I never was much for dolls. The promise of seeing an antique collection seemed less enticing as a six-year-old than obliging the invitation of an adult. They filled the entire wall. Fancy pinafores and lace collars giving way to forced smiles and hollow saucer-eyes that looked on as I lay paralyzed.
That afternoon’s events would live hazily beneath my consciousness for decades, surfacing only once I’d lived long enough to hear much worse. Yet the gallery of faces is crisp, and grows more familiar with the years — a shelf by shelf tableau of things playing at humanity, bereft of souls.