It seemed unassuming when my anonymous friend first showed it to me; a toast colored corduroy pillow. Small, square and flat, reminiscent of the early 80’s. But this little pillow holds some big secrets- bigger, perhaps, than we will ever know.
The origins of the pillow are shrouded in mystery, as are the channels through which it came to my anonymous friend. Two things are certain: It belonged to Neil Goldschmidt, once mayor of Portland, US Secretary of Transportation under Jimmy Carter and Oregon’s 33rd governor. It was taken directly from the chair in which he left it and his political career amid a maelstrom of sexual scandal in 2003.
This too is known: It vibrates.
That’s right. We already knew Neil was a freak; he spent a good part of the 70’s screwing his 14 year-old babysitter. But I don’t think we knew how freaky. For there can be no doubt about the purpose of this particular chair-enhancing device. “His lumbar!” You cry, “Perhaps he had sciatica!” But if you were to test this pillow just once you would quickly see the truth. This pillow is no therapeutic tool, recommended by the old family physician. This pillow is a thing of lust and licentiousness.
The condition of the pillow as well as the large vibrator mechanism, which runs on hefty D batteries, leads me to date it as originating somewhere in the early to mid 80’s. In addition, the cover is a golden-brown corduroy not seen much after about 1987. Plus, my extensive (read: 5 minutes) research on similar products indicates that the pillow is available now only in the much more up-to-date colors of red and blue.
Which causes one, this one anyway, to ponder: When did he acquire this pillow? Did he pick it up at Cindy’s back when he was mayor? Portland was still pretty wild and wooly in the 70’s and 80’s. One hears tales of massive corruption in the police department and crazy, coke-fueled parties behind the closed doors of some of Portland’s oldest restaurants. Or perhaps it was a gift from the babysitter. Or Jimmy Carter! (Ok, I know that last one’s a stretch, but it’s pretty exciting to think about. Well, it is if you like Jimmy Carter as much as I do. The way that I do). Was it a gift from his interns at some wild D.C. indoctrination party? Was it with him in the governor’s office, inspiring his legislation? Did it lend him some measure of comfort in the dark days after Michael Francke was killed?
And now that we’ve discussed where the pillow came from, let’s examine why he left it. Had he grown tired of it? Moved onto some more powerful tool for which the pillow was merely a gateway drug? Or maybe Diane, his second wife, was willing to cater to certain desires that his first wife wasn’t. Or perhaps he had two? One for the office and one for home use? Even several, perhaps? Appropriately colored for various rooms of the house?
And how could a man who spent all day with a vibrating pillow pressed to his nether-regions really concentrate? A minute or two even and one (again, this one) can imagine him descending into a sexual fog, his baser desires driving his gubernatorial mandates, his back-room king-making, his lunch orders!
Admittedly a human is nothing more than a balance between good and evil. And in weighing Goldschmidt, on which side should the pillow come down? This pillow brought something to him, be it good or bad. To us, it brings only questions.
As you can tell I have developed an undue fascination with this pillow. Liz has too, albeit in a slightly different sense. Soon she’ll tell us all about her personal journey of discovery with Neil Goldschmidt’s Vibrating Ass Pillow.