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Tipsy Otis Says:

Booze is my Muse

It’s a rainy Friday night and not much is happening.  Shooter’s out of town and I’m not really feeling all that social.  So instead of hitting The Portal and making small talk I think I’ll just stay in, pour myself a cocktail, play guitar, and maybe even write a song.

Digging through near empty bottles in my bar, I notice I’m low on the essentials.  I really don’t want to trudge through the rain to a packy, but also, I don’t want to just toss left over drops of random booze together like some unwashed frat boy. 

But wait, what’s this, a full bottle of gin?  Bingo!  I forgot I had this, must be left over from my Singapore Sling phase.  I stop and think, “How sad is my life to be measured out in drink phases?”

Hmmmm now, what to make?  I don’t have any of the other Sling ingredients..........

Hmmmmmmmm…… I have club soda and a bottle of lemon juice in the fridge.   Yes, tonight we are pouring the Tom Collins.

In the fridge, I push aside a quart of milk and four take-out containers to get to the lemon juice parked in back.  It was behind some yellow mustard,  between a jar of relish, which may or may not have a fuzzy topping of mold, and a half eaten jar of pickled beets.

Removing the lemon juice I imagine I’m breaking up some back of the fridge street gang.  The relish has organized the other condiments and now they rule the top shelf, shaking down the coffee creamer and terrorizing the leftovers.

Or maybe they’re more like old Jewish men who play canasta when the fridge light goes out.  The lemon juice is always accusing the mustard of cheating as the pickled beets complain about lumbago.

I feel a little sad that I have removed their friend, will soon drain him and toss his glass husk in the recycle bin.  But as the yellow mustard always says, “Such is the circle of life

Sinking in the sofa, I take a few sips before strumming my guitar.  I had a melody in my head while at work but now, as hard as I try I can’t summon the notes.  Most of the next hour is spent drinking, playing old cover tunes and fruitlessly returning to my empty composition.

Frustrated I lean my head back and close my eyes.  Listening to myself breath I wonder if I’ll ever find inspiration.  Just then I hear what sounds like someone clearing their throat.  I open my eyes and nearly jump out of my skin when I see a fat guy standing in front of me.  He has some weird toga draped around him and looks a bit like George Wendt after a three day bender.

Who the fuck are you?  How the fuck did you get in here?”   I asked startled and angry. 

“Hey, how ya doin’?” he replies with a laid back surfer drawl, “I’m Booze”

“Booze???”, I ask in a tone demanding more information.

“Yup, Booze, Booze the Muse” his eyes search my face for a sign I’m catching on.  “I’m your muse!” he exclaims hoping to push me further toward understanding.

Now I’m thinking I gotta get this crazy guy out of my house.  Maybe if I show him out he’ll leave peacefully.  I jump up and walk to the door, looking back toward him I say, “Dude, I’m not sure how ya got in but you should leave.”  Turning around he is gone. “Great”, I shout, thinking he’s now hiding in my house, “Hey, where the fuck did you go?

Slowly he materializes before me and says, “Oh, I thought you said I should go.”  Feeling faint, I sit back on the sofa.

“Are you some kind of ghost?”, I ask in a shaky voice.

“No!” he replies exasperated, “I told you.  I’m a muse.  More specifically, I’m your muse.”

Still suspicious and confused I challenge him, “I thought muses were beautiful women, sirens who whisper inspiration in your ear.”

“Yeah”, he says somewhat pained that he has to explain himself, “ever since the gender discrimination suit of 1973 they’re forced to admit us guys.  Of course the babes get all the high profile jobs.  In fact as we speak my sister is heading to Dave Grohl’s house.”

“Great”, I say, “Grohl gets a choice babe, I get some Khalid Sheikh Mohammed mug shot lookin’ motherfucker.

“Whoa!!”, he protests, “don’t get personal, you’re no Chippendales candidate yourself.”

“And your name is Booze?” I ask.

“Well that’s more of a nickname” he says as he grabs my bottle of gin and takes a few gulps.

“Hey Bogart relax, that’s all I got.”  I shout.  He smiles and puts down the now half empty bottle.

I continue to grill him, “So if you’re my muse how come I don’t have brilliant artistic thoughts spewing from my head?”

Shaking his head in disagreement he says, “Hey, I throw you a bone every once in a while.  That whole bit about your condiments being old Jewish men, that was from me.”

“That?!?!? That’s all I get?”

He chuckles and says, “Hey, I’m not gonna waste my A material on you.”

“Why not?” I ask feeling a bit insulted.

Suddenly he’s very serious and in a slow irritated voice he says,


“Huh?” I say, pretending not to know what he’s talking about.

He repeats, “You don’t apply yourself.  This is the first time in a month you’ve picked up your guitar.  I’m not wasting my best stuff on a guy who’s not gonna use it.  That melody in your head today, don’t you remember?  I put it in your head the last three Friday’s.  Today’s the first time you even tried to work with it.  So I took it back.”

Embarrassed because I knew he was right I went on the offensive, “How do I know your A material is any good?  Ever work with anyone I’ve heard of?”

He raises his eyebrows surprised at my challenge. “Ever hear of a guy named Sting?”

“Sting? Really, Sting??”

He starts to sing, “Rooooooooxanne”

“That came from you?” I ask, still not sure if he’s bullshitting me.

“Yup that came from me.  Roxanne was my Muse University girlfriend”.  His eyes drift up to the ceiling like he’s staring at a distant memory and mutters, “Fuckin’ whore.”

“O.K., let’s say I’m on board”, I start to bargain with him.  “Suppose I start to apply myself, set aside a little time every day to be creative.  What kind of stuff can I expect?  How will I know if it’s from you or if I made it up myself?”

This draws a chuckle from Booze, “Made it up yourself?”, he laughs again, “Trust me on this, nothing’s comin’ out of that head of yours without a little help from me.  Here, let me show you. Put your head back and close your eyes.”

I follow his direction and he continues, “Now just relax and clear you mind.  Think of nothing.  Just keep breathing.”

I concentrate on my breathing and try to squelch outside distractions. The white noise in my brain slowly fades and a beautiful melody arises.  I know this song.  It’s something I started to write months ago but never fleshed out.  Oh yes, what a great melody.  And the way the two guitar lines work together, and the chords and how they…….


My guitar that had been leaning against my leg slipped off and crashed to the ground.  I’m startled out of my meditative state as my heart skips a beat. 

In a fog, what just happened?  I look around the room.  Wow!  That was the craziest dream I’ve ever had, so real, so fuckin’ real. It was a dream, wasn’t it?  Of course it was, but wow!

Just to be sure I stand up and look around the room for my muse. I am alone.  O.K., it was a dream, but wow!

My Collins glass is tipped over on the coffee table.  Two large ice cubes are forming small puddles around their base.  Still feeling a little shaken I scoop up the ice for another drink.  Picking up the bottle of gin I notice it’s empty. 

Empty? Empty!!

Staring at the last tiny drop in the bottom rim I mutter, “It had to be a dream.” 

Just then an old classic tune pops into my head, as clear as if I had been listening on the radio.


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