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I was in a brothel.
In front of me, girls danced on the stage. They swayed back and forth on their high heels, and watched themselves in the mirror as they gripped the poles.
Their faces said it all.
Flat affect. Emotionless. Vacant. Eyes far off.
Occasionally one would make eye contact with me. I’d say hello with a slight wai bow and a smile, and usually she would smile back before quickly looking away.
This one girl, though—marked on her armband as #37—kept my gaze. We smiled at each other until our smiles erupted into laughter. She looked away, but kept looking back over, a smile plastered on her face.
We asked the waiter to have her join us for a drink.