My strangest client

My strangest client is young, or old, or in between. He is tall, or short, or medium height. He is ravishingly handsome or rather plain. He is a lawyer — no, a software engineer — no, a business owner — no, an up-and-coming junior employee.  

We share wine, or a tucked-away booth in a cocktail bar, or a park bench, or a plush hotel bed, or lounge chairs on a moonlit terrace. We laugh, we tell stories, we make puns or jokes or self-effacing remarks. We retreat from the world, and create our own sphere. Our own inside jokes, our own shared favorites, our own language.


My strangest client excuses himself to go to the bathroom and I think to myself, “How goddamn lucky am I to share time and space with this person?”


My strangest client loves books, loves movies, loves going out or staying in, loves wine women and song. My strangest client is self-assured and hesitant, gregarious and shy, funny and serious, intensely alive or unsure of it all or both.


My strangest client is full of wonder and mystery, potential and pain. 


My strangest client needs me for something — a something that wasn’t revealed until we’d met, sometimes for a second or third or fourth time. He needs me for something that maybe even he can’t put into words. 


My strangest client does that thing I like, and I do that thing he likes, and when it’s time to say goodbye, we both leave smiling.


My strangest client wants what we all want: love, respect, to feel understood, to feel safe, to be listened to. To live free from judgment, if only for an evening.


My strangest client is him. Her. Them.


My strangest client isn’t strange at all.





Shae Ashbury