Two Girls in a Window

I saw them as I walked past, two girls in a shop window. One short and fat, flesh and blood, dressed as if she could hardly bear to look at herself long enough to throw on clothes; the other tall, impossibly slender, hard plastic, frozen on tiptoes, with beautiful painted eyes that would never blink, and painted lips that would never speak or kiss.

The flesh-and-blood girl dressed the plastic girl slowly. She pulled off her arms at the shoulder, and the plastic girl never flinched. The flesh-and-blood girl looked up into the sculpted doll-like face with pure envy. Perhaps the plastic girl envied her too: skin that was warm and soft, muscles that moved, the complex grace of fingers, the subtlety of touch. A heartbeat, breath, a voice. She had a wistful look about her, to me. Perhaps she was suffering, but how would we ever know?

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