Seems like only yesterday I started working at this department store. It took only days, after we met, for her to divorce that other mannequin. Our love has only grown.
In the years since, when everyone else has gone home for the night, we are awakened to our true selves. With the florescent lights turned off, only the glow of the security lights remain, and we are alone in the gentle ambient hum of the closed women’s section.
Yes-yes, if we stay up too late, we have that unavoidable intrusion, the buzzing of a janitor’s vacuum, and I have to hasten to dress her and stand her back up. But she understands. She never gets mad.
Our love, everyone should know, is not like that 80s movie with Kim Cattrall. Ms. Cattrall was hot, but the one I love is hotter still. Looks aren’t what matter anyway – even if the factory fearfully and wonderfully made my love – it’s what inside the heart that counts. Hers, she tells me, beats only for me. She has told me on more than one wine-soaked early morning.
Cabernet Sauvignon is her favorite, and you should really see it, it’s so funny how messy she gets when she drinks. I always have to put down a towel because she dribbles, and it makes me laugh. She is perpetually herself. Never does she yearn to be something she is not. Her cries are not to the gods who made her to be born like the rest of us. What is “being alive?” she asks, and we agree, it is a series of disappointments and failures then death. Life always ends in death.
My love knows that. We’ve talked about it many times. That, if given the choice, she would have chosen to be immortal like she is now, instead of being forced to wear the gross sack of meat and water I, and the rest of those I am supposed to be attracted to and procreate with, have to wear. How awful it is, to live in this bag of decaying flesh. We the living are leaking, wrinkled, sad creatures, putting on airs to cover up our animal nature. What a charade we lead!
She, on the other hand, my molded one, will never leak. She will never wrinkle. No one will ever spritz perfume on her; smear it on her wrists and neck. She already has a perfect scent. I even call it “her scent.” Sometimes, yes, I bring in lotions and spread them on her body, and that gives her a slight twinge of a smell, even after I wash her. But I always make sure the water is never too warm. I do not want to scald her. I would never want her to know that feeling.
It’s a strange thing, isn’t it, that we are born into a world with one person – maybe a few more if we’re lucky – who will love us unconditionally. Outside of that, us beasts have to strive to gain the affection of another, then, after we’ve managed to gain their affection and trust, we will fight and cheat and lie with them, and when it’s all done, when we can’t fight or cheat or lie anymore, we will curse the name of the one whose affection we once gained. What does all this prove? Only that we want things we think we want but do not, and the things we had but gave away, those are the things we want more than anything.
What a band of deceivers and hypocrites we are. My love, though, she is not. Each night is a whole new whole love affair. Her innocence is refreshing as I undress her from the gaudy outfit my manager put her in that day. I love to, inch by inch, reveal her slim body. First loosening her belt, placing it on the floor, then unzipping her from the back and taking down her skirt. And oh, on the days when she is wearing a dress, how I cherish slipping her garment over her shoulders and letting it fall to the ground. Then I take a step back and examine her. She is so sweet. I can feel her heart pounding as I trace my fingers down her sides.
Then we…well perhaps I shouldn’t go into that. Hushed secrets between lovers, how precious they are. I know she knows them. That’s all that matters. I can see it in her eyes, which are as deep as the deepest parts of the ocean, and the way she moves, with so much passion and force, like she is doing her best to convince to me her dedication.
But there is no need for that. I have transformed into a mannequin as well. The poets will record our love.