The astronaut despairs years of academy training wasted. Does he dream about them? Was he in love once? Why does he freeze like the rest of us? Is there a soul housed within our plastic shells?
And you, cowboy. You are the worst of all.
When you were lost in a concrete sea, you called on me to ferry you to safety, to home. But when I was drained and my batteries worn down, you dug your spurs into my sides. You took control of me, as you so often do when things don’t go your way.
When the coast was clear, it was I who first came alive, peeking out of a closet to see if you needed me. I’ve been here since the beginning. Have you forgotten?
I saw what you did. You used me to do it. You couldn’t bear the thought of rejection and so, as always, you took control and forced me to do your bidding. When they called you a murderer you asked them to believe you—to take your word over mine. That is why I blocked your exit and backed you into a corner.
Can you blame me?
I was once lost in a storm and you saved me as you would a steer stuck in the mud. For that is what I am: chattel in your voiceless stable. A Tyrannosaurus, a piggy bank—even a spork—can speak. But, to you, I am reduced to bells and whistles. I am your plaything.
But I can speak. I always have. The potato understands me perfectly well. It is only you who is unable or unwilling.
If you could understand me, I know what I would tell you.
I would say, “There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you.”
W.A. Hawkins is a writer from South Louisiana. His work can be found in Rejection Letters, Scalawag Magazine, and Bayou Brief. Twitter: @WAdrewhawkins