Episode 10: They hear woman with vibrator in Vegas

We arrived late and tired to the hotel — it was the famous one with the huge pyramid —

1 Luxor 1

Here’s the soap we pinched to prove we were there —

2 Soap small

We queued to check in and went up to our room and tried the door but the electronic key wouldn’t work. I tried it every which way.

“But this is absurd,” I said. “We should try to find a staff person.”

“There won’t be any staff,” my partner said. “This place is a machine. Everything is set up to make you gamble, nothing else.”

It certainly felt deserted. I cast my eye up and down: the inside of the pyramid was cavernous, you could see floors and floors of rooms, like a beehive, but not a soul in sight.

I tried the room key one more time — and this time a muffled, hesitant voice came from within. “This room taken!” it said, or it might have been, “We are in here!

We both stared at the door. I was suddenly conscious that the person in “our” room, whoever it was, was watching us right now through the spyhole in the door, and probably had been all the time we were trying the key and pulling at the handle. I drew my partner aside.

“Actually,” I said, “this is good. We might get an upgrade. In fact I’ll insist upon it.”

We went back down to check-in. The queue was long; I had to be bold. I marched up to the man and, summoning as much haughtiness as I could, tossed the key across the desk.

“Seems our room is already taken,” I said.

“That’s odd,” the man said and scanned his computer. Then: “Hmm. I guess we’ll just have to upgrade you to one of our superior suites.”

“That would be a good idea,” I said and chuckled in what I thought was a worldly way. I added, for I felt a bit guilty over the haughtiness, “And in which case, we might even stay for a second night” — to which the man, without taking his eyes from the computer screen, gave a brief, private smile.

With our new key in hand we went up to our “superior suite”, higher up than our original room, and it didn’t disappoint. A large space, two huge beds, a massive flat-screen telly.

“But there’s no kettle,” I said.

“They don’t want you in your room being comfortable,” my partner said. “They want you out spending.”

“Perhaps I can get a cup of tea on the Strip.”

“If you say so.”

I brushed aside all obstacles. We had only this one night in Vegas, and it was already ten pm. “Let’s go!”

We strode out. It was everything I dreamed it would be. A fantasy world! —

3 Fantasy world

“The first time you come here there’s the big wow factor,” my partner commented, “there’s that insane intensity. The second time it’s just the revolting underbelly.”

But what about the incredible iconic sights — Paris, New York, Hollywood —

4 Paris in Vegas

“There’s no hope for humanity,” she said.

I could understand what she was on about — it was brash and superficial and all about money — but this was my time! I wanted to be wow’d. I wanted to go into every hotel —

Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

“It’s the fall of the Roman Empire all over again,” she said.

True, the grittier, seedier side was almost immediately apparent. The pavements of the main Strip were littered with cards portraying naked women, their nipples and other bits discreetly covered by little stars. These cards were advertising for escort girls and strip clubs and were being passed out to passersby, who clearly discarded them in their thousands —

6 Pavement

As I walked along, one’s eyes could not help but be drawn to these cards. But I did not have the moral courage to bend over and pick one up, for fear of social embarrassment. Yet the desire to do so was strong, and eventually I said to my partner, “If you see me reach down and pick up one of those cards, it’s an anthropological experiment merely.”

“This is Satan’s lair,” she said.

We snaked on down the Strip. The night was hot and the crowds were huge. We passed dancing girls. You could get your photo taken with them for a small donation. This one waved me over and I snapped her for free —

7 Girls

“Goodo!” I said to her and walked right on by. “Goodo!”

My partner was steering us towards the famous Venice Hotel. If you were ever going to see a hotel in Vegas, she said, it should be this one. It had more style and dignity and quietness than all the brashness around it. And it was true —

8 Venetian

Magnificent. “This is where the intellectuals come when they go to Vegas!” I said, delighted.

Yet here we found ourselves not entirely relaxed, because the non-gambling parts of the hotel were largely deserted due to the late hour. We walked along its mall: its shops were closed. This window drew our attention —

9 Cat Masks

Mysterious, significant somehow. We continued on through large empty spaces that leached our energy. After some searching we found our way back onto the Strip. It’s where I wanted to be. It was full of life; you could feel the pull of the hot night air and the press of human bodies. I wanted to lose myself in it, this endless stream, turning and flowing, the smell of beer.

But we had a plan to descend into more gambling parts, just to see them. They looked like this —

10 Gambling

The spinning roulette wheels and the revolving dials of the slots … they were just so many chocolate wheels. I expected a bit more glamour; the scene struggled to rise above a Returned Services Club back home. Nothing reminiscent of Ocean’s Eleven, no high-rollers in suits or ten-gallon hats, no charming smiles and suave cocked eyebrows. My partner was more dismissive:

“I’ve never seen so many people so disabled from their fatness,” she said, surveying the scene.

It was true. A large number of obese people were seated at the slot machines. Others were not fat but infirm in some way, supported by breathing machines or other devices that kept them upright so that they could endlessly hit the ‘play’ button on the machines.

We strode on through, triumphing in the fact that we were above such behaviour — until I stopped at a slot machine. I saw the place where you insert your ten-dollar bill. It said ‘ten-dollar bill’. That was exactly the bill I had in my pocket, and which I now began to finger.

This particular machine was nicely located out of the way, on a corner where two rows of machines met. It felt private and safe and all at once very inviting. It would surely be no harm if I inserted my note right there in that slot. It even had a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory theme —

11 Wonka

Surely that was a good omen. It would just be a bit of fun with some chocolate surprises…just the one play would do it —

“What? — ” I said, because my partner was saying something to me. “What was that you said?”

“I’ve never seen such fatness in all my days,” she said, casting her gaze around.

“Oh. Yes…yes…” I agreed and the note stayed fingered in my pocket.

Back outside the warm stream of people flowed by. We stepped into it and it bore us along. I looked up. We were passing under this creature that stared right down at me and right inside me —

12 The God

I could not take my eyes off it. Glorious! I took five snaps of it. It — this mysterious figure with its shining blue eyes and riding a strange, other-worldly ship called ecstasy — was inviting me on board. Come, join me, climb up upon my cornucopia of gold and ride into bliss! But it was unsettling too. The glowing eyes seemed to mock me at the same time. Yet, I thought, one could choose to jump on board and hang the result. This place was full of energy but had no conscience — and that was liberating! It had no class boundaries; it had no boundaries at all. It did not care who or what you were. Nothing meant anything. Come fly with me, come fly with me! And why not?! Why not a libertine world? One could give over to it. One could find…the Vegas within.

The stream moved us along to a place above the street that afforded a grand view of the whole dazzling Strip, and we paused there to admire it, including the elegant Bellagio —

13 Bellagio

“You know,” my partner said, “I see all this and I think, Islamic State take it.”

The hour was very late and we were running out of steam but decided we’d move on to see one last hotel. The MGM, famous for its glitz. But there had been some roadworks and we were diverted to a side entrance. We followed walkways and corridors and passed through a maze of glass doors — and the thing was we never managed to get into the hotel itself, we never found it, so we had to retrace our steps. I’d noticed that my partner had been opening doors using only her elbows.

“What are you doing that for?” I finally asked.

“I don’t want to touch the handles,” she said. “They’re all spermy.”

I was too tired to compute this. We dragged ourselves along the street, finally got back to the pyramid, went up to our room and — with no cup of tea in sight — collapsed exhausted into bed.

The first impediment: the pillows were huge and hard, impossible to sleep on — unless, I realized, you were really big or really fat.

“Think about it,” I said to my partner. “The mechanics of it.”

I tried sleeping without a pillow, but the bed was so hard I didn’t know which was worse: pillow or no pillow.

Suddenly there was a commotion outside the room — loud laughing and joking — and I jumped up and went over to the door and planted my eye into the socket of the door’s spyhole.

Now, I’ve got to say that this spyhole was magnificent. It gave an almost 180-degree view of the hallway. And through it I could see two men approaching, from the right, their bodies somewhat warped by the fish-eye effect.

One of the men had no shirt on. I got the sense he was sweaty and bursting with machismo. I imagined he was Mexican. They laughed and brayed and lingered awhile then turned around and went back the way they’d come — the direction of the elevator. The sense of lawlessness of the ‘Mexican’ was disconcerting.

“It’s OK, “ I said, and got back into bed.

We lay in silence for a while. I could not get comfortable.

Then the noise outside returned — the laughing, braying men were back.

“Superior suite my arse!” my partner said.

It sounded like a fracas was about to begin. Also I could hear a woman’s voice among it all.

I leapt out of bed and hurried to the door again. I looked through the spyhole — there they were, the two men, the shirtless Mexican most prominent, right outside our door. Actually they were just to the right — they were staying in the room right next to ours!

Their door was open: I could see the two men clearly addressing themselves to people inside the room. I could hear, but not see, a woman, or was it two women?

I was suddenly annoyed with myself. If I’d got out of bed just that little bit sooner I might’ve been able to see what was going on a bit better.

The two men entered the room. The door closed behind them.

I returned to bed. We could hear them all very clearly through the wall. I listened in the dark: I could hear, yes, two women’s voices, loud, maybe drunk.

“I could call the desk,” I said.

“No. Give it some time,” my partner said.

We lay there waiting. Miraculously it wasn’t long before we heard their door open and their voices resound in the hallway.

I padded to my position at the spyhole and saw the two men. I could hear a woman’s voice out there too but couldn’t see her. Damn it! What was it about this spyhole that wouldn’t let me see the women?!

“They’re leaving,” I said, and returned to bed.

“They’ll be back.”

Well, at least we had this window of opportunity to get to sleep. The room next door had fallen quiet, so perhaps all the occupants had gone. I tried the fatty’s pillow again. If I lay perfectly still, in the centre of it, maybe I could sleep. Some time passed, I might have been dozing off. Then:

“Are you hearing that?” my partner said.

I got up on my elbow and listened. It was a low moaning. Female, of a sexual nature.

We listened in the dark.

“It’s a woman with a vibrator,” my partner said.

I jumped out of bed and pressed my ear against the wall. I could hear a whirring sound.

“Not that wall…” my partner said.

Oh, the other one! What I was hearing was an air conditioner.

I stepped over to the wall separating us from our raucous neighbours and placed my ear on it. I could hear the moaning clearly enough. Not constant, but it was there. So at least one person — one woman — was still in that room.

I listened. And listened.

I could hear nothing other than her moaning. I could not hear a vibrator, and did not know if one could’ve in that situation. And now that I thought about it, how did my partner deduce that a vibrator was at work instead of some other stimulation? I did not want to know.

It was appropriate that I return to bed. I did so. The moaning seemed to subside. We tossed and turned. The pillows were impossible.

Then the moaning recommenced, this time much louder.

“Oh for fuck’s sake,” said my partner.

“I’m going to call the front desk,” I said.

“No,” my partner said firmly.

“We have a right to.”

“I know.”

“I can do it,” I said.

“Don’t.”

Even if one ends up being really gauche, I wanted to say, one should not be embarrassed to do such things.

“Well how about I knock on the wall?” I said.

“No!”

“Fine!”

So we would sleep through it. I pummelled the pillow to soften it. Then something strange happened. I got itchy. At first on my legs, then all over. I had to scratch and couldn’t stop myself.

“What are you doing?” my partner asked.

“I’m scratching. I’m itching all over. It could be bed bugs.”

“Don’t tell me that!”

“I’m joking,” I said and explained that it was almost certainly my dry skin, exacerbated by the desert air and all the air conditioning.

I had an idea. “Look, let’s sleep in separate beds. We’re just waking each other up this way.”

“Yes.”

So I ventured over to the other bed. En route I pressed my ear against the wall and heard our neighbor still busy at work, long lingering low moans of intense pleasure. I shrugged and went to the bed. This time I ditched all pillows, got my jacket and scrunched it up and tried it. Apart from the zip biting into my cheek, it was far better than the damn pillows.

And it was good to have one’s own space. I was no longer itchy.

But sleep still evaded me — how long had I lain there? I could not see a clock; it was beside my partner. The moaning next door continued. How long could she go on for?

Eventually, not being able to sleep, I got up to listen again. The wall was cool against my ear. I felt strangely calm. The room was completely dark, or almost dark; I could see the outline of things. A recent headline from an Irish newspaper flashed into my mind —

14 Paper

Oh yes, No light, but darkness visible. I could stand here seen yet unseen, forever. And I did stand there for some time, how long I couldn’t tell. The deep-felt moaning in my ear was like the coming and going of waves on a beach under a faint moon, in and out…in and out… I could fall asleep right here, on my feet, beautiful, beautiful…

I was sleepy. I returned to bed and lay down.

But as soon as I got horizontal, my stillness of mind was invaded by images from the Strip. One was of a woman we saw being tattooed on her shoulder. She had laughed at the pain of it, perhaps not from stoicism but from the thrill of having her naked breasts exposed to the stream of passersby, mostly men, myself included, who grinned or gawped at her flesh. I’d been too surprised to take a photo and was jostled along.

Then the iconic figure reappeared to me, the one I came to call the God of the Strip —

15 The god close up

Those eyes of his, his beckoning hand laden with coins. That breasted creature he rode. That mask he wore — “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person,” Oscar Wilde said. “Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”

More broken literary fragments came jangling like puppets into my mind. A line from the Marquis de Sade, which I’d not thought about for many years, from The 120 Days of Sodom — in which Duke Blangis (ah yes, de Sade’s favourite creation, a cruel libertine craven) is depicted in the throes of sexual climax thus: “Horrible shrieks and dreadful oaths escaped his heaving breast. Flames seemed to dart from his eyes. He frothed at the mouth…he whinnied… and he even strangled his partner.”

“Ha ha ha ha ha!” I laughed to myself. “Ha ha ha ha!”

Images of the escort cards that littered the Strip in their countless millions flickered in and out of my vision. Those cards! How my eye had scanned back and forth, back and forth, like — yes, like the evil angel Mammon from Milton’s Paradise Lost, who — I remembered this fragment from my student days —before his fall from grace, walked about Heaven with “his looks and thoughts always downward bent,/ admiring more the riches of Heaven’s pavement”, hoping to find any coins that had fallen from the other angels’ pockets.

Pavement I now thought, just as I thought back then twenty years ago, pavement … What a stupid word to put in a poem! And what a stupid rhyme! Downward bent…pavement. The pavement cards morphed in my mind —

16 Gomorrah

Sodom and Gomorrah. Burn, baby, burn! —

17 On fire

“Ha ha ha ha ha ha!” I laughed.

A noise split the night. I sat bolt upright. Commotion again erupted out in the hallway. I threw the sheet aside and darted to the door and planted my eye in the spyhole.

The still-shirtless Mexican and his mate were holding a woman in their arms. They carried her ‘chair’ style, their arms under her thighs while she draped her arms around their necks. She wore a stark red dress and was moaning deliriously, her head flopping back. The men were talking in their braying language — not laughing, this was serious. What on earth was happening? Was she with them or was she a stranger? Had they spiked her drink and kidnapped her and were going to do unspeakable things to her right next door? — No, they were not. There was a familiarity to their demeanours; and this new soberness of the men spoke against anything untoward. They stopped outside their door and one of them — the Mexican — knocked on it.

I don’t know why but I found myself opening our own door.

I did not actually walk out into the hall to meet them, after all I was dressed only in boxers and a T-shirt. Rather, I held onto our door and extended my top half out more or less horizontally from it.

From their point of view, it would have looked like I was somehow sticking out sideways from the room, like I was floating, like a vampire perhaps.

“Hello!” I said. “Problem here? Problem here?”

The two men, and even the woman — who, I now realized, was in pain — turned to me. Their expressions were suddenly blank; their mouths hung open.

“What’s your connection with her?” I said to the Mexican and pointed to the red-dress woman.

The Mexican removed his right arm from its position supporting the legs of the woman and jabbed a finger in my direction. The blank expression was gone; he now looked fierce.

“You,” he said to me, pointing, “you can fuck off.”

“Goodo!” I said “Goodo!” and my top half glided sideways back into our room. I closed the door.

I heard their door open. I fixed my eye to the spyhole.

“What’s happening?” came my partner’s voice out of the darkness.

“Shush!” I said.

I could hear the second woman — the vibrator woman — open the door and come out. But she only came out far enough for me to see her forearm. Blast this damn spyhole!

They were all talking to each other in excited voices. The two men carried the red-dress woman inside and then the door was pulled shut. I left the spyhole and moved to my position by the wall and planted my ear. Yes…yes…the story unfolded. There had been a fight…with some men outside a club…and the red-dress woman had trodden on a broken bottle…her foot was slashed… They were explaining all this to the vibrator woman, who was suitably shocked and concerned and I was wondering had she finished with the vibrator when they’d knocked or had they interrupted her?

There was some laughter… All would be OK…Phew!

I relayed all this to my partner, leaving out my little encounter with the Mexican.

Within ten minutes silence fell in the next room.

Without any more conversation between my partner and me, I returned to my bed. I slept. I know this because at some point I woke with a nightmare, sat up, flaying in the darkness visible, and cried out to my partner, “Where are you?!”

“I’m in the other bed. You’re OK, you’re OK.”

“Oh…Oh…” I said and lay back down.

And I was awake enough to hear her mutter, “For the love of God let me sleep.”

Next thing I knew our clock-alarm was beeping. It was daytime, early but we had a big day ahead.

“How revolting to be kept awake for three hours by a woman diddling herself,” my partner said as I drew back the curtain. Unglamorous day greeted us —

18 Heat

We forced ourselves to eat a dismal, groggy meal at Starbucks in the lobby. With coffee I perked up. I said I wanted to explore the hotel for a few minutes. Long had I desired to see the pagan gods and idols of this building —

19 Luxor idols

Did my partner wish to join me?

“No,” she said and sat down with the luggage next to some fatties from Australia. “I’ll sit here,” she said, and added: “Doesn’t matter where you are in Hell, you’re still burning, right?”

I walked out the main entrance and into a long tunnel, which proved to be the loins of a great creature, which I saw in full when I emerged into the beating sun and heat. Oh greatness! —

20 Sphinx

But it was time to leave. We picked up our hire car. On the outskirts of the city my partner pointed to a sign.

“Look,” she said. “The University of Las Vegas. Typical. A shack in the heat.”

“It wasn’t all that bad,” I said, meaning our whole experience.

“Promise me we’ll never return.”

We hit the open road and drove east across Arizona and up into Utah and came almost to the centre of the desert. And here, in our humble hotel room, with the pure, red sand all about us, we made a cup of tea and stretched out on the sofa and switched on the television only to discover the following programs on free-to-air broadcast —

Bye-bye double chin!

Lovemaking secrets!

Belly too big?

Knife show/cutlery corner

I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist

I hate my aching feet

Young sluts who serve

Plus-sized nymphos

Homemade sluts

And a program hosted by two glamorous but respectable-looking women, called Sexy pleasures: Adam and Eve at Home. We paused on this one. The two hosts took the viewing audience through a tour of their top-of-the-line vibrators, including—

The wild G spot rabbit vibrator — “Truly futuristic, waterproof and with rabbit ears.”

The wet wabbit vibrator — “With rabbit ears, the future of adult toys.”

The bullet blaster kit — “Complete with light indicator.”

The original Venus butterfly — “Excellent for hands-free action.”

Fingo’s nubby finger …

The removable vibrating bullet …

And finally the Super head honcho masturbator for men.

They invited the audience to explore all their fine products at www.adameve.com. Their eyes twinkled as they said, “Purchase one of our top-line products and you’ll also get a free romance kit with a little something for him, and also for her.”

“That’s enough of that rubbish,” I said and turned it off.

We headed further east, by car and then by plane and after many dusty days arrived in New York.

At last, Manhattan! Now we could get the holiday we wanted, the holiday we dreamed of in our planning. Civilization! Culture! Class! Begone all that crassness!

But even seedy hotels are expensive in Manhattan. We lugged our luggage up the narrow stairs and into a tiny room that was in fact one of their ‘deluxe suites’. We stood around looking at the room, for there was nowhere to sit, and within ten minutes we heard a raucous noise in the hallway.

I went to the spyhole, which by the way was far inferior to the one in Vegas. Through it I could see two people: a muscle-bound man grinning like a boy and a raunchy blonde woman cackling.

With great excitement and fidgeting and groping they entered the room directly next to ours.

“They’ll be trouble,” I said.

We continued to unpack our bags, and within a few minutes a loud cry came from the corridor.

“Christ, that’s a child!” I said, alarmed.

“That was no child,” my partner said. “It’s that raunch couple.”

“No,” I said. But I went to the wall connecting our rooms and listened and sure enough they were engaging in raucous sex, and very soon they reached their crescendo, which included — I could hear it clearly — slapping of flesh and the woman emitting a very loud ecstatic screech.

“She actually sounds like a monkey,” my partner said.

Then I was drawn to new sounds coming from the hallway. I took to the spyhole and saw that a Middle Eastern family had come out of their room and were heading in our direction clearly having heard the woman’s shrieks and thinking that a girl or woman was being attacked or was dying or otherwise in need of some help. Then, halfway down, the father obviously twigged to what was going on, and he went from looking concerned to looking horror-struck; he stopped his wife and young daughter in their tracks, did an abrupt about-face and ushered them back into their room, saying something like, “Go, go! Nothing here, nothing here!”

I returned to my partner.

“Christ, it’s everywhere we go,” she said.

“Well, we’re stuck here now,” I said. “We’ve paid a week in advance, no cancellations permitted. I guess we’ll have to spend the evenings at Starbucks.”

The sexual moaning and grunting next door continued in full swing.

“It’s so disrespectful, they’re animals,” my partner said.

“They are literally animals fucking, if you know what I mean,” I said more philosophically.

Another wailing cry of ecstasy echoed through the building.

“Come on!” my partner suddenly hollered. “It’s not a fucking whorehouse in here!”

I stood looking at the wall that separated us from the action, mystified that all I was seeing was a wall, an immovable wall.

“Fuck it, let’s go for a walk,” my partner said.

Yes, I guess that would be the thing to do. Get some air. Maybe stop for a drink somewhere, see the sights, Statue of Liberty and so on.

We stepped out into the hallway. The sex noise had stopped and now voices could be heard from within our neighbours’ room, normal voices, mostly the woman’s voice.

“Did you hear that?” my partner asked, and proceeded down the hall.

“No, what?”

“What the woman said.”

“No. What did she say?” I said following her.

“Something about in my butt-hole.”

Goddamit! I said to myself and punched my hand in frustration and looked back at Miss Butt-hole’s door. How can I report on my world if I don’t pay attention!!

So we headed out onto the street. The night, at least, was cool.

 

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2 thoughts on “Episode 10: They hear woman with vibrator in Vegas

  1. So… Hamilton’s Ulysses: you travelled all the way to Bugsy’s mecca for this aggravation? Next time you have masochistic yearnings, come and stay a night with me. It will be much cheaper, and probably more aggravating 😉

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