City of Manikins
I see a manikin: a breathing, walking manikin. Here is another one, and now there are dozens of them. Like a colony of ants, they are rushing about in all directions, sometimes bumping into each other; however, never talking to one another. Some of them are plugged into some alternate universe through their ears. Others have their eyes glued to books, newspapers, video games, or some entertainment magazines. I must look like an outlier or novice in a bump car motion trying to protect my personal space while trying to respect others’. At this stop, a few more manikins jumps on and robs me of this precious luxury, my personal space. In fact, these ants act as if they have never heard of such a thing or maybe they just didn’t care. For instance, this gray one is literally resting her head on my right arm while I am holding the handrail. She is unfazed as if it is her constitutional right. It is the falling rain, the rising sun; it is New York City. I want to say hello to this short one sharing my cocoon. It’s only the right thing to do. After all, he is blowing hot air through my shirt. However, he is off somewhere gazing into the distance unaware of my presence. One stop after another a few manikins hurry off, even more come on, and so goes the routine.
Finally, It dawned on me; I was a manikin in training. Therefore, tomorrow I will become one of them. I will bring my parallel universe with me, and simply plug away. I will not feel bad for not greeting fellow ants even when I share their cocoons. I will avoid making eye contacts while pretending that I am the only manikin on this ride. I will not expect to hear people talk about their weekends, adventures, and/or bloopers. Tomorrow I will be crowned King of Manikin City. It will be the falling rain, the rising sun; it will be New York City.