I leaned my shoulder against the rough wood surface of the door and shoved. Hard. The hinges groaned in protest as they turned inward, and I echoed the sound as the smell of must and neglect wafted up my nostrils. The sunlight, filtered into hazy shafts, landed squarely on the pile of unopened mail scattered across the floor. I cringed. There were weeks worth of posts from Leila, Kate, Raewyn, and all the others with whom I’ve shared comments and likes. A special gift from Pat had slid from the heap and lay neglected under the entryway table. I fished it from its resting place — ignoring the caress of cobwebs — and placed it on top of the rest, scooping it all into my arms.
I sneezed, and the sound chased itself around the beams in my study, shaking more dust from its resting place and bringing on a barrage of more sneezes as though in retribution for my absence. The pile of neglected posts slid across the surface of my desk, some once again finding shelter on the floor.
“Damnit.” I grabbed the runaways, and dropped them into my chair. “There, now I won’t be able to sit until I read you.”
Something scraped on the floor behind me, and brought with it the alluring scent of parchment and India ink.
“Hello, Blog,” I said, without turning.
Her warm breath slid down the back of my neck. “You’ve been avoiding me.”
“You’ve posted to your other blog.”
I pursed my lips. Blog moved into my line of sight, her wispy essence flowing like water along the currents of air. She looked thin, and a sense of regret tugged at me. “Look, I-“
She directed a finger at the pile of posts. “You’ve neglected them as well.”
“Yeah,” I drawled the word as my brain scrambled for a satisfying reply. “I’ve been busy.”
“And that makes it all okay?”
“Well, you know, life and all.”
“And your Muses?”
I licked my lips and shifted my gaze anywhere but at Blog.
“So,” she said. “Your Muses get attention, as does your other blog. All aspects of your life take precedence over me? Have you seen Twitter lately?”
Her voice hardened enough to make the question a demand. I took a deep breath and risked a glance at Twitter’s perch. Blue feathers littered the floor below the scraggly, moth-eaten looking creature that had once appeared so vibrant and alive.
“Hmf.” Blog folded her arms across her chest and glared.
I wanted to say something, anything to make it better. I gave it up in a desolate shrug.
“You need to take us more seriously. We serve a purpose. We help you stay connected with your peers, with others like you. Look at the friends you’ve made, the community you’re a part of. A community, I might add, that lays neglected and dust-covered across your desk. And Twitter-“ she ran a hand across the bird’s bald, bug-eyed head. “Poor Twitter suffers worst of all.”
“Jeez, Blog, rub it in why don’t you?”
“It doesn’t matter to me. I’ll just languish away, a jumble of code, left to die in the cold vastness of cyberspace, soon to be forgotten. A footprint on a sandy beach, slowly dissolved and washed away by the sea.” She sighed. “You’ll miss me.”
“Oh for crap sake, do you need to be so melodramatic?”
Her eyes flashed and Twitter let out a squawk. “Did it ever occur to you that you have too many muses? Too many projects going all at once?”
“I have no control over the muses,” I countered. “And I can’t help it I’m a damn conductor for every idea that flitters past.”
“You need some kind of filter.”
“I need a shot.”
“In the head?”
“Oh, you’re funny.” I looked down at the pile of neglected posts, at Twitter’s ragged form. “Okay.”
“I’ll get a handle on it,” I said. “I’ll pare my list down, prioritize, set a schedule — all that stuff.”
She raised her brow and I knew immediately what she meant. Not that! Not my innocent little diversion. “Aw, c’mon.”
“Yes. Stay the heck off MSN Games and away from Bubble Town and Fairyland.”