took me to bed. “This isn’t a part of our arrangement, Knox,” she told me. “This won’t inspire you, but it’s hot as hell out here, and it would be wrong not to do this.” The sex was as carnal as anything I’ve ever experienced. We went at it like horses on fire for the next two days, but I realized on the last day, that I still hadn’t finished the final draft. I spent the next 24 hours with it, but it never congealed. The spark was missing.

On the drive back to LA, I confessed that the draft was good enough to pass muster, but that it still lacked something I couldn’t put my finger on. “I mean, it’s a story about a golf caddy in Afghanistan befriending an Army general. Who the fuck cares?”

Anaiis, who had been silent while I ranted about the general silliness of the whole endeavor turned to me and said, “This is my fault, Knox. I never should have become intimate with you. You don’t owe me anything.”

“Are you kidding, darling? This was one of the most creative weeks of my life!” I said, but she wasn’t hearing it. The script went into development limbo and Anaiis didn’t return any of my calls. A few months later, I left LA for good, the same way I came, dejected, uninspired and drunk.

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