Feeding the seagull is exhausting business. I feel like it’s a distraction, but to say so would be impolite. Every time freakin’ Cap’n Jack is even the slightest bit hungry, he knocks on the damn window. Last Friday I was given the task of putting on latex gloves and feeding him thawed out smelts. It sounds kinkier and far more fun than it really was. Some stinky fish juice landed on my foot. And now I have to fend off the other jerky two-footed gulls that try to eat Jack’s food. Yesterday there was even a crow. And two pigeons. We have slowly managed to make ourselves a working aviary right down the road from City Hall. And I have unwittingly become the new Bird Girl of the Tenderloin. Here is my pet:
This past weekend, my pop needed help with a self-portrait project for some photo class he’s taking. He asked me to help him with a death mask. There’s something very strange about slathering Vaseline and then plaster on your dad’s face. At one point one of the little straws I stuck in his nose fell out and I tried as gently as possible to shove it back in. I just ended up hurting him—I think—because all I could see was his body jerk around like a flapping fish. I’ve mentioned fish twice so far. I wonder if I can manage to somehow sneak one more fish-related story in somewhere.
I think I know how. Last night I was up late watching BBC America. On came a show I’d been meaning to catch since the preview—Love Me, Love My Doll. It was a documentary all about men who have formed “meaningful” and “loving” relationships with their Real Dolls. These dolls are really amazing and if I was lonely, rich, and sans any semblance of hope for a relationship with a real woman, I’d go out and buy me one of my own. They are fully customizable and supposedly feel like real women. They interviewed a woman who worked at the Real Doll factory and she said she’d had some interesting special requests: pregnant dolls, a doll that looked like an 80-year-old woman, and a doll with an over-abundance of pubic hair. I guess they ended up just sending the guy packets of additional hair so he could go as hella hair-happy as he liked.
The guys they interviewed were, as you can well imagine, characters. One of them was black guy named Davecat with emo bangs over one eye. His was an Asian doll—a pretty one with hooker hair and heavy eye make-up. They showed him lying in bed with her, rubbing her stocking feet. When she first arrived, he said, “…it was just sex, sex, sex. But now we use words.” He lives at home with his parents who just don’t understand. He feels tortured by his love for this doll. He still tries to date “organic” women sometimes but they end up just letting him down. I feel you brother.
Another guy was called Gordon and he was from Virginia. He had two dolls who were dressed in Wal-Mart attire. I don’t know how a factory worker can afford these dolls. Maybe there’s some kind of low-income, needs-based award offered. He admitted that the reason he did not have human female companionship was because he was very ugly. His words. He also said that before he got Ginger and Kelly, he was a doormat and that now that they’re in his life, he feels a sense of empowerment which I find refreshing. Disturbing…but whatever. Gordon also collects weapons like swords and semi-automatic guns—so his life, he feels, is full.
And these men cannot wait to get home to their dolls. They feel like they can go out into the world where real women exist and if they get rejected, man, it’s cool…I got me a hottie just waiting for me back home. And she never says no. One man took a lot of posed pictures with his dolls. He called them “family photos.” The dolls were doing things like reading books and sitting in lawn chairs in the garden. Gordon films himself with the two dolls. I took copious notes so as not to forget anything. I was apparently very impressed by this show. In one of the last scenes, Davecat sends his poor beloved on a two-week journey across the country for a tune-up. The repairman had dolls crammed in all over the place. He admits to having “tested out” a couple extremely attractive dolls which seems slightly unethical…not to mention a little gross. He tightened up Davecat’s doll’s limbs and cleaned her up because she was beginning to smell a little fishy. And there you have it—three fish references. And I’m only a little grossed out. If you’re interested in learning more: