Monday, September 05, 2005

the headless bow armed baby mannequin

the headless bow armed baby mannequin stared at me from the other side of the bed. he always slept on the left, i made sure of it. especially when i had to get up early for work.

didn't want to wake him.

as i got ready for work i sat him at the breakfast table in front of some marmite toast---suitably nutrition is paramount, even for a non-growing boy. Who KNEW what garbage they were feeding them at school!

Last thing, before I left the house, i would dress him gently in his grey school slacks, shirt and tie. Taking care not to loosen his torso or get lipstick on his plastic chin.

After taking out the trash, I would carry him out to the car and buckle him safely in the back seat with his school bag. In my state, it is now illegal for children under the age of 12 to ride in the front seat.

We cruise slowly past the school, stop at the cross-walk and wave to some of the other mothers. I pull over right in front of the front door. There are a lot of wierdos out there and I can't risk seeing my headless bow armed baby mannequin on a missing poster. I take no chances.

Then, after I've given him enough time to collect all his belongings and kiss me goodbye, I unbuckle him and lay him in the boot, covered with his favourite tartan blanket.

He will stay there for the day while I am at work. He will stay there until it is time to pick him up from after school sports.

_____________________

20 years later, and my headless bow armed baby mannequin is no longer a baby. It’s getting to the time I would like to see him take a wife, leave the home, start collecting some plastic offspring of his own. I try to talk to him about this sometimes, but his expression remains blank and uncommunicative. I have never been able to fathom my headless bow armed mannequin son.

Sometimes I wonder about him. Why he doesn’t seem to want to go out and drink and socialise and meet girls. Once I introduced him to the daughter of a friend of mine. A pretty girl, though she worked in a tanning studio and glowed an altogether plastic golden bronze. Well, if my headless bow armed mannequin son didn’t just sit there and stare as we introduced the too, and met each of her questions and gestures with a limp wrist and soggy posture.

Sometimes I despair of my headless bow armed mannequin son.

Then sometimes I feel bad about despairing. It hasn’t been easy for him. Mind you, it hasn’t been so easy for me either, and I cope fine. But him, with his headlessness and his bow arms, it’s no wonder they would have picked on him at school. If I hadn’t kept him safe away from them. Under his favourite tartan blanket in his favourite bed boot. But now it’s not so easy to hide from the taunts. For the headless, they are everywhere.

from the shampoo adverts on billboards
to head counts at assemblies
to hat stands
and brain surgeons
and eyeshadows
thick rimmed electronica glasses Trevor style

the headless have a hardtime of it

mind you, don’t even get me started on the armless. Where are the pocketwatches? And the armless who have no pockets, well, they suffer. They have no concept of time with continuity, only the spasms of random clocks they meet in churches, in village squares, on video recorders, through sundials.
There are the legless, mocked by the shoemaker.
The blind and non-tactile sensitive mocked by the candlestick maker.
The wheat intolerants and gluten frees mocked by the baker
The vegans mocked by the butcher.
Oh yes.
Bring on the automatic cheese.

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