To leave me out here, abandoned in this overgrown backyard is criminal. Since they dumped me I've felt frail, vulnerable and depressed. I miss my friends and I miss Michael. He was so good to me. There's no-one to talk to here. I'm so lonely.
The only thing that keeps me going are the memories I have as a clothes dummy. Back when I was useful; when there were customers around and we could chat; show people how worthy and important I was.
My favourite was at the costume hire shop when I was dressed as Morticia from the Addams Family. I attracted a lot of attention. Some brazen customers would reposition me right up close to Uncle Fester as if we were lovers. It was a bit embarrassing, but I secretly liked being near someone. It gave me a sense of security. You know, just being close.
And then there were the superheroes like Wonder Woman. Having a disguise on made me feel cheeky and strong, as if I was immortal. I attracted some attention I can tell you. Especially from children. And then there were always some pathetic men who'd pinch and grope me. Easy way for them to get some cheap kicks. It made me feel like an object, not a person.
But the 25 years I spent at the department store as their top clotheshorse were the best. I came up from Sydney after being specially made. They wanted to capitalise on the Twiggy fashion craze. You know, when Jean Shrimpton appeared in her mini skirt at the Flemington races back in the 1960's. 'Tall, thin, sexy, long legs,' was the brief they gave to the dummy manufacturer. I was front and centre of their main window for two decades.
But the 25 years I spent at the department store as their top clotheshorse were the best. I came up from Sydney after being specially made.
I have such good memories of being there. Michael was the head window dresser and he took a special interest in me. Talked to me all the time while he was fitting me with new outfits. Then finding the right position in the window with the other models. He was very attentive and wanted everything perfect.
Mike was a small, neat man; never married. Told me he had worked there since he was 16 years old when he worked in men's wear. Always wore a suit and a bright pocket handkerchief, different colour everyday of the week, and a bow tie to match. Polished black shoes everyday. He looked quite the part. I do miss him because he looked after me so well. He was just like family.
I often wonder about Mike. We were such good friends. He tried to buy me but they said no - that I was going on to further my modelling career. He could have kept in touch, I'm sure. Maybe he has someone new in his life, one of those metrosexual models they have now? But I don't think so because he used to tell me every week, 'You're the most beautiful mannequin I've ever worked with, Monica.'
But since I was sold and went to that dreadful place in the Hunter Valley, I've not seen hide nor hair of him. The new owners had no idea. They put me out on the footpath, for God's sake. Dressed me in 'the specials' - cheap, gaudy clothes. Once in winter, I was put in a maroon chenille dressing gown and slippers! A woman like me! Oh the hide of them!
It was up there that I lost my arm. School kids knocked me over. Shook me up quite a bit. The owners said they couldn't fix me. Left me disabled for the rest of my life. I'll never forgive them, but what could I do?
And here I am now - weather-beaten, cold and lonely with broken Mr Victa my constant companion. I talk, he listens. He's got nothing to say - typical male. Sleeps most of the time. He's useless, but I lean on him and he gets an eyeful all day because they've given me no proper clothes. At least the kids dress me up a bit.
It's shocking what happens to old people like me these days - they're just discarded and forgotten. When I think about all the dummies DJ's had, I wonder where they've gone? We all got on so well. Like one big family. Now we're separated. They're probably locked away in homes or granny flats waiting to pass.
Out of sight - out of mind. Seems to be happening more and more to older folks like me.
The past three years have been the worst. But some days are better then others because Dipti and Ravi visit me in the afternoon. I so look forward to seeing the two bright kids from next door. They pop through the fence.
I love little Dipti because she dresses me up in bright silk saris. They feel so nice against my peeling skin. She put the sunglasses on me because she said I had wrinkles. Cheeky little devil.
Ssshh! listen, someone's coming! Can you believe it? I hear the gate dragging open and footsteps coming down the driveway. Someone coming to rescue me from the solitude and loneliness?
Oh My Gosh! It's Michael. He's standing in front of me. I want to hug him. I hear his wonderful calm voice. I feel warm, excited and so relieved.
Hello Monica. I've missed you very much. It's taken such a long time to find you. You're still beautiful. You're coming home with me now. We'll get you fixed up in no time. New arm, nice clothes and a comfortable position in my sunroom near the sewing machine.
I'll look after you. It'll be just like old times.You and me together. Be good to catch up on what you've been doing.