Reflections on Life and Performance Art on the First Anniversary of My Birth

This is a fictional story, of course. The cupcake icing color doesn't match up, among other discrepancies. But this picture is great anyway. (Photo by Jess Ward)

This is a fictional story, of course. The cupcake icing color doesn't match up, among other discrepancies. But this picture is great anyway. (Photo by Jess Ward)

I feel like my whole life has been but a rehearsal for this moment. All those hours spent toiling in solitude–well, as much solitude as a guy can get when there’s always a giant person chasing you around and interrupting your process–are about to pay off. It is finally my time to shine.

I’ll be honest; it’s been a difficult run for me so far. I was more or less paralyzed for months: a prisoner in my own body. I was routinely and thoroughly humiliated by my giant Overlords. Stuffed into ill-fitting garments that said things like, “My Mommy is Tired.” Two questions: Who? And how do you think I felt? Raise your hand if you had a stomach the size of an avocado pit. I would’ve been the only one in this house raising my hand at the time, but what do you know, I couldn’t. Waking up to eat every hour wasn’t exactly my idea of a good time, you know. Not to mention the repetitive cuisine.

And don’t get me started on the forced nudity. I mean, have you ever heard of discretion? I can’t even count the number of times my bottom has been bared in the trunk of a car, on a stranger’s rug, or on an indescribably uncomfortable park bench (ugh, and can you say drafty?) And it’s not because I can’t count, or rather, that I don’t even know what counting is. Trust me; it’s happened a lot.

But perhaps the worst of all was the time Overlord #1 (the one that produces food) and Overlord #2 (the one that doesn’t) got all dressed up (i.e., put on pants for once), hauled me to a deserted field full of trees, and arranged me into various awkward poses while some other giant person smiled and cooed at me then flashed a light in my face at the most inopportune moments. I seriously thought it was over for me; I’ve seen how that movie ends.

To top it all off, just as my body began to cooperate, the Overlords began to squash my every foray into the creative arts. Barrel roll acrobatics off the couch? Squashed. Synchronized swimming in the little pool in the kitchen the furry thing drinks out of? Squashed. Sculpting with wet wipes? Squashed. Well, except for when Overlord #2 (the one that has hair on its face and looks vaguely like a raccoon) fell asleep for ten seconds while I was awake. Good times!

So you can imagine my surprise. Here I am, seated in my throne, surrounded by a crowd of giant persons smiling at me suspiciously and anxiously awaiting my next move. The Overlords are here; so too are the ones with the saggy skin I like to grab and twist on occasion; and a few other faces I vaguely remember from thankfully short, but all too close, encounters sometime in the past.

Suddenly, the mob begins to sing at me (terribly) and a muffin-like object slathered with garish red paste reminiscent of Overlord #1’s lip paint and topped with a flaming stick (can you believe that?) appears on my tray. Overlord #1 (again, the one that produces food!) quickly extinguishes the flame, just as she has extinguished my joie de vivre for much of this year, removes the smoldering stick, and steps away. The crowd looks on eagerly, ready to pounce. I reach out a hand hesitantly and dip a finger into the red paste. The crowd rejoices!

Something is clearly amiss. I decide to press my luck; when I am on stage, I am nothing if not fearless. I gather the muffin in both hands, bring it to my mouth, and before I lose my nerve…smash! I push and rub the muffin and paste over every inch of my head and torso: the crowd is frenzied. I let my head fall back against my chair and revel in the adulation. My audience! My people!

This piece originally appeared on the wonderful Higgs Weldon.