the mirrored glass ceiling

In the early hours of my commute, I stopped for gas and a coffee at a convenient gas station off the highway. To my surprise I not only see signs of life, it’s someone that I know. Todd, a friend from high-school strangely perky and alert at such a bleary-eyed morning told me about my brother’s bachelor party.

Believing in the polite fiction that the party was going to be gentile tippling and social badinage is not enough to make me want to go. I’m sure the party will be some writhing, skank-ridden, hedonistic night led by his obviously unmarried friends. Though my protest of this party can be considered pernicious, it’s not the sole topic of this posting.

A few months back I recall taking in a few documentaries and a really good radio call-in show about the sex trade, from the minor titillating strippers to sex workers; legal and illegal. The women in these pieces talked about their hardships and the variety of their clientele. Some had lives and family that were not impacted by their occupation others had deep scars and regret over their life choices. For the most part these career women were motivated not by their sense of altruism but the scores of the willing and eager to give them money.

I am so fascinated by the industry in the way that one gets ahead and climbs the ladder of success. Is there a mirrored glass ceiling that one can hit? If you’re only as good as your next tease, act, or scene there’s got to be a point where one feels lackluster. Are there strippers out there that feel they are stuck in a rut because their frame cannot support a larger breast implant? Are there prostitutes and porn stars that work extra diligently to get that labial nip and tuck? At what point does a Nevada hooker have an existential breakdown?


Sitting down to dinner in a small town outside of Ann Arbor, I overheard what I think was a man who fell on bad times. He cited the hardships of people in Asian countries and his disgust of the far reaching impact of the American military. Trying to sound travel weary and world wise this man advised the couple he was having dinner with nuggets of knowledge from “Study French because it’s an international language” to “You should really take a look at the way Germany’s tax structure”.

The man sitting accross from him seemed to be impressed, while his girlfriend stayed silent and scanned the room for an easy escape route. At one point the loud-mouth shared his views on how the excesses of certain Americans should somehow be levied and given to underdeveloped nations, after which he ordered another plate of fish to get his money’s worth from the all-you-can-eat special. Don’t try to preach equality and complain about America’s gluttony, especially after your fourth helping of fried cod.

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