by Paul Beckman
I was four years old, I got a beautiful bald baby doll for my birthday. My
father brought it home from a business trip to Europe. My seven-year old sister
Doris wanted to play with her but I wouldn’t allow it. A couple of weeks later,
Bald Baby Doll disappeared from our vacation trip to the mountains and I never
saw her again and I wouldn’t play with any other dolls.
week, our families, after years of estrangements, were together for Christmas,
and Doris gave me an identical Bald Baby Doll. She said she’d been looking for
one for the past forty-plus years and finally found one on eBay.
up, I hugged Bald Baby and went off to be alone. I noticed a little bit of red nail
polish on two of her toes and remembered I had painted Bald Baby’s toenails and
parts of her toes with Mom’s nail polish. When my husband came up to bed, he
teased me for sleeping with a doll at my age.
the next morning, I was sitting with Doris’s four-year-old granddaughter, Dory,
on the top step of the stairs. I was painting her toenails bright red. When I
finished, I kissed her cheek and told her we should stand on the step on our
tip toes, and bend over and look at her bright shiny nails.
held on to the railing.
In his younger years Paul Beckman was a numbers
runner, a fence, and hung around with the bad crowd. He still hangs with a