Every day for the last month or so as I go on my walk for my morning break, I’ve been passing a barbie-ish doll head in the road. Every day it seems to be a little farther west down the hill. Every day it seems to have a little less hair and be a little more grubby. When I first saw it I thought I ought to pick it up and throw it away in a garbage can, but I was somewhat concerned to be found carrying a severed doll head. Like, really, what would happen if I was found, hit by a car and thrown up into the weeds at the side of the road. The news wouldn’t say that an innocent pedestrian was struck by a car and left for dead, it would say, “Creep carrying mutilated little girl toy parts and wearing those funky toe-shoes and a Hawaiian shirt run down in probable revenge motive.”
I do often pick up debris on the road and take it to the trash, assuming it’s not leaking anything. I find batteries, nails and assorted hardware, and sometimes newly deceased fauna. Something in me makes me go back and police the FOD before it causes an issue. I hope I’m building up some sort of karma, or something, because I could use some protection from flat tires, if I get any say in the matter.
There is something really creepy about doll heads in general. They pop up in movies and literature as omens or talismans of danger. Every time I pass it I can’t help but remember a part in William Gibson’s “Mona Lisa Overdrive” where Slick Henry recalls looking into a junked airliner on Dog Solitude.
He froze there, blinking in the sudden shade, until what he was seeing made some kind of sense. The pink plastic heads of dolls, their nylon hair tied up into topknots and the knots stuck into thick black tar, dangling like fruit. Nothing else, only a few ragged slabs of dirty green foam, and he knew he didn’t want to stick around to find out whose place it was.
The proximity of the park and the residential area don’t give me much concern as to where this came from. I’ve found far stranger things in improbable locations, but even trying not to sound too craven about it, this thing gives me the creeps every day. Just taking the photo made me feel dirty and silently judged from behind picture windows.
Several years ago this sort of concern about my perceived motives wouldn’t have even crossed my mind, but I’ve seen stories, and even had friends affected, by the current “see something, say something” culture.
Now this sort of consideration is part of my daily walk and is something that makes me contemplate my actions from an outside point of view, and thus the reason I’ve left that toy in the road. Maybe if I give it another couple months, or we get a good rain storm it will be close enough to a friendly dumpster for me to get it to the trash with an acceptable level of risk of finding myself as a prime suspect (deceased).