Window Dolls

by | Dec 13, 2022 | Fiction, Issue Thirty

I see other girls like me, breathing their breath, their heads against the back seat windows, greasy imprints on the glass, their gaze on blurring buildings, boys on bikes, other cars. Chevy. Chrysler. Cutlass Supreme. We are behind our parents’ heads. For the moment, we feel clean. Young and scrubbed. Plastic peach skin, pokey no-toes, we are Barbie dolls for grubby hands to grip us round the naked torso, fly us above a neighborhood. Our Dream Houses. Children thumb our rumps, our hardened breast bumps. They bash us, battle, pet and pull our doll hair. Our parents endorse this kind of play. Cadillac. Pontiac. Galaxy. Dodge. They check us in their rear-view mirrors. We’re not children though. We squeeze our knees together, being driven places. Sometimes one of us slips out through a crack. Betsy Wetsy has her little hole, but see our unclean windows? We’re not dolls. We are not unnatural beings, we.
One blue bike caught my eye. I slipped out and slung a leg across its saddle. Glorious. Back of bike till curfews called, my whipping hair flying high behind. He pumped his pedals hard. A better, blessed, sacred we. Him and me. Today I see dolls passing by in traffic – they should know me now. I’ve been out. I rank.
Aftermath. How soon after I climbed aboard his bike was he planning who he’d tell? How big was his before? Hours? Days? When – exactly – did he shift? He was eager for me, then impatient – ready to rejoin the boys. Was it the very moment I was registering our we? Thinking no one else could ever know this precious thing. No one outside it earned it. No one else deserved to be let in.
Hanker hunger covet crave the sacred. Yearn, yearn… yes. Spread-leg hip-grab, dug-in knuckles and he’s holding back… but they can’t, though, can they, cunt, and then they’re godding, godding, godding. Good. And then
they tell.
Tobacco boys. Straining streetlamp buzzes overhead. A dozen bikes all circle up, a clock. A fog. A couple other girls at ten and two. Cig-tips spark and glow. The bikes are watching me, the midnight doll tonight, and I am silent, smiling, smoke and mirrors. He rests his hand on his handlebar, its rubber grip. He’s the winder of the tale tonight – the keeper of the countdown clock. He’s the big and little hands, hours, minutes. Seconds now, till his hands align. He plays hockey. He wears a navy nylon North Face jacket. I asked for it. I back out. I don’t hear him talk. That’s the way the world works when you’re the subject of the story, and the chimes strike twelve.

Read more Fiction | Issue Thirty

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