Posted: March 5, 2013 in relationships, stories, The Way People Behave

Surely, men made of plastic can’t be hurt. from

She must have been walking for hours when she passed Davies and saw that the Hastings Inc warehouse was clearing out. Among the discards was a brilliant model, a mannequin. The blinding white man stared lifelessly out through Greek god eyes. She waited silently behind sunglasses, hiding behind a pillar until the workers left. Quitting time came and she snuck past the wire fence. She snatched the body and quickly hailed a cab. There she sat beside the six-foot android, not paying attention to the taxi driver’s askance glances. I’m an artist, she said with her eyes before ascending the hill to her apartment building, the plastic man tucked securely under her arm.

He could not freely stand, so she leaned him upright in the corner. She started to think of what kind of art project she could do with him. Over the next few weeks, his forward-staring plastic body inspired all sorts of thoughts. She poured these thoughts into her writing, photography and dance. Angel wings, she thought. Black angel wings and tattoos. Tribal. Yessss…

One day she saw that he was starting to fall over. She rushed over and blocked him from falling. His body twisted into her grasp, and she realized how wrong it seemed that she was pressing his white body against the wall, her lips so close to pushing against his. She jerked back suddenly and let him fall back into the wall. No. Dear god no.

That’s when she saw it. There before her eyes was a tiny chip between his lips. She picked at it. The paint came off easily enough. She revealed his real color. He was actually a beautiful dark olive color under layers of white paint. She ran to her kitchen and grabbed a knife. Bit by bit she picked away until she had uncovered his entire face. She chipped paint all the way down his neck, over his chest and torso, past his hips and down his legs. He was mostly flesh now, except for a stripe of white on each inner thigh.

She had worked so hard to get the paint off, but these two strips just weren’t coming clean. She picked and pulled. They were fused into his flesh. She got worked up. It was the kind of frenzy that had pushed everyone out of her life and left her alone with her art all these years. Her obsessive fury did not stop until she had dug her knife deep into the flesh of his thigh. Breathing heavily now, she collapsed on the floor. What have I done?

This was a mistake. She never should have gotten involved. Now she had invested herself into something that would never reach its completion. Furthermore, she had dug deeply into the plastic man a scar that could never heal. She considered just leaving him on the street and abandoning this foolish pursuit. She decided instead to dissolve her stresses in an aimless walk.

She descended her stairs and walked out into the cool air. Soon, she happened upon a stationery store. She walked in, unsure of why. She looked at oil pastels, which she could afford with her last four dollars. Then she saw something else: a nice little kit of whittling tools. She bought the kit and ran her purchase back up to her apartment.

There was the Greek god, staring blankly into the wall. She dropped to her knees and scraped away the paint stripes from his thighs. She looked at the deep scar. She knew that there was nothing she could do. The scar would always be there. She decided then that he would be there to remind her of the consequences of acting with haste. She clothed him in vermilion and midnight blue. She painted on his tattoos and never tried to fix his scar. She gave him dark wings, and when the work was complete, she smiled, and a tear crept down her face. She turned out her dim light.

Goodnight, sweet god.


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