the Closet with Barbie
By Harlyn Aizley
penis/lump thing, however, gnawed at me. Sex between my dolls became
unsatisfying. Because, despite having never seen a penis, I did
know a little bit about sex. My brazen mother, early on, unhesitatingly
had answered the "where do babies come from/why do boys have
penises/what is sex" question with this informative story:
A man and a woman love each other very much, and then the man
puts his penis in the woman's vagina. She even bought me a book
with some vague sketches of naked boys and girls asking their naked
parents (!) similar questions, to which they received the same answer.
best-friend, Lori, who had an older brother and knew everything,
confirmed this story, and once, to my extreme titillation, even
acted it out for me. At any rate, the vague sketches revealed that
boys had little hot-dogs instead of lumps. This made much more sense
to me since I was a veritable expert on female genitalia and reasoned,
therefore, that a lump, could not go into a vagina, thank you very
the male-doll/lump frustration weighed heavily upon me until one
day, during a particularly steamy orgy in the closet, I was host
to yet another revelation: why not make penises and attach
them to the guys? The idea excited me more than I care to admit.
Enter: modeling clay. I burst out of the closet and began sculpting
away. The results were remarkable. Ken now had a modest package
beneath his dress pants. GI-Joe had a nice bulge to match his biceps
and washboard stomach. Even the transsexual packed a load. (If I
was thrilled, one can only guess how Barbie and Julia and the small
ballerina, who smelled like perfume, felt.)
doll-sex took place in the closet, it's obvious that I already had
internalized my parent's inclination to keep silent all evidence
of sex and/or nudity. But now, unless I wanted to load and unload
genitalia daily, all my doll-play would have to be relegated
to the closet. I deemed it a small price to pay, and began a ritual
of hiding my dolls and all of their belongings in a box in the back
corner of my bedroom closet. I couldn't figure out which would be
worse, my parents finding out that my dolls were sexually active,
or that I had carefully sculpted little clay penises and attached
them to all of the men.
was going along fine. The cowboy, in his permanent plastic clothing,
had had affairs with both the transsexual and Julia. Ken was gay
most of the time. Barbie hung out with GI-Joe, a lot. And I was
quite content, having satisfied my desire for a well-hung cast of
plastic friends. My sculptures even evolved a bit as I learned more
about the anatomy of a penis (one day, Joey, a friend and neighbor,
had sat cross-legged in his bathing suit offering me a quick glimpse
of the bounty within).
given how well my clandestine doll-playing was going, I naturally
got a bit lax in my secrecy. One day, just once, I left the doll
box next to my bed rather than in the closet. One time only. Just
one false move. My fatal flaw. I was downstairs watching television
when Carrie, four feet tall, with crazy blonde hair and small pot
belly poking out from under her pink t-shirt, came into the den.
She stared at me. A blonde, beer-drinking elf, staring at me with
an expression akin to that of Perry Mason having just led his opponent
into confessing the most heinous of crimes. Her eyes were on fire.
put clay down your dolls' pants," she said grinning
from ear to ear as it was apparent she had just scored the most
powerful of all weapons against me. Even potentially more dangerous
than when she was told that I had to go see a "talking doctor"
because I cried whenever my mother left me at my friend Wendy's
house. They said I had separation anxiety but I think it was because
Wendy's mother had a German accent and my post-WWII Jewish parents
had taught me to fear all things German. Anyway, this was better.
Because everyone on the block knew what dolls were. And everyone
knew what clay was. And everyone knew that you don't put clay down
your dolls pants unless of course you were obsessed with shit or,
God forbid, genitalia.
put clay down your dolls' pants," Carrie repeated, as she continued
to stare at me. Proof that yes, in fact, her older sister truly
was the most embarrassing creature who ever lived.
did you put clay down your dolls' pants?" She was eight. I
interested in, or perhaps terrified of the answer I might give,
Carrie took off down the hall yelling, "Harlie puts clay down
her dolls' pants. Harlie puts clay down her dolls' pants!"
All around the house.
think she would have raced into the street right then and there,
to tell anyone she could find. But she didn't. She saved it. Saved
it and tortured me with it. Blackmailed me as only an eight year
old sister can. Threatened me with it whenever it suited her. Used
it to get all sorts of things out of me. It worked better than when
she turned up her lip and threatened to burst into tears if I wouldn't
let her have a toy, the last cookie, whatever she desired at the
saved it and played it. Until one day her moment came. She had been
angry with me for I don't remember what -- having taken the front
seat, having changed the channel, having gotten to stay up later
than her too many nights in a row. I was sitting in my bedroom looking
at magazines not with Lori, my best friend, who somehow would have
helped me to turn the tables on Carrie, but with Jamie and Renee,
representatives of the "popular crowd." Sure we were reading
magazines, but we also were participating in some serious hazing.
We were sixth-graders, rulers of the elementary school. Jamie and
Renee were our two leaders. They were checking me out for potential
inclusion in their clique.
visibly fuming at me, peeked her intuitive blonde head into my room.
She waited until we all noticed her. And then she threw the grenade,
"Harlie puts clay down her dolls' pants!"
was silence for a moment. Terrible, dreadful, prepubescent silence
during which an awful heat crept up my spine and into my face causing
me to blush the most embarrassing shade of red ever to be found
in a New Jersey suburb. Even Carrie stood speechless and spent in
the doorway, as unsure as I as to what might happen next.
then I got it. I would tell them it was a project for art class.
While everyone else was told to go home and cut pictures out of
magazines in order to make collages, I -- because I knew so much
about the anatomy of boys and men -- was given special permission
to sculpt genitalia out of clay. My little sister was just bragging.
before I had a chance to gather my breath and spin my lie, Jamie
and Renee, with looks that were a mixture of disdain and pity, said
to me almost in unison, "You still play with dolls?"
to my surprise, their absolute inability to imagine the possibility
of making clay penises and forcing your dolls to fuck their brains
out somehow, suddenly made me the expert in male genitalia I'd always
wanted to be. "Yeah," I said.
and I exchanged glances, and then she wandered away down the hall.
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