The Masseuse

Strip Club, East St. Louis

One of the girls finishes her routine with a perfect high-heeled dismount. After being helped offstage by a fellow dancer, she sits down with the big man to get her massage.

This must be the place where psychiatrists have their birthday parties. An avalanche, an extravaganza. An encyclopedic collection of buffoonery and temptation dancing around the room with each other to the tune of "Your Love" by the Outfield. Feeble-minded entertainment maybe, but it puts everything into perspective — the entire universe, the fundamentals of the whole human race can be summed up here. A synthesis. There should be a sign on the wall: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HUMAN FOLLY FOUND HERE.

The big man gives all the dancers massages, rubbing them over, wrapping his fingers around their vulnerable necks, their delicate ribs, their feline scalps. Not a bad job, this guy has. You can see the satisfaction in the girl's sultry expression. In this state, she looks quite innocent, not at all like the lascivious nightmare who was just under the reddish lights spreading her legs and slapping her own ass a minute ago with a nasty Billy Idol expression on her face, pretending to be exactly the kind of girl that any sane man with a healthy sense of self-preservation should want nothing to do with. Playing an object to worship and disrespect simultaneously — a polarity that flip-flops like a fish suffocating on a dock.

 
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