I sat at my art desk drawing a wooden model man. I had him posed as if he were frozen, mid-air, while skipping down the road. One arm flailed towards the heavens, the other reached out as if it would make him land an inch farther, both of his legs stretched as if jumping a hurdle.
That’s when I heard the voice. “Why?” It was calm, quiet, mysterious and yet manly. Almost whispered, with a childlike tone.
I looked around, confused.
“All I want is to be positioned naturally, just once.”
I strained my ears, listening for the source. It sounded as if it were right in front of me, coming from the wooden man, and yet, it also seemed to come from deep inside of me as well.
“What do you mean?” I asked, prying more words so as to detect the source.
“You always position me in unnatural poses. Jumping, dancing, walking, but never how a real person would jump, dance or walk. Always different from a human.”
It was definitely coming from the wooden man.
“It’s the part you play, my friend,” I said to him, turning the invisible face towards me so I could see if there were any visible changes.
“I just want to look human. I’m supposed to represent one. Why make me stand so many ways, and yet none of them make me feel more like you?”
“So what, I should sit you on the couch in front of the tv? Should I put you to sleep at night, under the covers?”
“You’re mocking me. All I want is to be like you. And you mock me.”
I turned him away from me a bit.
“I guess I never thought of you as a sentient being before. How was I to know this was what you wanted?”
“You should have known. You should have guessed.”
“Well, I apologize. How would you like to be posed? Your wish is granted. Tell me.”
The wooden statue failed to respond, trying to decide, I assumed. I picked him up so he knew I was serious. Finally he responded.
“Sitting in a chair. That’s what I would like.”
“Should I put you on an actual chair, or just position you as if you were sitting on one.”
“Those chairs are much too big for me. So I guess just a pretend chair.”
I picked him up and bent his legs, his back, his arms, and granted his wish.