the doll games
shelley and pamela jackson




P: Did they need the clay parts just because they were having sex; did the sex come first and then they needed sexual organs?

S: Probably. I don’t think we were into breasts all that much as such, it was only in the context of their being desirable and signifying sexuality that they became important. Although I do remember that mainly thanks to reading Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret with Lisa, I developed this weird fascination with bras and the appurtenances of having a period. The gear, not the event itself but the gear, began to seem really fascinating.

P: I was fascinated by the bra. And that was a challenge, to try to make one that actually worked. I really wanted the dolls to have bras. Did the boys grope the breasts?

S: I remember this whole amusement about big Josh groping breasts and his hand coming off stuck to the breast, embedding itself in the breast*. There was endless comedy about the clay breasts.

P: And penises, always smashing against things.

S: And coming off on the other party.

P: And they always got rug patterns on them.

S: Rug fiber and rug patterns! Completely disgusting! And taking on these weird shapes. The breasts would always get the shape of the chest of the boy against them, so there would be this flat front.

P: So when we were getting self-conscious about people’s heads coming off and stuff, did they also say "Excuse me, I need to reshape my penis"?

S: Sometimes, I think. It would be a Harvey sort of thing to do.

P: When did Laurie die?

S: [wails in grief] Oh!

P: Was that before we started having penises* for the boys?

S: We never had a penis for Laurie!

P: That’s what I was thinking. It seems shocking!*

S: It is shocking. Laurie was like—

P: He was pure.

S: He had to die. He was like Jimi Hendrix*.

P: He was sacrificed.

S: He had to die young.

P: But what about Jesse, who had Laurie’s body?

S: I think he must have had a penis sometimes.

P: That still seems dirtier to me. The youth with the penis—well they all had penises in the end.

S: [laughs] Everyone must have a penis!