Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of my blog.
So here is the last short story of year one
I knew a guy once. Dirty Harry. Like the Clint Eastwood movie. He wasn’t a dirty cop or anything. He was just a regular guy called Harry. But he owned a sex shop. I know right, what a weird job! I guess someone’s got to do it. He was in his late forties I reckon. Married for god knows how many years. No kids though. I don’t think he could have kids. Something about the whole situation made you think that was probably the case. He was a good guy. You could tell he was a looker in his day. He was still a handsome guy, but he wasn’t what he was. But then, none of us are what we were. What I’m trying to say is, he didn’t look like the sort of guy who ran a sex shop. He was, like I said, regular. Apart from all the sex shop stuff. People wouldn’t have called him ‘Dirty Harry’ if he was a panel beater or something.
I used to go to his shop on the reg, looking for stuff for me and the wife and the others. I got toys for them too. Well, ex-wife I should say. Dirty Harry and I used to get to talking. At first it was all business talk. I would ask which things to buy. Which handcuffs were the strongest, which bottle of lube did that tingly thing when you put it on. Sex stuff. But as we got better acquainted I started asking him about him and he started asking me about me. One day I brought up something that I had always wondered about.
“You must have the best sex life Harry” I said to him, looking up from the vibrator he advised me to get. He said it was the one that all the women bought. I was only half joking him around. But more than a little bit of me wanted to know how dirty Dirty Harry really was.
Dirty Harry turned away from me. He started putting these big brightly colored dildos in a straight line. They cast these big old shadows bigger than them.
“You’d think that, wouldn’t you Bill?” he said.
“Yeah. The ladies must love you coming home with all this stuff!” I said. I don’t know why I put it like that. I knew he was married. I’d seen the ring before. But he wasn’t wearing it that day.
“My wife, well, ex-wife, she hated all this stuff” he said.
“Really? That’s weird.”
He looked at me with one of those, ‘really?’ expressions. As if he was saying, ‘take a look around buddy. I work in a room full of big rubber dicks and blow-up chicks!’
“Well, maybe not that weird.” I said, taking that cue to correct myself.
“I sometimes wonder why I’m even in the business Bill. The money ain’t even what it used to be. People are buying their stuff on the internet these days. I don’t know…”
I didn’t say anything. I looked down at the vibrating thing in my hand. It had been vibrating the whole time Dirty Harry spoke to me. I looked for the off button. I was thinking about how much Janet would love this. Would love me for buying this for her. For me.
“You make a lot of people very happy Harry” I said.
He looked down at the floor. He brought his hand up to his face. He pinched the bridge of his nose between his eyes.
Dirty Harry starts telling me that he almost sold the place once. He had it on the market. Had a few folks interested in buying it. One guy wanted to use the space. He didn’t want to own a sex shop though. Who the hell wants to own a sex shop? Not me let me tell you. I mean don’t get me wrong. I love the sex shops. But where would be the fun in being around this stuff all the time? And I don’t want to be known as Dirty Bill!
So Dirty Harry’s in the shop one day, waiting for the clock to strike midnight so he can lock up and go home. This broad walks in. High end he tells me. Not his words, mine. Big thing. All tits and ass and hips. Again, not his words. He smells her perfume before he hears the little door chimes rattle. She comes in all confident like. He told me once that women usually had more confidence in sex shops than men. I could understand that. So she comes in, all confident like.
I want the best vibrator you sell, she says. As calm and cool as that. Dirty Harry gets a little nervous. Says she’s looking at him, right in the eyes, just throwin’ her cards on the fuckin’ table.
Okay, he says. He shuffles round the counter and plucks the best toy off the top shelve. She stands behind him. He can feel her breath on the back of his neck. He hears a lighter click. He hears her suck on the cigarette. He feels her blow it against the back of his neck. He smells the blue smoke mix with that perfume. His hands are shaking like mad. He ain’t even got the dildo switched on for the woman yet!
What’s the rpm? she asks. Just like that. Obviously, this was not her first barbeque. Holding the thing against her palm, looking Dirty Harry in the eyes. He sees that there ain’t a wedding band on her finger. He was still wearing his then.
16,000, replies Harry.
Anything stronger? she asks. Poor old Dirty Harry is just about bowled over let me tell you. She’s looking at him like he’s an engine. He can feel her wondering what his rpm is. He can’t look her in the eyes.
That’s about as strong as they make them, he says, moving a couple of dildos around, tryin’ do somethin’ with those shakin’ hands. They were probably about 17,000rpm!
She closes her eyes and licks her lips, subtle like. She’s moving the vibrator around her palm.
Do you know how to use one of these? she asks him, still with her eyes closed. When he was telling me this he was looking really uncomfortable. Sad almost. But if I was sitting down, I’d have stood up, I’ll tell you that. This was a great story!
No, he says. She looks at him that same way I did after he told me about his sex life. She didn’t believe him. Man working in a sex shop must know a thing or two about dirty sex. She goes into the little handbag she would no doubt be keeping that vibrator in. She sounded like the type that would carry it around with her at all times. She pulls out her card. She hands it to Harry.
If you ever want to learn, just give me a call, she says, with a little wink.
Okay, says Dirty Harry, hand still shaking, holding her card.
She pays and leaves, leaving that perfume smell in the empty shop.
“I sat there the whole night Bill” says Dirty Harry, “I thought about calling her. I did. Thought real hard.”
“Did you?” I asked.
“Why?” I asked. I probably would have.
“Because I was married. Well, then I was. I went home the next morning and told my wife I was leaving her.”
“Shit” I said. It was all I could say. “Just like that?”
“Yup.” he said, smiling. But it was off sorta. Not a real smile. “There’s more to it than that. It’s never a simple thing Bill.”
I said nothing. I looked down at the thing in my hand. I had found the off button about halfway through his story. But I didn’t click it. At that point though, I turned it off. I thought about my wife. And Janet. And the others. And this thing I held in my hand.
“How much is this one?” I asked him.
“$65” he said.
I handed him the cash and walked to the door. I heard the little chimes above my head. I turned to Harry.
“See you later Harry” I said. I knew that I wouldn’t though.
He smiled that fake smile again. It fit. Everything in there was fake.