I never understood why she was in my life. I thought of her today. The Japanese Waif, I pleasantly nicknamed her without ever addressing her by that moniker. At 5’1” she might not have weighed 80 pounds but she wore it well. She did not look sickly or frail, just simple and small.

She went by Vivia but no way was that her real name. I never found a trace of her online in any people-finder or public records. She was here illegally, which helped explain the absence. I don’t know how deliberate or scheming she was in excising herself from public record. Did she know what she was doing or just go on instinct? As a certain ilk would ask: Did she run on faith?

The name “Vivia” was, I now believe, an Americanized pseudonym. It is common for Japanese to use Americanized names without registering them in a public record. I never saw any ID card for her. I never asked. I’d like to think she had some kind of ID for selling stuff on the street but she was out there illegally.

I don’t like saying how we met, because it sounds gratuitous. It was a Flushing-bound Q66 on Northern Boulevard at Woodside Avenue. With just two or three other passengers on board the bus was mostly empty but she stepped onto that bus and, in an instant, a flashbulb burst. It was like a foregone conclusion. She sat right next to me and just started talking, talking about how no one takes the bus, asking why, conjecturing… For no discernable reason we were instant friends.

Lives are not lived in years, or eras. Lives are lived in seconds, and moments. When she stepped on that bus the moments came together, minutes from her childhood, moments from the week before, seconds from the hours to come in which we flashed instantly, talking like familiar strangers until she had to let me know.

She put her face in her hands and said “I know who you are. You’re Mark Thomas.” She was painfully embarrassed and so was I, then as now as I recount the moment. I don’t like being recognized but she seemed to be on my side. I put my arm around her as she wept through a beaming smile.

What happened here to bring us together on this nearly-empty Q66 bus that would leave us practically at the front door of her meticulously quirky basement apartment? How did atoms and energies know to move us toward each other? How did it happen that within an hour of those first blushes on that bus we were fucking like maniacs on her yellowed mattress, her face wilding from tight and taut to released and glorious. That tiny smile kept me going, into her, into her, as sounds of Flushing clattered past above us.

I know why I thought of her today. It’s the dildo. I bought it for her. She never had one and I thought she’d have fun with it. She was unimpressed, finding it characterless. I couldn’t disagree but felt disappointment anyway. I thought it was a good gift for a girlfriend, if that’s even what she was. When she got deported it must never have entered her mind, or any other part of her, to grab that dildo.

I was with another woman later, in the summer, who had fun with it. But her real joy was in making me play with it. She told me to suck on it like she did, “Like I suck you.” I did, and I never saw her laugh so hard. I was afraid she would laugh herself sick but it didn’t stop me from gorging on that big fat silicone cock. I did this little performance for her 3 times before we ended our dalliance.

If she wanted to keep the dildo she must have forgot to ask for it. With 5 of them at attention in her cabinet she didn’t need another one.

This is why I own a dildo. It started with Vivia, continued with the doctor, and endures as a kind of aspirational presence for me. Always happy, always hard, always ready. A harmless thing for me to bat around when having just one is not enough.