Standing to Attention

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A glimpse into the world of the one you walk on by.

Submitted: January 29, 2013

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Submitted: January 29, 2013

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“And yet I am lonely. Constantly watching and being noticed. Existing submerged in a microcosm of humanity, valued and loving all that love me; I'm touched by others, I'm played with and I try to play along, I do! I do, in fact. Not that they'd know it. Do not be mistaken in thinking my connections with the ‘outer’ are too plentiful for enjoyment. My times for solitude and privacy come often enough. My solitude and privacy are embraced while they can be embraced, as are replaced by light and life a comfortable time after; replaced while it can still be replaced.

“And so you ask why I stand with a resolute look upon my face. Always the same look guarding my inner face - the one I can never reveal, despite my urges to do so encroaching ever so. My arms, I cannot move them. They remain immovable by my side; stuck with that same old glue, unyielding despite my years. And what a happy life it has been, I must impress upon you! You mustn’t mistake my dreary themes for depression or disappointment in my lot. But never before has anyone offered to hear me out - you, so obliging! - from my place on the mantel piece; my place; my designated spot.

“To tell you from the start, never once have I exercised autonomy. Never once was I given the chance. Never once have I sat with another, only to discard them as I see fit. Only ever will another sit with me, share fables and biscuits, laughter and tears, and then knock me aside as they are summoned, by life or by more effervescent company than myself. Fizz.

“Did you see that? I'm sorry, our discussion must be put on hold. He comes at last. Now, we musn't look tawdry for the master! Stand up tall! With as much sadness as I feel, you must leave. I'll look out for you and I can only hope that you'll look out for me. Perhaps when you next pass, tell me of you, only let me say something of my day in return.”

And with that he was gone. Perhaps on a journey to foreign lands, foreign walls, foreign hands at least. His shoes once dusty seem shiny and new, and I couldn't have polished them myself. His rosy cheeks strain and his eyes pierce a new rhythm. They are the portal of all understanding. His body stiff and cold; how could he feel the breeze of the day or the raspy affections of a cat? Stuck to his platform, the little soldier, his coat of black, bordered with red. His musket he holds in position; a strap circling wide his shoulder. Never to move, never to push or shove or give movement to anything else. Never to tell his tale; not until I was given my new posting. Full of light and so suddenly darkness, releasing a wafty smoke in the aftermath. Light is all I ever give off and my darkness is chosen by them. My gift to them, vanquished by them and replenished by them. And I wonder: are we lonely?


© Copyright 2019 Amy Griffin. All rights reserved.

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