Doll, I Am | Teen Ink

Doll, I Am

November 8, 2012
By HerLittleRed BRONZE, Smithfield, North Carolina
HerLittleRed BRONZE, Smithfield, North Carolina
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Canvas cloth, rough on soft, fleshy fingertips, encloses heavy sand, sand which is from a rural town in North Carolina that is rapidly growing due to increased industrialization. Delicate white thread holds the sturdy canvas together at the seams. Orange ribbon acts as hair, a messy mop on top of a round head. Button eyes the color of green, murky ocean depths stare out from above a thin threaded mouth with one corner slightly upturned in a smirk. The ears are mere snippets of canvas, floppy and unstuffed, that peek through the frayed orange ribbons.

The doll (for that is what it is, a doll, small and child-like) wears blue pants cut from denim, with tiny pockets for tiny hands. Its shirt is white and billowy, made from silk, conforming to a female body in a flattering way. What an amazing thing art is! It turns mere canvas and thread and ribbon and buttons and denim and silk into a woman! Yet, it is just made of sand. It is really just cloth and sand.

(Stay with me, I promise there is a point, dear reader).

Watch as I disrobe the doll. I gently place the clothes on a surface where they will not easily be lost and grab a pair of scissors. The scissors are small and silver, but that is unimportant. I cut the thread ever so carefully, sand spilling out as the gap in the fabric forms and then widens. When I have cut every stitch, I pull out the stringy remnants and shake out the sand that lingers inside of the canvas in hidden crevices. I quickly pull out the orange ribbons and cut the thread that makes the mouth; in one millisecond I have sliced free the button eyes and pulled out their white, flimsy veins. All that is left is a piece of sad, person-shaped canvas.

(You, handsome, beautiful reader, are almost to the point, the long-awaited, anticipated point).

I turn the doll inside out and begin the process anew, but in reverse. I sew on a smirking mouth (for a smirk is how this doll smiles, as if it is in on a little secret, chagrinned at this newfound knowledge, yet thrilled). I attach the same dark buttons, delighting in the way they once again change from regular old buttons to bright, shiny eyes. Feeding the ribbon through holes in the scalp is my least favorite part; the ribbon is slippery between my fingers. But I persevere and the doll once again has short, orange hair. Only two things remain to finish the doll. I stuff it with the same sand, although some grains fall to the floor and are lost forever amidst the carpet; I sew it closed as I stuff it with sand, careful not to let too much spill out. I now have a naked doll, identical to the one I had before.

This time, I clothe the doll in something else. I reach into a box full of miniature, fashionable clothes and pull out three articles: black pants, a white tee shirt, and a doll-sized ace bandage (which is really part of an ace bandage that I cut to fit a tiny person-like object). I bind the doll tightly and dress it in these new clothes. The doll is no longer identical to its previous persona. The doll is now a boy.

The doll is me. The doll is not defined by gender, or sex. It is not defined by its appearance of male or female. Regardless, it is a doll, just as I am still a human, whether or not I look like a woman or a man. I am not a number. I am not a statistic. I cannot be classified by one or the other. I am a person.

I am Sara. I am Leo. I am me.

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This article has 1 comment.

Mollyblueit said...
on Jan. 7 2015 at 10:21 am
Mollyblueit, Little Rock, Arkansas
0 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

This gave me goosebumps