Rory Spindrift felt he was beginning to learn something real and useful about poetry.  And he attributed this continuous enlargement of his sensibility to the energies of the muse he had so casually—almost accidentally—acquired.  Bongo Bearance was a gift.  A gift that, as beautiful as she was, he was not being encouraged to unwrap.
     “In order for a Muse to be effective,” Bongo explained to him one sunny Saturday afternoon as they nestled in adjoining voluminous red leather chairs in the Hart House reading room, “she has to remain pretty much aloof from her supplicant.”
     “Pretty much?” repeated Rory, trying to rise above his momentary enjoyment of the way Bongo’s breasts rose and fell so prettily beneath her partially-unbuttoned denim shirt.  Her legs, tucked up beneath her in the chair, were so achingly svelte he had to look away.  Bongo, who was one of those people on whom nothing is ever lost, noticed his enjoyable discomfiture and was amused.
     “Yes, pretty much,” she said, her big grey eyes dancing.  She shifted in her chair, striving to achieve what she hoped was a more studious, less encouraging position.   “I don’t suppose you’ve read The White Goddess?” she said.
     Is that a Rider Haggard novel?” he asked her.  “Like She or The Virgin of the Sun?”
     Bongo laughed.  “You’re like a ten year old,” she told him.  “No, The White Goddess is a book by the English poet Robert Graves about muses and mythology.  It was written in 1948.  The White Goddess is an ancient pagan goddess of love, birth and death.  She still moves among us and now appears to us as the moon.  She is what Graves called the “Ninefold Muse.”  He refers to her as ‘the patroness of the white magic of poetry’.”
     “You think I should read this book?”
     “No, I’d be surprised if you could!” Bongo answered him gaily.  Graves even warned potential readers away from it.  He writes in the book‘s Foreword that it’s a queer book—he uses the word in the old-fashioned sense—adding that it ought to be avoided by anyone with a “distracted, tired or rigidly scientific mind.”
     “I guess the ‘distracted’ part that applies to me,” Rory told her.
     “Yes, you don’t really seem tired,” Bongo agreed, “or ‘rigidly scientific’!”
     “Listen.” said Rory suddenly, “do you want to go for a beer?”
     “A beer?”
     “Well, I know it’s probably not as very muse-like drink,” said Rory.  “Not like the juice of fresh flowers, or 
a tipple of over-proof moonshine….”
     “Well, okay,” said Bongo.  And she unfolded herself prettily from the big red chair.

     Just as Rory and Bongo were leaving Hart House, Michael and May were strolling Philosopher’s Walk, in order to head south on St. George, and then make their way over to Spadina Avenue where, in a few hours, they had planned to have dinner at the New Sky restaurant where they gone for their first meal together.
     “It doesn’t seem very long ago that we were first there,” said Michael.
     Well it really wasn’t that long ago,” replied May.  “You were so funny,” she added, squeezing Michael’s hand, “being all nervous about whether taking a Chinese girl to a Chinese restaurant smacked of racism!”
     “It just seemed a bit too obvious to feel sophisticated,” he replied.
     “And you were of course trying for high sophistication” she observed.
     “Trying and failing,” said Michael.
     “Maybe we ought to have found a Greek restaurant to honour the Greek in you.”
     But I loved hearing you speak Chinese to the waiter at the New Sky,” said Michael, “whereas you’d never get to hear me speaking Greek to a Greek waiter.”
     “Why not?”
     “Because I don’t know any Greek,” laughed Michael.  “My father was Greek and he took off when I was just a year old.  I was raised by my grandparents—my mother’s parents—and they were from England.”
     “I wish you did speak Greek,” said May wistfully. “My Zorba!”
     “I guess I could try to learn.”
     “Oh I don’t expect that much of you,” May giggled.  “Besides, then I wouldn’t understand anything you said.”
     “We’d have to have recourse to the international language of love,” said Michael.  “An Esperanto of Pure Eroticism!”
     “Sounds okay,” said May, lifting he face to be kissed.
     The kiss, which may well have become a lengthy one, was interrupted by someone’s calling May’s name.  She and Michael looked around awkwardly, almost as disturbed as if someone had abruptly entered a bedroom where they had been making love.
     It was Rory Spendrift, calling her from the other side of St. George Street.
     “Rory?” said May, pulling herself together.
     Rory and the young woman on his arm crossed the street and came up to Michael and May, Rory’s hand extended in greeting.
     “You remember Rory Spendrift, Michael?  My poet friend?  You met him one day at the bookstore.”
     “Oh sure,” said Michael rather laconically.  “Dragon’s Breath.”
     Rory looked embarrassed.
     “I’ve left all that behind me,” he told Michael and May. “And this,” he said, pulling Bongo closer into the conversation, “is the reason.  This is Bongo Bearance!”
     “Hello,” said May and Michael simultaneously.
     “My Muse,” Rory added proudly.