It was an adventure. After both the J and the M trains denied us passage over the Williamsburg Bridge, we trekked our way through the slick sidewalks of Brooklyn to the L in an attempt to make it into midtown Manhattan in time to attend Carol Channing’s 93rd birthday celebration at Town Hall (hosted by the glamorous and hilarious Justin Vivian Bond).
We hurried past bodegas and bars, all lit up in neon and fluorescents, but it was when we scurried past a well-packed antique store that I noticed something familiar… and frightening.
It is important to point out that, following the events of the previous post, my mother put Patti into a storage unit with some furniture and other odds and ends. Years went by and we didn’t think much of her anymore until my mother passed away and we were left with the task of cleaning out the storage unit. Furniture was cleared, boxes of old records were sorted, knickknacks were given out among the family… and soon the unit was empty. Completely empty. Patti Playpal wasn’t there. My stepdad, who professed he didn’t believe in ghosts but was the first to jump when a noise startled him, rechecked the boxes and looked through the truck, making sure we hadn’t missed the life-size doll. Nope. Patti Playpal was gone. To this day no one knows what became of the doll that terrorized me as a kid. Perhaps she broke free from her belt buckle restraints and ran away.
Now, I know full well that this doll was mass marketed back in the day, this is only the second one I’ve ever seen and the frightened child in me couldn’t help but leap to the conclusion that my mom’s doll, lost again following the earlier events, has returned, albeit armless, in this little antique store in Williamsburg… just waiting for some innocent family to take her into their home where she will torment other children.