Diary of a Missing Blow-Up Doll Girlfriend

from The X-Files

Diary Entry: The UPS driver sheepishly handed over the box: It had been opened, and closed back up with both the original tape and black electrical; dented, stained with coffee and probably beer. A puncture wound through the corrugated cardboard revealed a bit of flesh and a mournful blue eye...

...as I opened the box, I realized: this was not the doll I ordered. She gave me a sullen glare, lipstick smeared across her vinyl cheek. Slowly, regrettably, I closed the box and dialed UPS. We'd meet again, that brown-shorted man and I.

*

Diary Entry: I've been waiting since before Thanksgiving. Shipping lines are jammed this time of year, I know. But I felt a shiver creep from the nape of my neck and settle in my groin when I saw that pink paper stuck to my door, flapping in the breeze: SORRY YOU WERE OUT. As I read fervently through the instructions - please let there be an option to leave a signature - I broke into a sweat. Yes! I signed the paper and left in exactly. the. same. spot.  When I woke up in the morning, the paper was gone, but two sheep were tied to the stoop railing. 

It's almost Christmas...

*

Diary Entry: My phone rang; I let it go to voicemail. The message was from a professor at the community college down the street. I called back and got the professor's admin. The admin had a nasally voice.

"I believe some of our students have had a prank at your expense. We were expecting a cadaver, but they laid out a blow-up doll on the table. Your name and number were on the invoice." I had to think about this.

"Was she blonde?"

The admin hung up on me.

photo by B. Denz

*

Diary Entry: This morning I found a bottle of tequila on my front stoop, with a note: 'dear neighbor - we aren't sure whether your box was misdelivered or if our teenage son took it off yer porch, but suffice it to say you don't want that package back. We assure you he's being punished. In fact, if you'd like a used game console, we'd be glad to give it to you as he's not allowed to have it. He's apparently ready to change hobbies. Anyway, please let this bottle of tequila tide you over and you should report your package as non-delivered. We are very, very sorry. You can't know how sorry. Wish we'd had a girl." **

*

Diary Entry: I found a strange bill in the mail from a doctor's office I didn't know. I called the number provided to lodge a complaint. A stiff-sounding nurse answered...

"This is not my bill," I told her. "I've never been there." 

The nurse coughed. "It's for Nancy,” she said.

"I don't know a Nancy."

"Sir, we received a box last Thursday, addressed to you."

“You opened it?! Why didn't you send it back?" I was flustered. 

Nurse Stiff took a tone with me. "We ran a few tests...she seems to be pregnant.”

"Hey. HEY." I was losing my nerve. "You open the package, YOU pay the bill." I slammed down the phone.

*

Diary entry: I've sent multiple emails to Customer Service without response. I tried to cancel the charge, but PayPal has advised that I need to make contact with the company first. For the last three days I've called the 800 number, sat on hold with tired 80s hold music - how many times must a person listen to Pat Benatar sing We Belong?? Finally I get an answer.

"This is Nancy, how may I be of assistance today?"

"Funny, I'm looking for Nancy."

"I'm Nancy; do I know you?"

I manage to tell Nancy the whole story - the wrong blow-up doll, the wrong box, the missing box, the sheep - without her hanging up. 

"I am terribly sorry, I really am. Everything's backed up in Panama. You know, the Ever Green thingy."

I thank her with what little breath I can muster and hang up the phone.

It's been almost a year since my initial order failed to arrive. I've been alone a long time.

*
Diary Entry: The blow-up doll finally showed up, stuffed into an oversize, grease-spotted, manila envelope inside a plastic bag. The post office included a form letter which began: PLEASE FOLLOW THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES WHEN MAILING ITEMS WHICH MAY BE PERISHABLE, FRAGILE AND/OR MOIST
*

Diary Entry: She unfolded with a slow leak. I yelled; I cajoled; I pleaded. Nothing I said could convince her to spew an explanation from her gaping mouth. I sat on one arm of the multicolored loveseat, elbows to knees and head in my hands; my gaze tunneled around a string that had come undone from the upholstery. I, too, had come undone. I heard a soft wheezing, and Nancy's fingers crept into view. With the last of her inflation, she'd crawled back to me.

*

Diary Entry: While the troubadour played winsome melodies on the patio, while the coifed ladies swayed and dabbed at their makeup, Nancy lay across the pool table, deflated. Her calves curled around an orifice which the table had and which she did not, arms extended, just waiting to be relevant. Finally she felt a tug on her wig.

"Come on, you're up next," Nancy heard. The world went dark as she was stuffed into a black plastic bag.

Nancy wondered if she'd ever see the light again. The music was getting louder...

*

Diary Entry: 150 miles west of Santa Fe, Nancy rued her lack of opposable thumbs.  Half-empty, tripping over tire tracks laid in the last monsoon and baked hard as rebar, she struggled not to tumble across the desert. Truck after truck blew past; only one bothered to honk. A roadrunner stopped briefly to look down his beak in scorn. She prayed the theatre ensemble would have a part for her...

*fin*

Blog: Diaries of a Missing Blow-up Doll Girlfriend was inspired by Jennifer Hilliker, who typed exactly that into chat during a live-stream gift unboxing. That box held a looper, not a blow-up doll, as it happens.

J-Hill and I found the first installment (which is the final entry here) so hilarious that she throws me a prompt once in a while. This collection will grow until we forget about it.

** yes, that was inspired by a meme going around involving a kid learning to play music. 

Thanks to Barbara Denz for the sheep photo. 

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