The first time I heard this song was at a live show. I cried. I cry every time I hear it.
Half Jack by the Dresden Dolls (Coin-Operated Boy, Girl Anachronism) - it's long, but it's the most stirring piece of music to come out of the punk cabaret movement. (Punk cabaret is freedom!) I chose the live version because the vibe between Amanda (piano) and Brian (drums) is intense in a foreplay kind of way.
She smeared the makeup off her face. The smiles were more painted on these days. Without Armando's money, keeping up appearances was more work than ever before. Days of being cute and coy were gone, and she was approaching the age when things start to sag and need repairs - costly repairs.
She had been Armando's project. He paid for her music lessons, a choreographer, and a studio to practice in. He bought her dresses, shoes, boobs, and extravagant accessories. She could blow the competition off stage at every audition, instead of blowing the club owner for a job playing a cocktail waitress for tips. He made sure she had her pills and saw the best doctors. She was so close to being the perfect girl.
The pain of creation and healing was masked with Demerol and the excitement of a promising new life on Armando's arm. Realizing he was bored with her, and had found a hunk of fresh clay to mold, was soul ripping. She was left holding the bag and between existences.
Her girlfriends tried to console her. "Isn't that JUST like a man!" they would fuss. "They are so pathetic! Don't we always have to finish the job ourselves?"
Nearly out of money and nearly out of shelf life, she wondered if she would ever find a way to finish the job. "I am just like a man in more ways than I care to be," she thought angrily as she watched her tears pave mascara tracks down her face.