I am cold white marble. An artist of genius gave me life. I can think and feel. Or so it seems. I cannot speak or move but that is of no concern. Imagination is not bounded by either.
I’m not lonely. Solitude or solidarity, Nietzsche or Camus. I’m torn. I prefer solitude. Statues don’t suffer fools gladly but they do suffer. Solidarity is an obligation but difficult for a statue.
I can’t move. I can’t speak. People walk past as if I don’t exist. They gawk and point. Some take me seriously. The lack of mobility and speech is compensated by longevity. Or could be.
Cats sit on my head. I hate that. I’m allergic to cats. Cats are crepuscular. They roam late at night and early in the morning. They yowl. They get on my nerves. It’s annoying.
Old men pee on my feet. It’s gross. The smell of piss persists. I like the rain, the sound of it, the soft soothing sprinkles that cover my body, the cleansing qualities. And the snow. A hard rain is another story. It wears me out. Hale is a torment.
I am appalled by graffiti. I don’t wear my emotions on my sleeve. I don’t want anyone else’s emotions plastered there either. People write terrible things on statues. Sometimes with indelible ink that’s as hard to remove as a tattoo. Statues are not complemented by tattoos.
I am not religious, political or academic. I’m an ordinary statue. I’ve watched fellow statues seek fame only to suffer. I strive for the safety of the void. Power hungry autocrats all crave space, vainglorious self aggrandizers that they are.
A blue jay just crapped on my left arm. He eats red cherries from the tree across the way. I call him Chekhov. “Beware of Hootie Pie” he says in his raspy voice. Vanya and Sasha and Masha and Spike are his friends. Like the candelabra in Chekhov’s A Work Of Art, completely nude like the marble kouros in Attica, I offend some. A close-minded idiot will arrive some day and poof, up I will sail in a cloud of puritanical smoke.
I endure the cold of night and the heat of day. I am environmentally neutral. Price is public, value private. Highest and best use is a bitch for chunks of marble that just hang around.
Children climb all over me. They grab me inappropriately. I’m too ashamed to give the details, but you can imagine. They take pictures, post them on Instagram for giggles. It’s embarrassing. They insert things in my private places—gum, love letters, sharp objects. It’s disgusting. They carelessly chip away my dignity. Without remedy, without regard. Zeno’s paradox provides scant relief for a stoic.
I watch. I listen. I wait. It’s odd that people speak to statues. Like praying. At least with statues people can see them. I have been kissed, petted, stroked, scratched, chipped, repaired, prayed to and ignored.
There is a man, distracted but passionate, who collects statues and hides them in the basement of his house. The house borders the sea. There are cracks in the basement walls. Water seeps in. The man contemplates his statues, ponders broken arms and legs, detached heads, fiddles with serious thoughts, watches the placid eyes of water statues gaze at time.