While The Girl was in the bathroom, I was sitting on her bed. It was all new to me; this bed, this apartment. I had not been here before. In fact, I had only met The Girl a few hours earlier, at a bar, with her friends. We'd been sitting near one another, me and this group of girls, and we'd started talking and everyone was getting along great, especially me and The Girl, so her friends took a hint and left. And that is how I ended up there, in the Girl's apartment, on her bed, while she was in the bathroom. We were definitely going to have sex. This is the fun part, I thought, and I stretched out across the duvet and while I was doing this my hand bumped against something hard and out of place.
It was her vibrator, under the duvet and now in my hand. I suppose it could have been only one of her extensive collection of vibrators, handcrafted by the finest erotic craftsmen. I barely knew The Girl. This one was silver, phallic, battery-powered. I am no stranger to vibrators. I've played with them, used them on others, had them used on me. I was a fan of them, you could say. This one was nice. It felt heavy and smooth in my hand. I ran track as a kid, mostly relays. This vibrator reminded me of a relay baton. I practiced the hand-off, looking forward, never back, building speed, hand outstretched behind until the cool thwump! of the baton settled across your palm and you closed your grip and all of the awkwardness of your stride disappeared and all of your potential speed exploded around the bend towards the next man on the next leg waiting patiently for his hand-off, repeat. I pretended this motion a few times.
Then I turned it on.
It was one of those vibrators that is activated by turning the shaft on it axis counter-clockwise. It had a nice hum and vibration. I turned the shaft on its axis again. It hummed louder, vibrated harder. A two-speed. I almost whistled in admiration. I turned the shaft on its axis again to turn it off. The hum lessened and the vibration calmed. Not the response I had expected. I turned the shaft on its axis. It hummed louder, vibrated harder. Uh oh. I tried two-handing it. I tried to turn it clockwise. It would not budge. I could not turn this particular vibrator off. I put it under a pillow, muffling its erotic white-noise. Not enough. It sang through the pillow.
When The Girl came in the room, there were candles lit and her vibrator was humming and I was there, an almost perfect stranger, and my hand was around her vibrator, under the pillow. She took it from me violently and turned it off with a motion that was so effortless and magical, I could not explain it now. The room was silent and still, like a Northern lake at dawn, unrippled, right before the depth charges go off, blasting water up and out and everywhere, leaving so many dead fish to float gradually to the surface. She was angry, I could tell that much, though I could not figure why (because I knew that she masturbated? or because I knew how and where and with what device?) and she asked me to leave, she said she was really tired and hadn't realized it before.
Do you remember being small, when that crazy laughter would get to you over something stupid, but you would laugh and laugh and laugh, like at the dinner table, until your mom would threaten and make you shut up and you would try, you really would, but the very act of suppression made the laughter, the giggles infect your stomach and lungs, they hurt and convulsed inside of you, like a silly upchuck reflex, until they'd explode out of you, more terrifying and out of control than ever before, creamed corn working its way into and out of your nose in white sticky streams? The kind of laughter that only be stopped by exhaustion? Well, that's what happened to me.
I looked at The Girl, at her reddening face and her clenched jaw and I tried to suppress it. She was irritated. She asked "What?" in a very annoyed tone. I tried so hard. She asked again: "What?" A stifled giggle escaped. She threw up her hands in disbelief. Instantaneously, I lost it. Laughter burst from my lungs as if from a seltzer bottle. I sprayed laughter. I laid back on the the bed. I rolled on her giant fucking bed, doubled over. Tears streamed from my eyes. I could not catch my breath. There was no stopping it and her look of rage and pain only made it worse.
She led me out of her place and into a hallway and slammed the door behind her. I fell against a wall and howled. There was snot coming out my nose. My lungs hurt. My throat was raw. My shoulders felt as if I had been digging ditches.
I laid there until it seemed to pass. I caught a cab. Every so often, on the ride home, I would break up again, just at the thought of the silver phallus in her hand and that look on her face. When I finally got to bed, I was so wiped out that I fell asleep in seconds. And I slept as peaceful and quiet as a tired child after a day at the pool.