I keep several kokeshi dolls in my combination bedroom-home office. Four of my kokeshi dolls made a cameo in the audience of a joint Danbo-Hatchling piano recital. My friend and New Leaf Journal colleague, Victor V. Gurbo, has a complicated relationship with the kokeshi dolls. By “complicated,” I mean he hates them with an irrational passion. (Learn about kokeshi dolls.)

“Get those things away from me!”

“They’re watching me, I don’t like it.”

“Those things are horrifying. They have feelings and emotions. They don’t like me.”

Most recently: “They are the destroyer of worlds.”

(Destroyer of worlds?)

For some reason, he does not like the fact that two of the kokeshi dolls watch him while he looks at the television when he comes over and we play video games. One stands on my computer. Another stands on the edge of my television cabinet.

My television on my television cabinet sits next to my computer desk with its two monitors. My computer is always plugged in to the television as well as the two monitors. I seldom use my television as a monitor – only for games and occasionally watching things. When Victor comes over and we play a game on the computer, I activate the computer as a third monitor. This background information will be relevant for explaining the background in the following image.

Victor V. Gurbo's photograph of a kokeshi doll against the backdrop of a computer monitor displaying the default Manjaro XFCE background.
Haunting. Photo taken by Victor V. Gurbo. Kokeshi doll and computer property of Nicholas A. Ferrell.

Victor and I were playing a computer game on my television. However, my two regular monitors were still on, displaying my desktop background. The kokeshi doll in the above image sits between my television on the left and my primary computer monitor on the right. The game we were playing was on the television – nothing much was happening on my regular monitors. Victor snuck a picture of his arch-nemesis against my computer monitor, which is displaying the default Manjaro XFCE background.

I am sure Victor took the photo because he was struck by the kokeshi doll’s striking silhouette. That must be it.

Victor apparently had some spare time on his trip home. In that time, he retouched the kokeshi doll photo on his phone. You will find the result below.

Retouched photograph of a kokeshi doll silhouette by Victor V. Gurbo.
Photo taken and retouched by Victor V. Gurbo. Kokeshi doll property of Nicholas A. Ferrell.

Fine work, if I do say so myself – especially considering that Victor made the scratch edits on his phone on his commute home. Perhaps he should accept the kokeshi dolls as his muses rather than his enemies? Regardless of what he thinks, they mean him no harm.

To be sure, he is unlikely to accept the good intentions of my kokeshi dolls in the near future. But anything is possible (although perhaps unlikely) with enough time.