The dollhouse

You are standing in front of a rather rickety-looking manor. The windows have been boarded up, a clear sign it has long since been abandoned. You’ve seen that in a movie once. Everyone died in that movie. Well, not really. People that die in movies don’t really die. Those people are endless.  But this is the first time you’ve seen such a symbol for yourself. This makes you happy, yes, it does.

You walk up a little stairs onto the porch. The wooden planks are rotten, they creek and crunch under your weight. They are hurting, because of your feet. Those feet have hurt a lot. That doesn’t bother you, does it? No, of course not. Why would it. Caring has never been your forte. Let’s move on.

Opening the door, you expect a flock of bats to come flying at you, like in the movie. What a disappointment that turned out to be. You’re a bit sad that nothing would come to greet you. Is the house empty? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe nothing wanted to welcome you. But don’t worry, you are inside now, and at the very least, nothing is mad at you. That means you are welcome here. That’s a first. Let’s move on.

The manor’s interior is forgotten, wasted, cinematic. The windows are blocked up on both sides; wooden planks on the outside, curtains on the inside. Despite the layers of dust, you can tell they’re nice curtains; the dust hasn’t quite covered the tassels yet. Tassels are nice, aren’t they? You wonder for a moment about what fabric the curtains are made of. Wonder. You are not an expert on textiles, so you conclude you don’t know. But that’s okay. No one is angry with you here. That’s a promise.

The entrance hall echoes a deep silence, auditorily and visually. Dust and cobwebs spread in uninvited patterns over the sofas and tables, the paintings and chandelier. Sad, how the showpieces of the lavish and lucrative come to fade into corny props if you leave them alone for long enough. A ray of light sneaks past the double-prisoned windows, highlighting tiny particles of dust as if they were snow. Isn’t that nice? What isn’t nice is that you forgot it was daytime. You are very forgetful sometimes. Never paying attention, or maybe you just don’t care. What do you care about? Let’s move on.

That ray of light leads to a mirror, as if aimed at it. It’s like a laser dot from a sniper rifle; you remember that from another movie. You have seen a lot of movies. You are very wasteful with your time. You could have been gardening, giving life to the earth using your hands, your ugly hands. No, that is a bad idea. Watching movies is good for you. Do not touch anything. Do not ruin. Stop ruining.

You find yourself standing in front of the mirror. Smudged and broken, it neither reflects any light nor does it dramatically reveal your face. Do you want to see yourself? You could, if you wiped the mirror. Wipe. You look in the mirror. The mirror is slightly cracked, the reflection of your face torn apart by a fracture. What a disappointment. You cannot see how you look. You do not know the specifics yourself, of yourself. You don’t mind that very much, you think. Think. Good. Let’s move on.

As you move through the many rooms – carelessly walking into pieces of furniture and knocking over a variety of furniture, mercilesssly trampling over dolls, you notice how quaint and victorianesque this house is. You read those words in a book once, and they seem applicable now. No. You did not read anything in any book. You do not read. You watch movies. You are so wasteful, that is a cause for anger.

Anger directed at you. Again, you were negligent, unattentive, disinterested in your surroundings. Do you not enjoy exploration, knowing, caring? Of course not. What other reason could you have for not noticing all these beautiful dolls? How you knocked them over? But do not worry, no one is angry at you. You are fine, cribbed, cradled. Protected. You are protected. Let’s move on.

You are interested in the dolls. I can tell. There have been so many throughout the house. There’s two on top of every cupboard, hands interlocked, kicking their feet to the melody of a soft and violent nursery rhyme from a nearby music box. There’s three on the table closest to you; two look shocked and cover their mouth with their moldy hands, staring at the dolls on the floor. The third one’s scorn burns into you, scorching your face. You feel red, ashamed.

Then there’s the dolls laying on the floor, tears flowing from their out of disbelief you would knock over their chairs, their seats, sanctuaries. Their eyes are missing, as you made them fall out of the circle of life. They welcomed you and you killed them. How typically violent and disappointing of you.

But you only imagined that. How silly, that you would think dolls were anything but will-less and emotionless. That you would believe for a moment you could feel the consequence of your actions, the anger of your victims, because you cannot. You cannot feel. No one is angry at you. Let’s move on.

You should go upstairs. That’s the one place you haven’t explored yet. But don’t explore that. You cannot explore what you already know. Upstairs is the one place you are welcome. Go up. Do not stop and wait for a description, for what consequence your action may have had. That is over. There will be no more of that; you have proven incapable of learning. You are full of violence. You are violence. You are in a hurry. You should hurry and come up here.

Did you know? The dolls you trampled and the ones you traumatised with your brutality, they are spirits of children that were never born into this world. Raised without love or wisdom, their only emotion is a primitive sort of cruelty. They are not unlike you. But they were raised, nonetheless. Not perfectly, far from it!, but sometimes it is all a parent can do. What vessel better suited for depressed spirits than a doll?

Scared and lonely, worthless without acknowledgement, doll and child go along hand-in-hand. It was silly to expect dolls could ever grow independent, uncontrolled, masterless, but to think you did not realise you were home, realise you crushed your siblings until informed shows you just how terrible a parent I am. But do not worry.

No one is angry at you. Not even me.

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