I have to be very careful about my wardrobe. Customers call for a particular look, a package of cotton-candy come-on and appeal, but with a frame for the transaction that has all the stiffly pliable openings and limitations they want hidden within it. My presentation puts everyone into their expected places. I create the workspace I exult in with cloth and shoes and lip gloss and eyeliner. Not everything goes with glass.
I have to have something that matches my transparency, that engages the customer, that will not scar or scratch under the more inventive uses it can be put to by men with imagination--or at least men with haste and heft.
I am not unbreakable. Ordinary things have been known to chip me. I go to a talented sidearm man on Fifth Street: he can match any texture with any texture, knows the depth and distance of grain, has a leather light touch with the torch, and can feather in the right resounding epoxy. He replaces missing pieces by crafting them first in a thinly glazed mold, or on the tip of a miniscule blow tube, polishing them down to the exacting erection I require, aligning the insertion points that he leaves rough as a plagiarist's tongue.
I have so much more to plan for than the average worker in my union. My customers literally see completely through me, have the secondary pulsing pleasure of seeing, as a part of the package, what effects their ringing tyrannical passions have on my physiology. For some, it adds to the delicate journey of domination; for others it is an unwished for dance of intimacy. More than once I have lost what I had hoped would be a regular customer simply because the jolly workman learned too much, put cause and effect together, tossed magic out of the nearest open window.
The thing that bedevils the most seriously discriminating customers is temperature. I come in a cacophony of gradients. Over time, I become the homely heat of my surroundings. I carry an electric blanket for comfort, but sometimes simple entropy can be a deft part of the sale. One customer surrenders only in the pit of winter, having me to stand outside the rented room on the exposed balcony until his breath on my body will beget frost, his tongue is boyishly close to the domination of sticking solidly against me.
I note everything. I learn from the extremes I am paid for, try to imagine the weary source of every dull-hearted desire, and from that limp knowledge create my own ever more profitable extremes. Oh yes, I can be proactive here. What many of my customers demand of me is only the stray elastics I myself have recursively suggested. Many men do not know what they want until you tell them what they want; most have no sense of what they should do with anything beyond the costumed ordinary.
I came up with the idea of running a background lamp behind me, a trip through the color wheel: multiple momentary corners, and the customer chasing light shivers through my body: the light becoming the product he wants to control, the collision of photons within me becoming the ball and V sight of his great lumbering, unaimed moon bear passion. Or the show for him making me all the more a target fit for his power, his forceful left-handed command of all the elements that are me: our otherwise simple encounter rising to the masterful, to his attainment of the basic, now thrust into a gasp of godhood.
I am there to do what it takes.
At home, my clothes slide off my slick, changeless surfaces with no abrasion at all, slough into piles I will most likely redeem in the morning. I need little more than a shower, occasionally a scrub with an industrial grade glass cleaner my chip and nick man gets for me wholesale. I check myself for fissures, make sure no cutting edges have developed: running my fingers glass to glass along the whole of me more descriptively than any customer can. In the last of my day, I settle into my stiff wing-backed chair and turn out all the lights, letting the dark eat even the forensic outlines of everything I own. I love a room shriven of light. I sit there happy with it, as stiff and opaque as my parents always hoped I would be, containing for these moments before bed all the thin rapture of the saintly sound that I could be with the application of just one hammer's pride.
Ken Poyner has had fiction of late in Corium and Kill Author, and poetry in Adirondack Review, Medulla Review, Blue Collar Review, Poet Lore and about forty other places. His wife is a world class power lifter and the two together live a somewhat strange life in the right hand bottom corner of Virginia. His book "Constant Animals", 42 unruly fictions, is $4.99 as an e-book and vendor links available at www.kpoyner.com.