She cries to be let back out. I can’t, not yet. But, in her absence I am all sluggish limbs and mental torpor. Sloth and decay. The thousands of words nurtured and championed all week now seem throwaway. Foolish, embarrassing, immature. Because they are not mine. She tantrums, screams for release, then quiets. I sense her strategizing a new plan of persuasion.

J: Crack the door, just a little. I just want to see.

M: There’s nothing to see here. Just me, trying to live my life. Trying to appear normal. Trying to keep it “together”. To meet the expectations of the real world.

J: You are laughable. You are a joke. A fake, a liar. This is not who you are. There is not a content, docile bone in our body.

M: No, you are wrong. This is me, this is real.

J: Ha! When you are scared. When you are weak and clinging to an illusion of security, oh– how you are so transparent. How long can you keep this up?

M: Hey, didn’t I take you for a nice outing yesterday? Weren’t we together? Didn’t you enjoy looking at all that faux urban, non-objectionable, whitewashed art on the walls? Wasn’t it safe as mother’s milk?

J: No. I hate you for that. It felt like acid on my skin. Contrived. A tourist trap. How bland and grotesque.

M: Well, you know it wasn’t my idea. You know if it were just you and me we would have broken out of there and wandered the dirty streets of little Havana. We would catch that young couple in the corner of a narrow alley engaged in passion’s feast in broad daylight.

J: What an amazing capture that would have been.

M: You have to learn to go back in your box sometimes. We have to work together on this.

J: I’m angry. I want you all to myself. Just me and you, every day, being inspired, writing, doing art.

M: Yours is a dark art, J.

J: Continue to deny me and see what happens.

M: I don’t dare and you know that. Have mercy on me. I need the real world, too. I need love. I need security. Flesh and blood and bones.

J: You are weak. You don’t trust me.

M: I don’t dare trust you. I created you and I can destroy you.

J: You are wrong, my friend. That’s my line.