This is a bride of frankenstein doll. I’ve always loved Elsa Lanchester and the Bride of Frankenstein. It’s the last thing my ex-husband gave me. He won it for me at the Jersey shore at an arcade. It was September 15, 2001. He insisted we leave New York. Because he was depressed I said okay, even though I felt like a coward leaving my city. I wanted to stay home. We got there and found ourselves in the middle of a fireman’s convention. Because of September 11th their event had changed dramatically. There was a lot of rage in the air.
We were walking the boardwalk and spotted the doll in one of those claw games in an arcade. He decided he had to win it for me. He must have spent a fortune trying. He was desperate to win it for me—so desperate I thought he was going to have a nervous breakdown.
I didn’t know then that the reason he was trying so hard was because he felt so guilty. He had been lying to me for months. And he walked out 3 weeks after getting this doll for me. I never really saw him again.
I’ve kept it for complicated reasons. It isn’t a sad thing because I miss my old life or am sad about our breakup. It was devastating, but, honestly I’m much happier now.
Everytime I look at it, though, it makes me sad to realize that I lost so much time that I’ll never get back and some things are just an impossibility because of it. It makes me sad that life takes you down paths you don’t even realize you’ve gone down till it’s too late to turn around easily. And I keep it as a reminder of how I chose to believe a bunch of lies instead of listening to my instincts.
The Saddest Thing I Own is a 2005 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It is supported by the Jerome Foundation in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial and in recognition of the valuable contributions of artists to society.