Are you there, Sappho? It’s me, Agnes, the haunted Victorian doll that’s been living in your childhood bedroom rent free since you were four. A lady tripped over me on the stairs in the 1930s Twilight Zone style and now I have her human soul just coolin’ inside me until the curse is broken. I’ve lived in many children’s bedrooms over my 107 years of being, but never one of a little gay child.
It’s so sparkly, and that Shania Twain poster is always staring right back at me. Not much in this room has changed since your teen years, and I’ve just been collecting dust on a corner shelf. I never thought I’d see you again, but I kept all your gay secrets just in case you, I don’t know, returned home to live with your parents because of a global pandemic. Mwahaha! And you thought you’d seen the last of me!
I saw you eye me during your first night back in your childhood bed, as if you knew the deep dark power I hold in my itsy-bitsy wittle lace apron. You know what I’ve seen and what I can’t manage to unsee—no matter how many times you’d turn me around to face the wall, I’d always slowly creep around again so I can keep tabs on your secret lesbian affairs. It can get dull to have my beady little glass eyes permanently open, but you sure have kept me entertained over the years. Let me be clear, I’m not homophobic. I just feed off your gay anxiety.
Do you remember… THAT 10TH GRADE “STUDY PARTNER” of yours? That’s right, I remember JANIE MCCRANE. You thought I had forgotten, didn’t you? You would always tell your mother you were studying for AP French, but you were really AP FRENCHING! Kidding—you were actually quite average at frenching, as Janie pointed out. You thought you were the only one who knew about those smooches, but no, I keep that secret in my little porcelain skull.
Another secret I hold like I hold my tiny pink parasol: your purchase of the 1977 book The Joys of Lesbian Sex from Goodwill when you were in 9th grade. You thought you were so slick, putting the sleeve of Moby Dick over the top of your dirty lezzie book. Not a single Dick was in there, and you know it! The best part: I saw 2020 you freak out a little bit when you saw that it wasn’t tucked neatly away in your sock drawer… that’s right, I moved into plain sight on your desk with my powers, just to make you sweat. You were all, “What if Mom had seen!?” Pathetic!
Remember when Maya Patel was secretly spending the night in your room and snuck out through the window? She was so cool with her softball uniform and her orange mp3 player. You thought you had hidden me in the closet so Maya wouldn’t think you were a baby with a doll on display, but the only thing in the closet that night was YOU because I teleported myself right back onto my shelf and you didn’t even notice because you had so much room temperature raspberry lemonade Svedka. 2020 you is enjoying the sweet “secret” memory of Ms. Patel and her late night window escape, but look a little deeper into my painted eyes and maybe you’ll finally realize that I know all.
You might ask yourself, “Did her lips move into a sneaky little grin?” And the answer is yes, the grin of a haunted doll that knows all your gay secrets.