One Pink Muscle to Go


  There is something wrong with the world. It is the people in it, or, at least most of them. The only absolute is that we primates are savage and terrible animals, regardless an individual’s queerness or lack thereof, for engaging in the collective’s fetish for religion. It is an unforgiving planet, there are a lot of motherfuckers on it. If you are not careful, and even if you are, you can be reduced to a bone or two left on the side of a lonely stretch of road.

    Reality is a subjective quantity; it is what you make of it. People though usually select a prepackaged idea of what life should be. It is easier that way. It is safer that way. There is little thought involved… No understanding or appreciation… No chance for an authentic experience or anything that could be considered a life worth living in the end.

    We are a fauna that spends an inordinate amount of time insulating ourselves from the most basic realities of life and death. We are the monkeys that want to live forever. The world is a distortion and it stands as a monument to the grotesque beliefs of the faithful. Reality slips by, largely unnoticed, as the masses await a better afterlife. The joke is on all of us, them of course, for wasting their fucking lives and us for allowing them to inflict so much of their horrors on the rest of the populace.

    Religion is a false path of course, as these things tend to be. Religion is something mankind has contrived to conceal the fact that we are nothing special and are prone to die and remain dead forever. It’s a great gig for hustlers. But all good things must come to an end. You live; you die. There is nothing else, life is short death is long… next stop oblivion. Today’s religions are tomorrow’s mythologies and so it goes. We rob ourselves when we dabble in myths and magic. We reduce ourselves more when we attempt to conjure an all-powerful cosmic friend, who is imaginary, to intervene on our behalf. It is a fool’s logic to take this life for granted while preparing for the “real life” after we die. Life has nothing to do with life after death, it is all about fitting as much life in before death comes calling for you.
    In the big and small of it, believers and their beliefs win out over practitioners of reason and rational thought. The godless are feared and despised by the majority, we are outcastes even in the immoral realm of politics. Reality is rotten from the top down. Ignorance spreads, like an infectious disease. Caught up in the middle of this or that, we are too close to see it for what it really is, no clue means no chance and there is no cure for that Jack. Delusion leads to a never-ending game of tag you can’t escape, that game of circle jerk in which you can’t get off to get out. No nirvana for you!

    Most of us are just too wrapped up in covering our own ass while trying to pay the bills. Who in the fuck has the time or the means to break the chains and run for freedom? Besides, examining one’s life is not as obvious or as easy as one would think. Introspection for many people is a distasteful, painful, heavy-lift that is hardly worth the effort. Therefore, we don’t fuck with it. We don’t look in that dark unexamined place. This is reality for most of us up until we die.

    More often than not, we are victims of our own ignorance; casualties of our own inabilities in surviving the learning curve. The truth is most people don’t learn from their mistakes and life goes on for whatever it is worth. Upon reflection, we are overwhelmed with the fact that life… no matter how hard we try, just doesn’t work out the way we thought it would.

    Into life we go, all mixed up, anxious, unhappy, unresponsive, needy, greedy and forever on the look out for that next thing coming down the pike that may make us or break us. It’s easier to immerse one’s self in a mind-numbing combination of something or other. It’s safer to pass the time, to fit in by selecting a ready-made reality from a prevailing distributor. It’s tough not to surrender to those so certain their way is the correct way, the only way; the high and mighty that define what happiness and success should look like. They are the dealers of actualities, manufactured per your request or so they will have you believe. There is only the problem of swapping one bullshit reality out for another of equal or more value.

    I ran headlong into the law of diminishing returns while immersed in that trendy reality of pursuing what was left of the American Dream. The hideous discovery was stunning, like running up on a mangled and dying beast in its final throes. Things were bad, everyone had been saying so for years. It was the economy and all that accompanied the downfall of such things. The economic situation was the worst since the Great Depression and there was no sign of improvement. We had experienced a “lost decade” and were well into the next when Mouse and I departed southern West Virginia for Stillwell, “the land of milk and honey,” in the northern part of the state.

    There wasn’t much in either hope or opportunity to be scratched out in McDowell County. It just wasn’t in the cards. Some things are not meant to be. The allure of the state’s biggest college town offered more than just hope and opportunity, it was a return home to that place where a happy childhood had been lived until events overtook it. Perhaps as important, it was something new, something different from the dreary years and that unhappy place we were determined to leave daily until we finally did.

    Stillwell, West Virginia, the once small university town next to the Monongahela River, was growing like a demonic strain of Kudzu despite the tough financial times. The town’s student population ballooned from fifteen thousand to nearly thirty thousand in under a decade and plans were to add as many paying students as the area could house. Stillwell University was simultaneously the redeeming feature and damnation of the Greater Stillwell Area. Good were the jobs it provided. Damning was the many times the university lowered its standards to admit the more academically challenged. Student housing expansion throughout the county led to higher property values. Rents, mortgages and property taxes skyrocketed, screwing many locals out of affordable housing.

    Stillwell buzzed with activity and cash while the rest of the state languished. It was a beacon, a rare economic success story in an otherwise bleak landscape. Some folks say I missed the town at its best by two decades. Others said it was just as likely there was nothing to be missed in the first place. The one thing everyone could agree on was that more money than ever was being pumped into the town and adjacent villages. The money had changed everything and there was no turning back now.

    It is of course, always about the money, that’s what attracts so many to stripping. You can make a lot of cash if you have what it takes. What it takes is enough ego and indifference not to give a fuck what people think. Girls lacking or incapable of developing the requisite ego and indifference are destined to attempt something else when they can’t warm to the show. Most girls in this line of work, as a rule, are not driven to it as a result of a lifelong dream but by a series of nightmarish experiences that leaves them for dead and dancing in the doom and gloom of a poorly lit establishment.

    Driven by demons: abuse, addiction, self-loathing, overdue bills or whatever reason that brought so many girls to the trade, there we were. For the younger girls, once we were away from home there was a feeling of independence and power from being gone from that unbearable desolation. It was good to be free from the terrible heaviness, all the while quite unaware or uncaring of the consequences of our decisions.

    All kinds of girls gravitate to the adult entertainment industry; the manipulators; the hardboiled; the clueless; those wrecked beyond human recognition or repair; those devoid of emotion and sensation; girls addicted to something or other. There are hatchet people in every line of work with some professions attracting more than others. Many women dabbled as exhibitionists while making the real money dealing drugs or prostituting or both. Some… many, are instinctual beings… wild things. There are those beyond learning, help or hope; they are just there until they aren’t anymore. I’ve seen girls fade away until they were no longer there, a result of whatever consumed them. Others just disappeared outright. Life, reality, is like that, you’re here today and then you’re gone tomorrow. Maybe, you never were.

    Not all dancers are of the lowest common denominator, soulless cunts on the race to the bottom. Far from it. There were of course the timid; the intellectual; even the girl next door… hard-working girls looking for better than what the usual grind had to offer. There I was, just like the rest, stumbling from one illusion to the next and not knowing this to be true. For me, it was more about possessions that seemed to be a measure of the good life. I had been in Stillwell for only a few days before I found my way to a strip club across the river in the little burgh known as Rivertown. It was all about getting those many things that one must go without in an impoverished life and then some. That was my reality.

    Reality is a tough nut to get. For most people, life is that ongoing mystery that stares them in the face while kicking them in the ass. The mockery is for not understanding the simplicity of it all. If you’re lucky or properly trained, you can catch glimpses of the beautiful and horrific event that is life.

    We were living life, as it were, by the second hand; we hit it with full force and achieved maximum velocity. Unbiased, untreated, eyes wide open … the real thing, an authentic experience. That one moment you can connect in a way that is electric. Time becomes weighty as it reaches its full potential… it then decelerates and pulls to the side of the road to slip into its favorite watering hole.

    Most of the customers were just looking for a good time; it’s where their dicks led them. There were those in search of replenishing their dope supply or obtaining sexual favors. Others ran from the empty quiet, so reminiscent of death, to a place where there was music and life. Some of the more misguided even came looking for love. Business was good.

    It is what it is. I have few regrets and that’s better than most can say. Life, reality goes on. Nothing else matters. Perceive that reality! That’s my thoughts on it all. Just remember though, as an old friend advised: “We believe what we are able to perceive and baby, that’s reality.” Thus, spoke the hermit, and he was almost always right.