a classy whore

[listen to podcast while you read]

A classy whore who heaved herself onto the street despite a cold that made her feel shaky, suddenly saw that she didn’t care about being classy after all anymore.

She remembered when she’d been a girl and strange as it seemed to her and maybe to you, she also remembered who she hadn’t been but who she could’ve been. At some point, as she was steadying herself against a black post, a customer approached her. She noticed his empty look, his expensive shoes, his manicured hands.

He held onto her with these hands as she held onto the post. She found it peculiar, even laughable that this man, who seemed but a shell of a person and who probably had no idea why he was really here, held on to her when she was the sick one.

Her illness became a crystal ball reflecting not just real images around her, but fantasies, too, and while armies of bacteria were swarming out boisterously playing attack and retreat with her blood cells, she began to expand her mind with colors that she hadn’t thought existed, and with words that hadn’t made any sense before this moment.

“Why don’t you say anything,” said the man, and she became aware that he stood too close and was spitting in her face while talking.

She didn’t like his voice, his shoes, his stance – and before she fell down at his feet, she thought it odd that her looks had concerned her for so long.

Update: republished at the classy Reprint Poetry (01/2012) who also came up with the new name (previously: “on the edge”)— My submission for Blue Print Review’s “> Language > Place Carnival“, May 2011 edition #6 hosted by the fabulous Michelle Elvy of the Seven Seas, originally written as part of an exercise suggested by Ralph Williams of Tale of Three Cities during a spring session of our Berlin writers group. In that group, language is constantly “on the edge“: the group members come from the United States, Italy, United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany. None of them are, or intend to be, or are currently writing about sex workers.

8 thoughts on “a classy whore

  1. could’ves and should’ves haunt us all, a notion you have captured gloriously here. it is the would’ves that are the most problematic.. at least she had a device she could harness..melancholicly divine marcus..

  2. I like the idea of relief of self-consciousness, how it seems empowering in a tragic way. Applause for this.

    I also like hearing you read. Will you read something of mine one day? It will give me a reason to write something really, really good (which might take a while, but if you agree I’ll get to crackin’).

    • thank you very much, jen – for reading, for that particular comment and for listening. i’d love to read something of yours. have done it before, will do it again. i’m really rather irrepressible that way. 

      • cool!!! it will give me an excuse to write something worthy of your voice. and either from the male perspective or third person, so yeah, it’ll be a while… (i have to outsource, you see, my voice isn’t too audio-friendly)

  3. On the edge indeed. I like all that holding on happening here — tenuous and frightening. An excellent story for this month’s Blog Carnival. Thanks for taking part! 

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