Quotation from Manly P. Hall

Willem Goeree“Blessed are those who can profit by the experiences of
others, and can add to that which has already been
built, their inspiration made real, their dream
made practical.”

 

~ Manly P. Hall

 

 

 

{Illustration by Willem Goeree}

Baby Doll ~ Part Three of Three

Adolph B. Rice Studio(Baby Doll drinks to keep rolling.)

This all reminds me of one time, back in high school. I was dating this guy—some loser by most accounts but I was still in my shell back then and had to take it where I could get it. Anyway—this guy who’s name I can’t even remember right now, he leans over to his buddies at this pizzeria, he leans right over me and by way of a compliment he says to his buddies, ‘People are going to think I picked-up a hooker.’ He meant it to be sweet and I guess it kinda stuck with me. Later on, like some beaten-down dog who remembers each of its abusers, I screwed every one of the guys at that table, then dropped them on the spot! It was quite a triumph in the girl’s locker room and that was when my star started to rise. How was I going to top that?

(Baby Doll drinks to remember.)

Like every teenage girl who grows up paying the price of pretending to be okay when you know you’re not, but no one around you can do a damn thing about it, survival becomes a matter of learning to use a puckered mouth, smeared in Dr. Pepper lip-gloss. How to re-capture all those forgotten moments when I was blitzed? (She holds up the photos) Highlights include: a photo of me rubbing my tatas; look—a discarded dress, the empty champagne glasses. There I am drinking the champagne. Ken. Whoa—Ken. He sat in the corner of the room where I took my dates. He represented a line—a line crossed repeatedly mind you, but Ken tried his best to remind me of that corn-fed, red neck line of decency I grew up with. My little knight-in-shining armour. Thanks Ken.

(Baby Doll kisses the photo, holding it to her chest.)

The worst is yet to come and if I haven’t lost your sympathies yet, I might with this little gem. Here’s the final Polaroid: I’m taking it from behind, with my eyes on a glass of half-full champagne, the cocaine has been gone too long and I’m starting to feel the dread that some one who is used to having their hopes dashed feels. A dull, sickening ache. Let’s not go there. Look at me… (tries to laugh.) …trying to explain my past through a pile of scattered snapshots, some frickin’ Polaroids. I was looking . . . at these fucking things, hoping. . . they might spark some. . . oh dear. . . spark some raunchy best seller hiding in me. (pause.) How was I gonna love myself and everyone else too?

(Baby Doll tosses the Polaroids aside.)

Somebody’s gonna make a movie about my life you know, even if no one believes me when I say that. Have you seen ‘The Breakfast Club?’ Remember that part where they’re all in the library, smoking a joint and opening up? That was so powerful for me when I was a kid. It gave me this hope that everyone could get along, if they really tried and had the right drugs.

(Baby Doll laughs and drinks.)

I met this producer a while back, at this big Hollywood party—a real score and he wanted to see me on a regular basis. Everybody loved me and he could tell. It just so happened he was casting for his next picture and I was exactly the type of girl he needed. It wasn’t a staring role but it would show how talented I was. He said that if we all got along real well, he’d open some doors for me.

(Baby Doll remembers fondly, smiling for happier times.)

I whipped his Hollywood ego creamy and at first it was great. He made me feel so special, like I was a big star myself. I got to meet all kinds of people and everyone was so sexy and beautiful but things would only go so far. Know what I mean? One night, I got this brilliant idea of making a horror movie but you know how the slutty ones always get knocked-off right away? In my movie, the whore would be the star! She fucks who she wants but has the brains to save her ass in the end. It was a total twist on the classic structure for horror films and I told the producer guy about it, who for now shall remain nameless, and he thought it was a great idea but we never talked about it again. Every time I tried to bring it up, he’d say ‘These things take time. Be patient.’ Then things started to get weird and he ended up taking whatever self-esteem I had, despite my job description and made a fool of me, right in front of everyone. Accused me of stealing from his wallet and that was and still is a great big fucking lie!

(Baby Doll drinks angrily.)

Part of me wants the same front row seat for their humiliation they had for mine; the other part doesn’t give a shit. Let’s face it—mine are the mistakes of every loser. Giving unconditional love and expecting it returned the same. That’s a fool’s gold. If someone has no power over you and they try to control you? Laugh in their face! God—he was the worst sex—cock the size of a child’s and I had to fake each and every orgasm, which is not usually a problem but with him? It would make my head ache for hours afterwards. God! Just thinking about him now makes me want to puke! It’s like pulling some plug inside my head and covering every memory with the shit of that rotten time. Like any good drunk, mine is the story of some bastard who screwed me. On one hand we have shallow and blind, the other? Unmanly and poisonous. Guess who won? Fuck it! What’re you gonna do? When you fuck-up, you fuck-up and blame isn’t gonna fix a thing.

(Baby Doll reflects.)

It‘s easy to be nice when things are going great but most people turn into scum bags pretty quick once the chips are down.

(Baby Doll leans towards the crowd.)

Let me tell you something for nothing: men use their feeling like women use sex—for control. Sex is different for women—we like it but aren’t controlled by it. Well. . . maybe some of us are but most women aren’t. They just do it to get what they want and men are the same with emotional things, regardless to what those bastards will tell you.

(Baby Doll decides to collect the pictures scattered around her.)

Fire: Will it fuel you or fry you? Turns out I was left to fend for myself and there wasn’t much to take care of business in the style I was accustomed. Need proof? Why just this morning I awoke next to some pock-faced trucker who looked a hell-of-a lot-better the night before, in the sparkle of sixteen gin and tonics than he did in the grey dawn light, in those piss-soaked sheets, the room still smelling of stale poppers and rancid sweat. I’m sure you don’t think ‘those kind of things,’ happen to girls like me but they do—all the time, in fact.

(Baby Doll tries not to laugh.)

That’s when it stopped. When my pussy. . . collapsed, like a worn-out stock market. Oh, that’s crass. I mean my vagina. Is that better? Allow me to introduce you to my ‘vagina.’ We’ve been through a lot together, this old snatch of mine and I. Notice how when I talk about my pussy or my ‘vagina’ it lacks some of the humour some women get by saying ‘vagina’ in public? Hey! If I wanna get creative with my kootch, I outta be allowed ‘cause there’s lots of people out there doing the exact same thing. Do I know no shame? Honey? What blows most people out of the water barely makes me flinch. I was a young girl when first stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey.

(Baby Doll takes a deep swig from her flask.)

Full-tilt, in all the wrong ways—that me for sure. Fuck it! Sensible is only gonna get you so far. Gotta crank it up once in a while, don‘t I?

(Baby Doll sings to herself, swaying from side to side.)

A broken blonde, a disposable blonde… (she laughs) Disposable. (She coughs and laughs.) Disposable, like a whore’s love.

(Baby Doll lights a cigarette & inhales deeply.)

It’s a market of good taste out there and this lady wants in. She’s got love to give and there are buyers everywhere. Trouble is: I always seem to be meeting people who are too good for what I’ve been.

(She drinks, then cries out.)

I lost some terrific friends along the way! People who looked at me with hurt and confusion. Know how like. . . when things are more embarrassing when you have to face them? At the time, they seem hilarious and alive but when you sober up? When you sober up, all those decisions seem so much more humiliating in the light of day. In that light there’s no magic—no powder working through that mess. Guess I don’t have the shame that makes most people change their minds. Where is disgrace when you need it?

(Baby Doll looks into the flask.)

Fuel for those last few inches. Soak the depression in alcohol; light it on fire.

(Baby Doll takes a long swallow, finishes the contents and throws the flask down.)

That feeling of being screwed-down too tight between a fake smile? Not a great feeling. The last thing I remember laughing at, really laughing at—like when something that’s been locked inside breaks loose and you can finally think straight again? The last time I laughed like that was when someone said I had a brain like a bowl of chip dip. It was at this late-night coke party and I was really high. I’d gone there with some guy I’d snorted lines with at the club, and I was sitting there starting to feel the booze and wonder how the evening was going to shape-up, when this guy next to me, some rumpled business-type—weekend warrior—he leans over and tells me my brain is like a bowl of chip dip. I laughed my fuckin’ ass of at that. I have a much better idea of what he meant right now.

(Baby Doll picks the flask back up and shakes it upside down.)

Poor, sad girl—can’t fly her kite ‘cause there’s no wind. Someone wanna get me a drink? It’s true what they say about Peter Pan not wanting to grow up but what gets forgotten is that once Wendy got up in the air, she never wanted to come down.

(Baby Doll tries for one last swig from the flask.)

The dawn of a sobering drunk—it can be a real sad thing or it can be a miracle. Which is it gonna be, girlfriend? I shared my abundance and it got me nowhere. You’d better watch yourselves, folks.

(Baby Doll coughs.)

Who the fuck am I to be giving advice? I shouldn’t even be drinking, actually. Someone as screwed up as I am should just learn to keep their mouths shut—maybe take some notes.

(Baby Doll blows the crowd a big show-biz style kiss)

I love you all!

Anna Bauer

{Images by Adolph B Rice Studio & Anna Bauer}