I am a puppet. A hat glued to my head, bright red feather wisping proudly as the air swishes past the wood finish. My overalls of brilliant blue corduroy, and shiny buttons. I look brand new. I look unused, in excellent condition.
The child walks up. He looks, eyes glistening in awe.
“For me?” He says.
“Yes for you”
He looks, he searches, and slowly his smile fades. He gets frustrated, something unexpected is happening and he doesn’t know what to do.
“The puppets not a puppet.” He says.
“What do you mean?”
“He’s not a puppet!” He replies.
“He’s a puppet dear.”
“No he’s not!” He glares.
A few more moments pass. The child reassesses. He wasn’t wrong. This puppet isn’t a puppet.
“where is It” He thinks, “Its not here and it should be.” The child looks once more. His hand can’t find it. No depression no compartment, nothing.
“Where’s the hole?” he demands.
“He doesn’t have a hole.”
“He doesn’t have a hole.”
“But he’s a puppet?
“But he doesn’t have a hole?”
Disbelief. Did he hear right? Not have a hole? What kind of puppet doesn’t have a hole? He doesn’t have strings , rods, cables, there’s no remotes. What then?
“How does he work?” he asks.
“How does he work.” He repeats.
“I don’t understand.”
“How does he work! Where’s the hole, the strings? He’s a puppet! He isn’t doing what puppets do!” he yells
“And what do puppets do?”
“They… you know.”
“They… they’re told… told what to do. He’s not doing what I want him to do.”
“What do you want him to do?”
“I want him dance. He’s not a good puppet if he doesn’t dance.”
“Why don’t you ask him?”
“You don’t ask puppets things.” He retorts.
“Well he’s that kind of puppet.”
“What kind of puppet?”
“The kind of puppet who requires asking.”
A broken puppet. A tarnished puppet. A different puppet. He does as he chooses. He…I am not an automaton. I am not here to cater to you and I do not do what I do because of anyone but myself. I respect those who respect. And for all your attempts to waylay my actions onto motives not my own, it is you who are the problem. You lay comfortably in your world of self-delusion, you convince yourself its not you, that its me. I laugh, and you should to. If only you could step outside of yourself, if only you could hear yourself. Those same attributes, the ones you despise, they are but a reflection of you. It does not matter that you criticize those attributes in me first, because they still exist in you. It does not matter that you feel better when you believe me a mime, a parrot only saying back to you what you said to me, because the evil you fight still exists in you. I laugh, and so should you. Hypocrites to the end, you and I.
But its okay, this the way it’s been from the dawn of days and it’s the way it will stay until the end of days. Why can’t it change? Because no one will let it, and I am done disillusioning myself into believing it will change. I am done taking it in silence, because that only serves to make it worse. I am done fighting it, because that only serves to make it worse. I am done with double standards. There is nothing I can do, because any action, even the absence of action is wrong. In your pluralistic world of hate I have no option but to be myself, because it is the only reminisce of sanity left for me.
But still you push and you push. And finally you get what you want, a monster. Because you think that if I resemble something inhuman, that something you’ve been accusing me of then perhaps you will be justified in your actions. I am but a means to and end for you, I am your refusal, your confirmation that you are the ultimate right. I don’t laugh, and neither should you. Never again shall I allow myself to subtend my ethics, my cherished morals for you. Find your answers elsewhere. Seek your selfish desires elsewhere. Delude your self-elsewhere. I gave myself to you, and you spat in my face. Don’t come near me again, don’t pretend its okay. Maybe one day I can forgive you. But only after I forgive myself.
I am sorry my puppet master, I am not you, I will not do for you, I am my own entity. You will not see it; you will refuse to see it. But…
What is a broken puppet… but a real boy?