Monday, November 16, 2009

The sins of the mother are visited upon the children

posted Tue, 07 Dec 2004

My dolls are being cannibalized. Well, not all of them -- only the Andean altiplano dolls and the Zapatista doll from Mexico. The Chilean, Caribbean and Central American dolls are fine. I had noticed the Zapatista doll leaning to the right already several months ago, which I thought an appropriate thing to happen, but I didn’t realize that his wasting disease was contagious.

I collect dolls. “Collect” is a strong word to use, especially for someone who is as anti-decorative objects that need dusting as I am. My decorating philosophy is that if it needs to be dusted, it better be functional, so I don’t have a lot of knick knacks. I don’t have any knick knacks is a better way of saying it. This is hard for my mom, who has lots of trinkets and would like to share this hobby with me (it is very hard to shop for me).

This is sort of what my old couple with leprosy looks like.
Source: http://www.llamathings.com/Carolyn%20%20Myers/pictures/Larger%20JPGS/gift%20items/viegodoll.jpg

On the shelf next to my front door are the handmade dolls I found in Latin America when I came back to the US from Chile – maybe a dozen dolls in all. They are not baby dolls – they are adult figures in traditional clothing. The women usually have babies in one arm and work, like a drop spindle for spinning yarn, in the other.

One of my favorites is a pair – an elderly couple – from the Peruvian Andes. They are both toothless and wrinkled. She is holding a small bundle of something – I can’t tell. Maybe coca leaves? He has a walking stick and is carrying a bundle of wood on his back. They are both wearing the heavy, warm, roughspun clothes needed in the altiplano, but both have sandals instead of shoes.

And bugs have eaten away most of his butt. The poor guy is being eaten alive.

Some of the other dolls are even more consumed. One knit doll has lost both her legs and her baby. Her butt is next.

I don’t know how to save my dolls. I don’t think there is anything I can do once this staph infection has started. I guess I could throw them all in mothballs to prevent any further damage, but then I would never be able to see them.

This is what I get for veering from my original path. The plan was to major in biomedical engineering, then go to med school and then do research in artificial body parts. I made it through the first year and a half of the engineering curriculum, then changed my major to English. It’s all my own stupid fault – if I were a doctor, I could heal my dolls. As an English major, all I can do is write about their decline.

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