the doll games
shelley and pamela jackson


Interviews: adrienne eisen


Christine is the youngest. She says she has one older sister who is a lot older — eighteen years older. I have never met a sister who is so old.

"Where is she?" I ask.

Christine says, "She's dead."

Christine's parents are too old to play with us. Christine's mom looks like my grandma, but my grandma is more fun. The only good thing about Christine's mom is that she is too old to notice that my mom and dad are never home between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Parents won't let their kids play with me. I want to ask why, but I am not sure I want to ask why. "My mom is an executive," is what I tell people, even before they ask why I buy my lunch at school.

My bathroom partner at school told me that her mom said I am a modern Pippi Longstocking. I read Pippi Longstocking. I was proud.

Christine's mom doesn't mind if I stay in Christine's bedroom until 10 p.m. on a school night. Christine's mom doesn't make dinner. I know because Christine and I eat crackers and Coke in her bedroom. Barbie eats too, so the Townhouse is a little sticky from spills. Christine has every B***** and every Ken and every place they go. She has the airplane. I have never seen the airplane. It is soft. It bends. Skipper's skirt matches the stripes on the plane.

The girls at school trade sandwiches at lunch. The girls play B*****s at recess.

For my eighth birthday I tell my mom that I want a B***** Townhouse.

Mom says, "Do you have any B***** dolls?"

I say, "I want those, too."

My mom tells me to use the spare Visa card in the kitchen drawer and have the B***** stuff delivered on my birthday.

I tell everyone at school that I have B*****s. Kens. Skippers. Places for them to live together.

No one wants to come over to my house to play. And no one wants to play with Christine because she says things in school that don't make sense.

I go to back to Christine's.

I say, "I want to play Mousetrap."

Christine says, "Mousetrap is for babies." Christine takes me to her bedroom and all her dolls are naked.

I say, "Where did all the clothes go?"

She says, "A lot of people take off their clothes when they meet each other."

I touch B*****'s bare chest — just a little with my littlest finger. I touch the part in between because I don't know what Christine will say in school.

Christine says her sister had breasts like B*****'s.

"What is everyone doing in the airplane?" I ask. "Can we get them dressed?"

"No," Christine says, "they are fucking."

So we watch. There is so much space between them that Ken looks like he's floating on B*****. The dolls fall over, and Christine props them up, but I see their arms reach past each other for something that is not there.

Adrienne Eisen,the only hypertext winner of the prestigious New Media Invision Award, is a frequent speaker and panelist at events such as PEN West and the Dartmouth Institute for Advanced Graduate Studies. Her first major work of online hypertext, "Six Sex Scenes," was a featured exhibition at the Alt-X Online Network and has received international attention from both the academic and underground literary art worlds. Her most recent hypertext, "What Fits" will be published by Eastgate Systems. Adrienne Eisen's print novel, "Making Scenes", expands the story arc of "Six Sex Scenes" and explores the intersection of hypertext and print.