Charlotte Shane, the writer, (or, at any rate, the narrator) of the intriguing, lyrical Nightmare Brunette is a highly-paid American prostitute. She can write, and she has a lot of material to write about. This could be a salacious fantasy or a political polemic but it’s not. It’s not even primarily about sex; apparently, Shane is so costly that her clients aren’t chiefly interested in sex. And it’s not about the glamour: she does a really fine job of capturing the ennui that endless luxury breeds. Another flight to Bahrain, another long dinner with a billionaire doing his best to impress you. Ho hum.

What’s interesting here is that Shane sees her business so clearly as being a pleasing companion, and thinks so deeply about how to do that, and reflects in interesting ways about what being so immersed in subordinating what she wants to what other people want does to her. More and more people work in service industries, and we’re deeply conflicted about service. Here, she bails out on an appointment, rejecting a potential client.

To his credit he understood. We shook hands and he got in his car and drove away and I stood on the street corner trying not to cry, waiting for a cab to approach. You have to realize, it never starts like that. The men I see are gentlemen. They at least have the air of having lived and functioned in the world for a long time. He’d cashed in a bunch of stocks, he told me that much. I won’t even say what type of car he drove. I’m never this much of a snob. I never have to be.

There’s a lot going on here, a small treatise on class in contemporary America.

I’m not entirely convinced that everything in this weblog is precisely true. It might be. It might be a Kaycee Nicole. It might be a Flight Risk. I don’t think it matters. The weblog is updated infrequently, but here the monthly updates appear to be an intentional choice rather than a sign of a moribund project.