Trade School by Kim Hutchinson

The thing about a border town is, it’s all about trade. Markets and positions. Proximity. Rules. How to comply. How to avoid them.
If you grow up here, you get that. You also get that the top trade tends to be rough. The trick is to play rough, but around the edges. Don’t get caught up in the game.

I don’t dance because I’m kinky or anything. I’m saving up for school. I’ll start next year, maybe. I’ve got the grades. An MBA should be a breeze.

With my experience, I can teach those academic types who live over near the bridge about the market. I live down by the tunnel with two other dancers. Same street. During the day, we entertain company from the other side. Some days it’s downtown boyz and others it’s Bloomfield Hills types. You know, prep schools and shit.

When I start school, I won’t do day parties anymore. I’ll make less, but I’ll be okay. The rent’s cheap, and the tips for dancing are good. It’s all good. Nothing but sunshine ahead. Next year, everything changes. Time to get serious, stop playing around. It makes me tired, anyway. Like I’m a little tired right now, when I need to sparkle tonight. Got to shi-ine! The customers like it when you shine, and they tip big when you give them what they want.

Pass that pipe, will you?

.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Trade School by Kim Hutchinson

  1. There’s that border we always ponder before crossing, along with the dreams. Nice one, Kim.

  2. Nicely done, Kim. The world she lives vs the one she wants/seems to be heading towards is so fully rendered. The punchline is saved for the last making this very satisfying (in story form) You make me want to reach out and help somehow.

  3. guy

    I like the way that this piece casts the cities against type. Windsor has this side to it for sure, but these days all the stories about Detroit are so grim that i expect the crack (or dope or opium or whatever) smoking entertainer to be over there.

    • Kim Hutchinson

      Thanks! Glad you liked the story. Windsor and Detroit are different cities, but this has been a part of both as long as I’ve been here. When I first moved to Canada, I lived upstairs from three dancers for a few months. They led a very interesting life!

  4. Intriguing drama going on in your characters and your settings. I like the promises to self that seem so real at a younger age, especially: when I get to school I’ll quit smoking or whatever. The way humans bargain with themselves and fail, much of the time.
    Also enjoyed that provocative last line of dialogue. Packed full (like the bowl?) of depth.

  5. you set it up very strong–her intellect–with a wall street mentality. i had to read it again. the last line was a needle to the eyes. nice.

  6. This put me in mind of the prostitute character from Trading Places, saving up for a better life, except she kept herself off drugs because it interfered with her plan. The ending took me by surprise!

  7. Pingback: Week #37 – Border town | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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