No. This is not a picture of a prop from the latest filming of a horror movie. But, not a bad idea. Maybe I can find her an agent. She’d be perfect for the part.

Rather, this is Becky, the baby doll from my childhood. She found her way out of a box as I was unpacking the footprints of my life. I know … my treasure, looking like someone else’s trash. I admit she is fucking ugly. She desperately needs a day at the doll hospital or even a spa, for that matter. But, it’s my fault she is so worn and tattered. She was not going to lie delicately on some shelf or perfectly made bed. Not my Becky. I adored her. She went places, She travelled alongside every step of my elementary school days. If only she could tell the stories of our comings and goings. The ones where she comforted me in my heartache and kept good company to my loneliness.

Notice her left arm. The one barely attached. The one hanging on by an Ace bandage. It remains witness to the scene of the crime. My older brother and I were at the top of the slide in the backyard. Of course, Becky would be along for the fun. I can’t recall if it was intentional or accidental, but I imagine the top of the ladder was crowded on that sunny afternoon. With one quick move, Becky’s arm became collateral damage. I don’t recall being anger at my brother. I sure should have been. I just remember the tears. The ones that would not stop pouring down my cheeks. How could I be so careless toward the one that cared so much for me?

Fortunately, more for me than Becky, my mother took my distraught seriously. We rushed Becky to the equivalent of a hospital – my father’s dental office. I know – it makes no sense. How is a tooth doctor going to fix my doll’s broken arm? But, Nurse Connie came to the rescue. She pieced Becky’s arm back together as if stitching my own heart at the same time. Healing ought to be that simple.

Forty-five years later, here comes Becky, scarily peering out of a cardboard Home Depot box. She refuses to go away, just as much as I refuse to throw her away. I guess, some parts of our childhood are made for keeps. Meanwhile, if you are looking for an extra at your next Halloween party, let me know. She’d be a surefire hit.