He was always obvious about it. I couldn't tell if he was trying to make a point or if he didn't even think to conceal his affairs. Some bold friends asked me if I minded, but most stayed quiet and joined me in looking the other way. I could never explain to those that asked anyway, not really. Maybe I changed my mind every day, or maybe I just expressed myself differently each time I was asked, but I never did give the same explanation twice. I know that the truth was somehow all of the answers at once, even though they ranged from me crying with anger to me laughing with the joy of it all - that he had me to tend the needs of his home life and his muses for his art. I didn't want to be that other woman, the one who had to be distant and diaphanous, who floated like Ophelia for hours on end until he had captured the perfect light. I prefered to wrinkle my fingers on more important things - my own expansive watercolours that threatened to drown me as they drew me in too close.
When the light faded each day, we curled our paint-spatter bodies together and fed our love in the dark. I was his vampire wife, he joked. I was his night-time, and that was enough for me. It was exactly enough. That all ended suddenly, in just the space of a sentence. It happened one evening, in the candle-lit dusk, as I was putting dinner on the table, he said to me: "Set a place for the muse."