You asked me once why you were never my muse.
I couldn’t give you a straight answer then. And my inability to answer made the impression that I never cared about you; that the position of the muse is something I reserved to someone I loved, someone very important in my life.
I was dumbfounded when you asked me that question. And more often than not, this was the cause of most of our arguments. You were always jealous of my muse. You accused me of loving my art more than I loved you. Not even. You believed that I only loved my art and never you.
When you threw that question at me, it was the first time I really asked myself if I loved you. I am sorry that I was never really able to answer that question when we were together. You see, I knew nothing else before you came. I was so used with only my art consoling me. And the muse is like a jealous mistress (because in adulterous relationships, the man spends more time with the mistress than the wife). I could not come home to you because my lover needed me to finish creating. This mad love affair of mine with my muse—or muses—took its toll on our relationship.
Yes, muses. Not just one. They were many. And I am sure you know that they are not just ideas but real people. I cannot write about something I have not fallen in love with. So they had to be real.
This is when I started to question myself, and to doubt my affections for you. Because I have not written a single poem or prose about you when we were together. Not a single scene, play, not even a letter. Did I really love you? How come you have never been my muse? I realize you had every right to be jealous of my art. You had every reason to hate it and resent it as my secret mistress. You were right. It was I who cheated. And we both agreed that cheating in a relationship is the only unforgivable fault.
But you fought for me. Despite my art consuming all of my heart and soul, not leaving anything for me to give to you, you still tried. You tried so hard to win me over. But I was an artist longer than I was a lover. And I was not ready to leave my art for anything, not even for a woman.
It was months after I left you when I realized what I should have answered you when you asked me why you never were my muse: the muse is someone you could never possess. She possesses you. Once you possess her, she ceases to be a muse. It’s like a dog chasing a car. The dog will lose the purpose of his chase if he caught the car. The writer will lose the meaning of his poetry if he possessed the muse. That is why the muse possesses the artist and not the other way around. You were never my muse because I did not want not to possess you. You were already mine. Making you my muse means I cannot have you. I should have told you that the reason why you were never my muse was because I’d rather have you than let my mind chase you just to create something beautiful. Having you was already beauty in itself.
How very ironic.
Because now, you have become what you always wanted to be—my muse.