Quotation from Ajahn Chah





“Do everything with a mind that lets go. Do not expect praise or reward.”

~ Ajahn Chah




{Image from www.ajahnchah.org}

Baby Doll

CBS - 3(Baby Doll flirtatiously enters the playing area; carrying an old-fashioned portable transistor radio. She is wearing a one-piece bating 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 life. It’s kind of like I’m a royal queen or something. Every evening, I paint my bee-stung 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 Babydoll. 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.)

At what point does the past become history? 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.)

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 corks. 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 puts the make up back in her purse and removes a lovely silver flask.)

There 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.)

Meadham KirchoffOne 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 wanted 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.

(Baby Doll drinks thoughtfully.)

Rachel DevineThere 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 is 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 coifed 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. 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.)

Michael WhiteheadWe all know how that story ends.

(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 his 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, redneck 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. . . ohm 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 tried and had the right drugs.

(Baby Doll laughs and drinks.)

Adolph B. Rice StudioI 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, 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 embarrassing 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 empties the flask dry.)

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 by that 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!

{Artwork by CBS-3 & Meadham Kirchoff & Rachel Devine & Michael Whitehead & Adolph B. Rice Studios & Anna Bauer}