Not sure where I’m going with this. When I went to Pixton to try to create something to distract myself, I just kept slapping one thing after another, not sure of what I’d come up with. There’s a story there, but I’ll probably get back to it much later. Or never.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Apparently neither. Here it is.
* * *
You remember that part in movies when the main character finally emerges from the ashes of whatever happened to it? That hopeful moment that augurs everything’s going to be just fine? That moment is bullshit. There is no such moment; at least not for me. My life is full of piss-in-my-beer moments. Brimming with gum-in-my-hair moments. I actually emerged from a movie theater once with gum in my hair. Someone had seen fit to gently deposit freshly chewed gum in my beautiful red tresses. But that feeling of societal betrayal was nothing compared to how it feels to break up with someone you love because it turns out he lied about everything. Except that one bit about the sex. The sex was great. The sex was addictive, which is why it took me so long to wake up.
So I wound up in the ashes, covered by them, tasting them, breathing them in until everything felt bitter, and my meals consisted of looking through a pile of trash in the living room to find something to eat, because I knew there were still two slices of pizza leftover from a couple of night before, and I couldn’t be bothered to cook anything fresh for myself. And I found them. And I ate them. And I didn’t care. Sorta the same way I didn’t care there was a wasp in the room while I was watching one of the Cornetto Trilogy movies to try to feel better. Anything with Simon Pegg or Jason Statham tends to lift my spirits. But it wasn’t working. Just looking at Statham kiss Jessica Alba and I wanted my ex’s hands and lips on me again.
Reading the news only made me feel worse about everything. The Queen was at it again, passing more idiotic laws about the toys, and taking more money away from education and defense to pour it into science. She’s always going on about how she’s going to save us all when those crazy experiments yield a final result. And the little mounds of living flesh that are the result of those experiments are no proof she’s in the right. But who’s going to go against a being that measures hundreds of feet in height? That stopped religion in its tracks? That can kill any opposition with her brain? War and famine are over, but there is something stranger in the air; a feeling of enforced change that makes me feel we skipped that part of evolution that teaches us how to be better human beings. But maybe that’s what she embodies. Even now, after everything that’s happened, I’m scared to think ill of her. What if she decides I’m a rebellion that need to be squashed?
Somehow it angers me to imagine she doesn’t see me as a threat. It makes me feel small, and I hate feeling small. She’s not who I want to talk about anyway. What I want to talk about is what happened when my vacation time ended… time I spent at home eating shit and drinking and crying and not sleeping but at least no longer calling him on the phone and ignoring his emails and even that one time he came by at three in the morning because that’s when she goes to work. When I finally showered and shaved my legs and detangled my hair and de-fuzzed my upper lip and went back to work, there was no relief to be found in breathing fresh air, or being busy. Oh, that’s another lie: “Work distracts you”. It doesn’t. Work feels like the times between stabs during a knife fight. I sat there and went through the motions, and then it would come back to me, flood my mind, and pierce my heart. He wasn’t in my life anymore.
I still have to remind myself to breathe, and when I do, my chest still hurts, but at least I have them now. And I’ll keep them, and I’ll help them, no matter what. I don’t care if the Queen shows up and stamps her giant foot on my house, crushing us all. I don’t care if she’s reading my thoughts right now. I have to do something. I have the feeling she won’t stop people like me. The toys exist because she willed them into existence, after all. She’s not keeping them hidden in some lab. They are out there, available now wherever toys are sold. But I could only afford to buy three.
It all started with that email. My “promotions” mail folder had grown, and when I began to mark them for deletion, my eyes stopped on the one from my local toy store. “Big Sale!!!” it advertised. I still don’t know why, but I opened it, and printed out the coupon. After work, I drove to the strip mall where it sat, all bricks and mortar, and uncommonly busy for a Tuesday. But not as uncommon as my thoughts as I considered buying something I didn’t need, and not only that, but contemplated an idea that until then, had felt repugnant. I don’t care that most people think that the miniaturization of something renders it adorable. It doesn’t. Well… it didn’t. They’ve grown on me.
But if I have to be completely honest, what was on my mind that day was probably more repugnant than the idea of them had felt until that moment. They are sold as sex toys, after all. They are sold as objects, and they are not. But that day I thought they were, and I walked into that store I know well, and towards the sports equipment and electronic toy department. I walked over to the Fun 5ex Toy (that is how it’s spelled, and I wonder why… since there are no indecency laws anymore, not since the Queen turned cussing into an official sport) display, and stared at them for a while. There were no visible On buttons, but they all seemed to be expressing some sort of emotion, and they were all in the middle of saying something. That’s when I first had the thought that they all appeared to be set on “distress.” It seemed an odd choice for a toy that’s supposed to be fun, but then I figured that setting would be right for the sadistic realm. The idea gave me chills, and I was in the middle of shuddering when an attendant that probably misinterpreted it asked me if he could be of any help.
“Yes”, I said. “How come all these toys are on at the same time?”
“I think that’s how they’re programmed. When I got the manual on them, I remember reading that because of how they are engineered, their words are random, but come from the same part of that little mass they have for a brain.”
“So there are no electronic parts to them?”
“I don’t think so. Maybe a chip, in case they get lost? But they aren’t that expensive.”
“The hell they aren’t. Three hundred dollars? That’s a lot of money for someone of my meager means!”
“Well, I was just about to put this sign up, if you’ll excuse me…”
And he picked up a sign I had not noticed was on the floor next to him, and placed it in front of the Fun 5ex Toy display case. I blinked in surprise when I saw the price reduction. Before he walked away he added, “Let me know if you have any more questions. I’ll be at the register.”
I nodded, not even looking in his direction, because I was now staring at the little toys. My mind was suddenly invaded by thoughts. I’m ashamed to admit them, but I had been “inactive” for over two weeks, too depressed to put new batteries in my non-flesh toys, and too sad to think between the legs. But when my eyes fixed upon the shape of that one little toy, I became lost inside myself. Kinda where I wanted him to be. A dark-skinned, dark-eyed, dark-haired beauty, he stared right back at me, and kept screaming for help. I just stared at his legs. I noticed the other two toys that were left seemed to talk to me at the same time. I smiled, even giggled to witness how well they worked. They knew I was there.
“How fun…” I said to no one in particular, and I don’t know what it was about the way I said it that made my little brune beauty’s lips freeze mid-word. The terror I saw in his eyes was now aimed at me, somehow. It made me feel… guilty. I decided to buy him at that moment. Yet, when I started to walk away with him in hand, he appeared to regain his earlier temperament, and started screaming something about “going back for his brother”. Wow, I thought. What a dirty trick. Just to make you buy more than one, I guess. I ignored it, and brought it home, with the store employee’s words still ringing in my ears. Instructions about the “little ones”, as he called them. They made me think of that old movie with the pets you don’t feed after midnight.
“Don’t pay any attention to what they say.”
“Their tiny minds only have access to primitive emotions.”
“None of what they make up is real.”
“They require a firm hand at all times… especially when-”
And that’s when I thanked him very much and left, mostly to rescue him from himself, as he seemed to have fallen into the murky waters of explaining to a woman how to use a sex toy. During the entire ride home, my toy seemed to wail in great distress, and kept mentioning his brother. It was distracting, so I switched on my iHeart, and cranked up something screamed in German. I immediately wondered how well their ears worked, so I turned it down, and on the next red light I looked inside my shopping bag, and saw that he was covering his ears as though he was in pain. I ordered my radio to turn itself off, and was in the middle of whispering what I imagined were calming words to the little thing, when I heard cars beeping at me. The light had turned green. I peeled off and he started to go on again about his sibling, when I yelled at him to shut up, as I was driving. He did.
When we got home, sat on the couch and removed him from his container, and the instructions slipped off the back cover. I held him in my hand as I tried to open up the pamphlet, and gave up, as it was tightly folded. I finally had to set him down on the coffee table to manage unfolding the instructions. I needed to know how to name him, or if he came with a name. I read the instructions, which shockingly enough, were as brief as the register attendant had been, and only pointed me to the Queen’s website, slash Fun 5ex Toys, slash how-to’s. I tossed the instructions aside, and faced him. He flinched. I was surprised at that. These little toys seemed to run high on alarm. I cleared my throat and tried to remember how I used to talk to my cat, Kitty.
“Hey there, little fella. How’s your name? I mean, what-”
“Can we please go back for my brother?”
I sighed. Very tricky. “Look, little toy, that’s just a marketing ploy that’s been driven into your cerebral cortex, or whatever it is you have inside your head.”
“It’s not! He’s my real brother! We can’t leave him behind!”
“Well, I can’t afford another toy. Besides, I only need one.” The look he then gave me before he collapsed and burst into tears made me feel like the biggest pervert on Earth.
To be continued…