"Thanks for coming with me."
He smirks. "As if I'd pass this up. Where are we going exactly?"
I point. The inn rises before us, waiting. It's a quaint building, something out of the Victorian era, or perhaps more recent but still stuck in that same perfect past. As we push open the creaky door, I turn to see the perfectly ordered knick knacks of the hotel, screaming out their false memories as they try to add an aura of homeliness to what is in essence an institution. The tiny dolls and dusty stuffed toys cluster together, overwhelming the furniture, begging for you to make their story your own.
I peek into the kitchen where two women are working and talking. Their dress and carefully professional bobs of hair meld with forced friendly smiles to give an air of foreboding. But they direct us upstairs without any signs of concern. Maybe it's just me.
The man is waiting when we get upstairs. He’s middle aged, balding, and rather portly. Sweat pours off him and he adjusts his pants to cover what is clearly an erection. I ignore it and walk over to him. He’s already talking, blustering, and introduces himself to my bodyguard before even approaching me.
I slip into the bathroom to change. I fuss nervously with my hair while I readjust the undergarments, knowing that in a few moments they will be outerwear.
When I return to the room, the umbrella lights have been arranged around a gold upholstered chair. The light glares at me, two eyes filled with disapproval. What are you doing here? You’re one of the nice girls.
Nice girls don’t meet strange men in out-of-the-way hotels.
“Now, take off the left strap – no, your other left – so you’re just exposed… that’s it. Click… flash… I blink against the light. Don’t look at me like that. Even in the privacy of the room I know I’m showing more people than I can imagine. Photography is like that… a moment, captured. And then reproduced. Made available for anyone who wants to see it.
Though why anyone would want to see the form I'd kept concealed under my clothes, I didn't know.
"Don't try to hide. Lower your hand."
I place my hand firmly down on my thigh, leaning forward, still sucking in my stomach to try to hide the gut that ice cream sandwiches and parfaits have left, even though the motion makes the protrusions of my rib cage even more noticeable, the ghostly pallor of untanned skin revealed.
"Now if you would just slip out of that skirt..."
Another shapeless bit of fabric drops without ceremony to the floor behind the chair. Flash. I reposition myself, shifting in the seat. With each motion, a little more shows, put on display. More than anyone has seen displayed before.
The first boy to see me saw me in darkness. In the middle of what passes for a forest in Suburbia, past midnight, trespassing on public property to perform the most public and private of acts. He'd been my boyfriend for four years, but never my lover. And he wasn't that night... a lack of preparation made some things impossible. Only moonlight illuminated our bodies as we cast aside clothing in favor of rejoining nature, falling on the ground in the midst of roaches and broken beer bottles and dirt and dead leaves.
He told me I was beautiful. I never took that to heart... and I concealed myself with even more care than before. Click. So much for concealment. I lean forward, the angle making my breasts appear larger, shadowing my thighs and baring all while revealing nothing. I turn my head to give him a different angle, and meet the eyes of my ex boyfriend, my bodyguard... here to protect a body that he himself had never been allowed to sample.
Nice girls don’t take off their clothes for money.
Nice girls don’t enjoy it.
As true as memory can be.
DATE ADDED: 2010-07-02 18:13:38
COLLECTION: Personal Reflections
ITEM TYPE: Document
CITATION: Anonymous, "Exposed," in HACKGENDER, Item #40, http://hackgender.org/items/show/40 (accessed June 19, 2013).
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