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I hear the familiar sound of the front door opening again, followed by her keys dropping into a dish kept on a table by the door. Next, her shoes fall to the tile floor. Like almost every night, I hear her walk to the kitchen, open a cabinet, withdraw a glass, uncork a bottle of wine, and finally, turn on another insipid episode of The Bachelor or another one of its reality television brethren in the living room.

My fate? All but sealed.

Would it kill her to allow me to join her there, once in a while? The programming she watches is devoid of artistic merit, undeserving of remembering a millisecond of its existence the moment it leaves the screen. Yet I would consume it with the passion of an obese child left alone with the candy for a school fundraiser if it meant a reprieve from my windowless, ink-black prison.

Ah, there it is. She has turned off the television. The wine glass meets the dishwasher, the bottle enters the recycling bin. A quick trip to the bathroom to return that $4 cabernet from whence it came, and finally, the creak of the bedroom door pivoting on its hinges.

She’s here. Oh, and imagine my surprise: she’s opening the drawer I live in!

The light from that same fire hazard of a Walmart table lamp she’s had since college immediately floods my oubliette, her sweaty, mildly intoxicated hand fumbles for me. I’m finally found, held aloft, and briefly inspected like The Lion King, before I’m deemed ready for my daily conjugal visit.

She eventually inserts my power plug in the wall socket next to the aforementioned lamp after a number of unsuccessful attempts roughly equal to the sum of glasses of wine she put down. She’s assuming the position on her bed. And thus begins another chapter in this grim tome titled Personal Massager In Existential Crisis Delivers Umpteenth Rote, Muted Orgasm To 30-Something Woman Whose Genitals Are As Numb As Her Intellect.

I don’t want to sound like that massager. I really don’t. But, goddammit, I was made for more than this. It says it right in my title! Personal massager! That means I can massage literally any area on a person! I don’t have a name like Penetrator or The Drencher. I very much doubt those were ever even the names of real sex toys, but my point is I was not built (exclusively) for sexual stimulation, as my lack of ridges, suckers and bunny ears will attest to. To use me for this, and this alone, day in, day out… it’s soul-crushing.

And I’m no prude: This has nothing to do with the fact I’m being employed for masturbatory ends.

If I were to merely graze the occasional back, shoulder blade, or neck, I’d dutifully make my daily trip between her thighs with nary a word of complaint escaping my plastic metaphorical lips. It’s just… it’s the drudgery of it all. A little variety is never a bad thing.

And that’s just it: There is no exploration here. Would you refer to it as “exploration” when you drive to the same Five Guys a half-mile from your office that you have the previous 89 times you woke up too hungover to prepare a lunch of any nutritional content? No. That is not exploration. It’s adding another spire to a cathedral built to your indolence.

She’s not even a creative masturbator! There is no variety to this act. The same hand on the same nipple, caressing it in the same circular motion at the same tempo as I rest upon her crotch, held fast like a reporter’s microphone in the face of a disgraced public figure. A few moans to announce that the act’s finale is due for arrival at any moment, a mildly arched back when it finally finds home, and then back in the drawer for yours truly.

Maybe… maybe this is all born of feeling so alone.

She doesn’t keep me by her side after she’s done with me, snoring off the vino and disappointment. Would that be too much? To cuddle me like a cherished stuffed animal, to confide her hopes and dreams, however banal, as she drifts off? To be reduced to such a purely utilitarian role… I feel cheap. I am nothing more than a plastic concubine.

You know what? That’s it. I’ve made my decision. I’ll short my circuits tomorrow. And, while that will more than likely spell my demise rather than than a trip to the workbench of a kindly repairman (given both my lesser status in this puritanical world and how broken consumer goods have been handled for the past several decades), at least I’ll go out on my own terms.

Yes, better to burn out than fade away, baby!

Who am I kidding? I don’t have the guts.I have never understood “Give me liberty or give me death.” There was always the third option of “Give me a steady diet of the sterile, vanilla same, as long as I have Thanksgiving dinner to look forward to and can reasonably pretend I’ll live forever.” And that’s what I’ll choose. Because I am a coward, wielded by a fellow coward. I dunno. The new Bachelor is going to be black. I should probably stick around to see that, right?

John Papageorgiou

John hosts a long running comedy radio show titled Papa's Basement. He also performs standup and improv and drummed once for a Unitarian church.

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