the whisper and the clamor


I sometimes wonder if I’m made of plastic. Like I am a mannequin more than I am a man. The world clothes me in a way that is seen as popular, positions my limbs, polishes the color out of my eyes, and paints over the expression on my face. And I let it happen. I let them do it. Life is moving too fast and I seldom remember how to slow down. It’s not a sin to stop rushing, and saints never made it to heaven because they worked their fingers down to the bone.

So can you tell me why I keep wearing my fingernails down?

While I’m eating dinner, the television is on in the background, silverware scraping the food off my plate as I’m downloading the newest and hottest app on my iPhone. I’m a technological savage. Yes, my body is present, but is my mind really there?

I dwell in the past and I think way too much about the future. Word on the street is the present is nice this time of year.

It’s well into the night hours. I don’t have a clock around me, but my bones can tell time. My back is aching, my eyes are sinking into my skull, and my skin has tiny roadways etched all over. What can I say? Life wears you down; it takes a toll on your spirit. Look, I’m hard and rough all over, but inside I’m as fragile as a newborn. I can go about an hour before I feel like I need food, and ten minutes until I’m suffocating from a lack of love.

I appreciate oxygen, but I only have trouble breathing when you’re not around. So sit next to me, let me kiss the wrinkles off your nose. Let me taste a little bit of wonder. I want to brush the melody off your lips and embark in duet together.

Yes, I’m a plastic, department store man. My humanness has long rubbed off. But maybe you can make this mannequin’s heart beat again. I’ll bring the whisper, you bring the clamor.


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