Once upon a time, in the long ago and the far away, there was a dead eyed doll. She was owned by a man who loved to see his own reflection in her blank, glassy stare. For a while, when he ran his fingers along her cool metal skin, tiny sparks would rise off her form. Like a swarm of fireflies dancing in the dark… or the first sparks of a catastrophic bonfire… or the last sputters of a fireworks show right before you pack up the car and start swearing about the traffic.
Maybe if she had been a real girl — a person made of flesh and bone instead of steel and wires — you would have called it love… but dolls don’t understand the warmth behind a sincere caress; they can’t perceive the cold sensation that accompanies the absence of fidelity. Machines can’t tell the difference between acts of spontaneous kindness and coded routine.
She belonged to a man who had too many appliances and toys. He lost her user manual in the drawer where he placed all sorts of miscellaneous junk: broken nail-clipper, a left handed pair of scissors, his dreams.
He would leave her sitting on a park bench, painted up like a 2 bit hooker, holding a sign that said “DO NOT TOUCH.” She waited around for someone to pick her up like an 8 bit princess… but when would-be heroes came around to save her, she was always in another castle…
And then? And then someone found her heart hanging out of a dumpster. She had taken a tumble off a skyscraper called disappointment; she had been shattered into a million pieces… but this stranger had been stockpiling glue as a hobby for the last couple of years. He had hundreds of tubes of glue and just enough time on his hands to drive himself crazy trying to put her back together… all that was needed was a strong will and a fair amount of patience…
Maybe she’d turn out to be something more than just a dead eyed doll? Too late to turn back. Too early to say.