THROUGH MY WINDOW

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Dusk

Through my window, a sea of strangers swirl and retreat like waves in an ocean of humanity. I brush my hair, fix my makeup and flip on the glaring red light in my booth before turning to face them on the other side of the glass.

They begin each evening like still waters. Ebbing and flowing past my window. Unaffected by buffeting winds or brewing desires. Eddying in swirls as they gather, peek around our infamous district with downcast eyes, then scatter—awkward and unsure yet inquisitive.

Curious couples setting out on tandem adventures, young men high on the moral freedom of Amsterdam and clusters of women indulging in a wild night with friends all dip their toes in the pool.

Later, much later, they will roil and crash against the glass in a typhoon of wanton excess—of food, drink, drugs and sex—that never ceases to amaze me.

Or to infect me with its primal power.

Most women shoot me glances of pity if they look at me at all. I feel sorry for them, that they don’t understand. But some…some grin and nod.

Appreciation.

Respect.

Envy.

A select few go further, seeking my services so they can share in the rush for a brief time.

Men are more likely to notice my sincere yearning to please right away. All manner of them from young to old, rich to poor, thin to fat and virile to impotent appraise me with hungry eyes.

Cynics might say my killer curves, mile-high stilettos or long mane of platinum hair are responsible for their focused attention. I don’t buy that. I’m not the most attractive working girl on the block. But I’m one of the busiest.

Customers can sense I’m different than most. They recognize I’m here not because I have to be but because I want to be. I absorb their stares before returning some of my own. The authority they grant me is intoxicating and addicting.

I love enticing a kindred spirit to my lair for both our enjoyment and my profit.

The hot, red lights of my booth, along the canal slicing through the heart of De Wallen, glint off my silver-sequined costume. What little of it there is anyway. The warm air in the space caresses my bared skin each time my neighbors let someone in or show them out.

Satisfaction guaranteed.

Theirs. And mine. Ours.