Hidden Away in the Back of a Drawer

Hidden away in the back of a drawer – the top of my dresser – sits a vibrator. I know what you are thinking, and you would be right to think it. I am a mess. Not metaphorically, and that is absolutely not double entendre. I mean that my life – my house – my head – down to the very air I breathe – I am a mess.

I saw her the other day. Monday, it was. She walked in with an itty-bitty waist and a round thing that she was carrying on her hip. It was covered in blankets and mommy’s kisses. She walked in, saw me, and if she had any reaction like mine, then she had all the symptoms of the flu. I flashed hot and white and I said hi.

“Hi,” I said, and I probably sounded like the sandpaper I was swallowing was choking me.

“Oh, hey.” And she went to the counter to do her business. She was enrolling her daughter, the one covered in mommy’s kisses on her hip.

After she was finished, she looked in my direction. And then, we talked. We talked about our children and about what we were doing with our lives. I made sure to say that I was in med school. She needs to at least know that she hasn’t fucked me up enough to cancel that. Two more years, and she will call me doctor. Not her – she doesn’t call me anything anymore. But someone.

And then she told me that she was the principal now. She hated being someone else’s boss, which I already knew. She didn’t like bossing anything or anyone around, not in the workplace, and not in the bedroom. She didn’t even like bossing herself around. She was an ascetic – one of those monks who commits self-flagellation on Good Fridays. She could not give herself any sort of pleasure. And that’s why she didn’t want me. And that is why she left. And that is why, hidden away in in the back of a drawer, there sits a vibrator, unused and leaking AA battery acid. It oozes out of the base, and I can’t bear to throw it away. So I don’t. It’s all I have left. I don’t have her; I don’t have the mommy-kissed child.

She has the baby, and I have the pink, bullet-shaped vibrator. And that is all.


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