Baby Doll ~ Part Two of Three

Rachel Devine(Baby Doll drinks thoughtfully.)

There are scheming blondes, bottle blondes and ditsy blondes who walk away with all the gold. I don’t know about you but my Oscar acceptance speech is graceful and steady—none of that cry-baby blubbering and thanking everyone you ever met. Being an escort gives me this calm alter ego and going on dates and acting in that way where no one ever says ‘cut’ means I have to think on my feet. Fortunately, the story is the same each time so you get good at improvising. It’s kind of crazy, actually.

(Baby Doll adjusts her sash.)

When I’m loaded, I can still hear the applause, smell the bouquet of roses in my arms and feel the pinch of that tiara on my perfectly coiffed head. Those were the days when winning seemed inevitable.

(Suddenly quite serious.)

Where do we get the idea that holding down anger is a good idea? Some nights, I could set my chair on fire from the heat of pushing down what can’t be said out loud but a job is a pay check, if you follow. It’s all about the right pair of tits. For most men, straight men I should say, dating is nothing more than a tit-hunt. They weed through the sea of possibilities, looking for that magical pair that will fill the birthday lingerie and if he’s really lucky? Remind him of his mama. People say I’m the kind of girl who lights up a room with my headlights. It’s all about confidence versus attitude and we glamour girls walk that line every day. I spend most of my daydreams trying to think of new ways to delight men who are already sticky from eating too much honey.

(Baby Doll takes a long drink from the flask.)

Sometimes? In the middle of the night, when I’m lying there in the dark, waiting for the pills to kick in, I think about the movie somebody is going to make about this wild ‘ole life of mine. Stories? I’ve got a whole bag of stories, full of triple-X details trickling down the chin of a tarnished glamour girl. Everyone said I could’ve been an actress for real but I didn’t believe them so I come up with cool movie ideas instead but lately, all I can think about is the smut that’s in my head and I don’t think anybody is gonna give me an Academy Award for that stuff. There’ve been plenty of freaky experiences, believe you me and I’m sticky in my own juices. ‘Rinse me off?’ I coyly asked. Boy! Did they ever. Might as well have stuck a sign around my neck that said: ‘food.’

(Baby Doll adjusts her coiffured hair.)

A tipsy blonde, a broken blonde—don’t want to go there. A bright, blue-eyed blonde, a chipped blonde, a dishy blonde, every-year-sees-a-few-new-blondes. Fresh blondes, hot, horny blondes with too much eye makeup—you wouldn’t believe the trouble I go to making flesh feel fine. Pretty? Meet fresh but that rarely adds up to the truth. If women like me were treated with more respect and just accepted as we actually are? There would be no need for therapy. There’s not much that can’t be healed in a post-coital embrace. It’s what keeps a lot of them from the Void.

(Baby Doll holds back a sob.)

Something I hadn’t counted on though—I got tired. A little magic to those around me but nothing changes—what d’ya do then? Don’t worry about me though. I smile through the pain and laugh through the tears but there’s still this . . . how can I describe it? It’s this snivelling, clutching part of myself that I despise. It’s like she’s a different model of me—like an entirely different, weaker chick and when I surrender to her ways and actually try to get close to someone, that weak bitch always loses out. Not in the short-term, mind you because Lame Chick isn’t very bright and only wants what’s easy to take and the weirdest thing? I actually know better but can’t seem to stop myself once she kicks in. Outside of all of that—I am claimed and safe, all those warm hands and sweaty bodies protecting me, keeping everything away that is dark and nasty. Nothing dangerous can come near.

(Baby Doll comes to her senses.)

Embarrassed? That’s been a while. ‘I blush, therefore I am.’

(Baby Doll takes a swig to wipe the slate clean.)

I shoulda stopped right there. Shoulda just followed my Number One rule and kept my Big Mouth shut but this guy was so fucking smug. He said I’d never get any media coverage on my own and everyone thought I was just some porno chick trying to get a SAG card. Maybe I am but I’ll be the judge of that. That asshole was really pissing me off and I told that motherfucker he was just jealous. That’s when he told the driver to pull over and he threw me out of the car and that’s why I’m here, getting drunk with you. I don’t always realize the limits of my own pussy power and seeing as how I’m the type of girl who’s at their best when someone adores them, I was kinda shit out of luck.

(Baby Doll drinks for courage.)

That’s life. Everyone is cool and easy during the sweet times but how will they behave when the chips are down? That’s the million-dollar question.

(Baby Doll drinks to make her point.)

A pink blonde, a filthy, dirty blonde—keep ‘em coming, I can handle anything right now. Let me tell you something for nothing, ‘cause we’re talking here, am I right?

(Baby Doll spills some of the booze down the front of her.)

Shit! Don’t you hate when that happens? Like I was saying, I started thinking about my biopic last night and it was all that dirty stuff but with you people here? Right now?

(Baby Doll, now quite tipsy, pulls a Polaroid camera from the suitcase.)

Like some plastered stranger next to you on a train, I have a story to tell. It’ll be all about what happens to people when they let their freak flag fly—they pay a price and I don’t really give a shit if you wanna hear it or not. People are always telling us ‘be original, be yourself.’ Ha! Try it and see what happens. Do you have any idea what this world does to its heroes?

(Baby Doll takes a picture of the audience and shakes it as it is developing.)

Bet that doesn’t turn out.

(She throws the photo aside.)

A blonde with a story, a blonde with a terribly sad story actually but does that mean shit to any of you people?! When somebody falls apart, you could care less, right? Well I’m a dying breed—a hooker with a heart. Forget about the gold part. That’s only in the wallet or in the high-count threads of the sheets where the dirty deeds go down but not in the sex. Magic is extra and not for sale extra, but win-your-heart, by-your-side extra— forever extra and that ain’t exactly round the corner when you sell it. I just gotta say this one more thing—I told the truth. They fired my heart-shaped ass for it but I didn’t lie and I could have—easily and now the images flash through my mind—I just can’t seem to get a pen to write them down before I forget them. There’s been many a crazy night

(She fishes some Polaroid pictures from the suitcase.)

Believe you me: this is pulling out some pretty ragged credentials. Orange bed spread. . . a naked girl, somehow trying to keep her insides from spilling out. That orange bedspread—fuck that!

(She throws the photo to the ground.)

We all know how that story ends.Michael Whitehead

{Photographs by Rachel Devine & Michael Whitehead}


Fresh Poetry ~ “On Rumours of Eternal Recurrence”

Matthew Johnson - Eternal RecurranceThis is the touchstone:
Identify dangers to your soul-source
from sacred streams
boggle the mind:
No supernatural reincarnation;
dual principles of material & spiritual
involving presumptuous encroachments
on the Mysteries & powers of Sequence;
unacceptable to the majority that
each lesson is a process, with its own unique aspects
& plausible denials.
Absconded by filthy dreamers;
by economic, political,
military changes,
the very tippy-top
engorged exploding stars
from the highest points of antiquity;
slaves toil beneath invisible, cruel masters
who came down from the heavens to
siege by storm,
siege by blockade
the rational identification,
beloved & admired;
working in batches:
to whom, by whom
for whom.

Constant devotion to the Light
will reduce
images of violence—those instances when
faith in the slow burn fades & memory
an extension of this forum,
crowded into this vision,
somewhat of a legend—the luckiest
all-knowing ego,
a complicated ally
fresh from the dream of life,
sits in some gurgling crock,
slimy & bored, waiting
to be called upon;
slowly, over centuries
will open again.

Resist all folly of deceived
expectation—shatter preconception,
both blessing & curse towards
the nature of such ultimate
which forms the duality defining existence.
Some parts are easy to understand—
much exaltation!
Tapping into the same appropriate knowledge:
clairvoyant vision to influence
the present;
dreams of both success & failure
explained to the bewildered how
you can only be responsible for all
you can
be responsible

Scientific chemistry is cold & true;
magical chemistry
complex & absurd.
Who is calling the shots here?
Repent, to whom, for how long
One can only hope
the pendulum of puritan self-expression swings
after the vernal equinox,
neglected emotionally
& all
those responsible shall be
held accountable—how they are
rendered by this craft.
How the beasts do groan.
See beyond
but blind to the full spectrum available
this sacred breech, located finally despite
the secrecy involved:
Being prepared establishes
no priority over the Divine.

Calculating the echoes of influence:
Before the advance into battle,
as in any war,
we establish a period of concentration.
Money—the gilded dust
clears putrid skies of molestations; money
in possession of a malignant imagination,
burnt for warmth;
channels of purification lining the
kingdom of justice,
where ancient priests,
lavished with praise & positive reinforcement,
sold to the game, for Pete’s sake—then the English
came along…

How many hours; how many

{Illustration by Matthew Johnson}

Quotation from Virginia Woolf

VirginiaWoolf“To pursue truth with such an astonishing lack of consideration for other people’s feelings, to rend thin the veils of civilization so wantonly, so brutally, was to her so horrible an outrage of human decency that, without replying, dazed and blinded, she bent her head as if to let the pelt of jagged hail, the drench of dirty water, bespatter her rebuked. There was nothing to be said.”


~ Virginia Woolf


{Photograph by George Charles Beresford}

Baby Doll ~ Part One of Three

CBS - 3(Baby Doll flirtatiously enters the playing area, carrying an old-fashioned portable transistor radio. She is wearing a one-piece bathing suit, a beauty pageant sash and a sparkling tiara. She totters around the perimeter of the stage, making sure everyone sees what a groovy dancer she is and can read what is written on her pretty sash. When she is satisfied with her performance, she switches off the radio.)

Baby Doll: A platinum blonde, a dizzy blonde, a sexy blonde. ‘Blondes have more fun,’ you know. Blondes for every day of the week but eventually you’re gonna come to the conclusion that there’s only one real  blonde and that’s Baby Doll blonde. That’s me, you guys—a spoiled, naughty, pig-tailed former beauty queen who loves to screw! Do I need a spanking for saying that? Have I been a bad girl?

(Baby Doll bends over to reveal her panties to the crowd.)

What turns the motor of your mind, honey? Bet I could figure it out, if you gave me half a chance. I’m a professional at doing that and it makes me kind of goofy how much easier these big tits have made my life. It’s kind of like I’m a royal queen or something. Every evening, I paint my bee-sting lips to match the shade of the muted trumpets in a swing band; I pluck my eyebrows clean and sexy, then shake my Pilates-toned ass into some slinky little dress that I know is going to turn every eye in the room.

(Baby Doll adjusts her tiara and smiles brightly at the crowd.)

Don’t be fooled by appearances, folks. I might not walk it but I am a wise Baby Doll. Some people will find it hard to believe that a bright, empowered young woman could fall into such a trap. This story is not for them. It’ll be aimed at people who like seeing successful people suffer. There’s something in that for you—I’d bet on it. I used to be smart, you know? Won the gold medal in freshman English. It hung there cheap and plastic between budding breasts. Back before the time when I knew how to do amazing things with my tongue. Right around that famed night when my cherry burst in a sweaty frenzy—when I thought I’d met my prince. I told him sex would spoil what we had & what we had was very special. What happened to him? Gone—they all go. So sad. The saddest thing of all is that I learned a very important lesson but I forgot it straight away.

(Baby Doll pauses to reflect.)

I even went to college for a few semesters. That’s when the whole pageant thing got going and I was a pretty good student but one thing leads to another… you know how it is. It was my heyday—arms spread wide, showing a little leg on the parade float. Sassy, but never over-eager. I don’t understand why sex has such a bad rap. I just love boys. Boys are fascinated with holes—digging them, filling them up—mechanical sex, in & out, building to a single combustion. Fuck me, fuck me, fuck me! You boys think you have it all figured out, don’t you? A few of your best years in a pack, riding high and free but one by one you get picked up by those high school spiders—hungry for husbands and matching china. Who’s trophy are you today, bitch? I’m nothing like those girls. I’m real to the tits, baby. Well, not really but you know what I mean.

(Baby Doll adjusts her ample cleavage.)

At what point does the past become history? The conflicted confessions of a desperate beauty—that could be my story. Don’t worry about me—I come from a long line of crazy broads but my own search for stardom began once I experienced its effects. The plan was: I’d take acting classes, not for the craft but for the contacts and when I finally landed a role, I’d dive into it with such gusto and commitment that the critics would notice, even though the role wasn’t that big. I’d get a better agent, a more powerful one, shuffle my friends around, all the while pouring through scripts, hunting, tirelessly hunting for that breakthrough role until it finally arrives and I earn a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress and then on to win the Oscar! During the acceptance speech, I say something wacky and make it into the annals of Oscar history trivia. I was to become a legend in my own time.

(Baby Doll takes out a compact.)

Pat, pat, pat and the blackheads vanish.

(She laughs at her reflection and snaps the compact closed.)

All those men who date jack-in-the-box girls? The ones whose cranks you have to turn and turn until—bingo! The sweet spot? Know what I’m saying? I am not one of those girls. Between you and me, I love the way someone looks at you once you’ve popped their cork. Men like girls like me ‘cause they don’t have to waste any time guessing how its all gonna turn out at the end of the night. There’s no suspense with Baby Doll cause she puts it right up front. It reminds me of how when I was a kid, my mom used to read those boring historical romances and she was always trying to get me to read them too but I could never get past those hunks on the covers. It was decided very early that when I grew up, I was gonna be the chick in the ripped bodice—beautiful, bent-back by some muscular stud and loving every second of it!

(Baby Doll put the makeup back in her purse and removes a lovely silver flask.)

There are all sorts of blondes—Cadillac blondes, with their leashes and fancy jewels; Jacuzzi blondes with their velvet mouths and fried split ends; blondes on blondes rolling together in tangled, sweaty sheets. . .

(Baby Doll checks her reflection in the flask.)

One thing about being this hot? It takes a lot of energy. More than you might think. That’s why pretty girls needs to be fluffed like pillows—those good looks have to come from somewhere and if you’re expected to keep your mouth shut all the time, I don’t care how blonde your Baby Doll roots are, eventually? You start catching on to the ways things really are. Girls like me always know what’s going on. Put it this way: a successful evening for a girl like me is all about finding the secret fetish. If I am able to unlock the unmet desire in a man’s heart, I’ll be the new drug and that’s what it’s all about in my world. I’m an expert at reading between the lines.

(Baby Doll toasts the audience with her flask.)

Actually? I kinda enjoy being misread. I like the feeling of being able to rip the rug out from under people whenever I want to but will sit around looking sexy and let everybody underestimate me. Pretty and pert I watch the room and the weird thing is that the more I listen to tricks talk about me like I wasn’t actually a real person—like I don’t actually have feelings and am only into this for the dirty shit and enjoy it all as much as they do—the more I play along with that bullshit, the more I become this horrible, Frankenstein-like creature—cheery but grotesque. You wouldn’t believe the garbage my ‘customers’ talk and then having to smile at them and the other working girls, the other whores, with their competitive small talk, all smart-pretending-to-be-stupid; all stupid, pretending–to-be smart? My people and what we all have in common is that we know we’ll leave each other in the gutter, in a flash when the time comes but for the time being, we’ll smile and play along.

(Baby Doll swigs again.)

Pretty girls aren’t always dumb, you know. We’re just not allowed to be heavy so it’s kinda hard to dig into a deep conversation. That’s probably why I’m a bitch sometimes. It so obvious when I think about it that way. I have to tweak and tease my everything; make myself one of those plucked, moisturized and lip-sticked packages. One of the ‘pretty girls.’ When did that happen? ‘cause it wasn’t always like that. My pretty face promised nothing but it did open some doors so why not cash in when you’ve got the chance. Show affection, get rejection. That’s my motto, proven time and time again to be true and there are a lot of people out there that enjoy wasting someone else’s love. So what if I happen to be one of them? It’s not my fault that little tidbit of self-knowledge changed my life. I knew my good looks were a mask I hid behind. Who wouldn’t?

(Baby Doll takes another swig and swishes it around inside her mouth before swallowing.)

Masks are expensive to the true person behind them because they both excuse you but prevent you from being anything else. Once you dress as the slutty French maid and everybody thinks you’re fierce, it’s hard to give that up. What else could I do? I had little to offer suburbia ‘cause I knew there was more to me than domestic drudgery. Keeping quiet helped.

Meadham Kirchoff

{Images by CBS-3 & Meadham Kirchoff}