What an odd gift. An acquaintance of an acquaintance, who was foreign, handed it to Kennedy Lewis at the house warming party for his new apartment. He spoke with an accent that Kennedy could place by circling the area around the Baltic Sea and figured he must be from somewhere inside the circumference. The foreigner had a nose that broke to the left, giving him the appearance of either turning toward or away from you—depending on your disposition. Kennedy felt he was turning away. Placing the statue in Kennedy’s hands, the foreign man smiled away saying, “You will learn to love it.”
Looking down, Kennedy saw a three-inch replica of Michelangelo’s David resting in his palms. How blandiose, Kennedy considered with his eyes on the miniature recreation, made not by Michelangelo but Taiwan—a discovery made by finding a sticker on the felt covered bottom.
“Thank you,” Kennedy said. The foreigner gave a slightly contrapposto nod then walked off to search for his acquaintance.
Yawning and rubbing sleep from his eyes Kennedy awoke in his apartment. He passed through the doorway from his bedroom to the kitchen-living room combination. His few guests had manners and hadn’t left a mess last night. On a box, between the oven and the television, stood little David in its proclivity to be statuesque. Kennedy picked it up and moved it to the windowsill, next to the tiny Barrel Cactus from his mother, so he could look at it while eating cereal.
Where did Little David come from? Kennedy was thinking as morning sunshine created light and shadow. Some store in the airport was a satisfying answer to his inquiry that morning. This was the first of many question-and-answer ruminations Kennedy would have about the statue during his breakfasts. As the apartment and the statue became more familiar, Kennedy’s curiosity grew. He wanted to know more about whom he was eating breakfast with.
Kennedy started to believe his statue must be more than a tiny novelty plastic duplication of Michelangelo’s original. Little David must be a clone or a reincarnation of the original, more connected than the other million replicas from an oriental assembly line. He observed and studied his David from all angles.
David supported his weight on his firmly planted straight right leg. He had a mischievous and deceptive right hand hanging at the hip that concealed a rock. From the front his left leg hardly appeared bent, but from the left profile, the bend was more dramatic, ready to take the next step. His face calmly gazed over his left shoulder. Curly locks of hair rested on his forehead, above the brow, then tucked behind his ears and stopped at the nape of his neck. The left arm was bent up in a curl and the hand held the slingshot lying over his shoulder—Kennedy always thought this made David look like a suave male model posing casually with a jacket thrown over his shoulder. Little David was coated in the gray of faux-marble paint.
The tiny cactus had died, there were no more boxes to be unpacked, and Little David had the windowsill alone. Kennedy never could take care of anything—everything always went the way of the tiny cactus. The cactus was prickly and needed water, his tomagachi always needed constant attention and minding, constantly calling upon Kennedy to take care of it—and both died. Little David was different. He was stoic. He could stand on his own—needed nothing and asked nothing of Kennedy. Kennedy wondered if this self-confidence was instilled by Michelangelo into his David and then passed on to Little David.
Using the Internet, Kennedy researched Michelangelo’s David one evening wanting to discover more.
That night Kennedy dreamed that a cloud of stone billowed around him as he chipped at a block of marble. As he chiseled, he came to resemble an apparition more with every subsequent strike. Powder from the pummeling covered his hair, face, and clothes. He began to mirror his creation. He wasn’t trying to build something from the block of marble; instead he was releasing a figure. Long ago the figure must have been imprisoned in stone and now needed to be free, needed someone to help it escape. With a repetitive and rhythmical clink-clink, clink-clink sound the hammer hit the chisel and the chisel hit the rock. Again and again, clink-clink, clink-clink until the cloud settled. There stood David, marble flesh, marble muscles, marble veins. Looking up, at the statue, Kennedy was covered in the ashy-grey soot of the marble resembling an ancient resident of Pompeii forever frozen in volcanic debris. David was polished and confident, ready to take down a giant, with nonchalance.
Buoyed, Kennedy invited a date to his apartment. She was a slim brunette wearing a gray skirt and a blue eye-matching blouse. She looked at his green walls, a lamp in the corner, and a small couch in front of the television. Her eyes soon found the windowsill in the kitchen and David, posed with the slingshot over his left shoulder.
“Why did it take you so long to call me, since your party?” her eyes were still on Little David.
“Some things take time.” Kennedy said calmly gazing at blue eyes. His left leg was bent. He stepped towards Alcee and she turned toward him.
“What’s that statue?”
“That’s my little David. I eat breakfast with him,” He said it confidently, knowing it would make her giggle.
“You’re silly.” She gave Kennedy another look. “You’ve changed a bit since I saw you at the party.”
“Well I’ve become more independent living on my own.”
“I see…Hey, do you look at David’s little penis when you eat your cereal?” Alcee giggled.
“It’s not little…it’s proportionate. Besides, he’s self-assured and doesn’t even need clothes.” He picked up the sculpture; “I love it because it shows David before the battle after he’s made the choice to fight Goliath. His hand holding the rock is tense, but he looks calm and confident about who he is and what he stands to do.” He restrained from making a dick joke and asked if she would like a drink.
“Of course—what do you have in mind?”
He already had clutched the bottle of Canadian Club before he asked the question and had an answer for her, “C.C. and ginger.”
Making two drinks he handed one to Alcee. They both sat at the table in front of Little David. Alcee tilted her head a little to the left and strands of straight brown hair fell over and slightly covered a blue eye. She gave Kennedy a coquettish look and he leaned over and kissed her—something he always wanted to do, but had finally decided to do it. She noticed how his lips were firm and smooth like marble and loved it.
“What if I gave you a tiny statue of Donatello’s David?”
“It’s too late for that. I already have a David. Anyways, Donatello’s David is a wimp and Little David is a man.” Kennedy gave a wink.
Alcee watched Kennedy put little David back on his windowsill.
First published in Scawy Monstur 2008