I received an invitation to my 20th high school reunion. How they’d tracked me down I did not know. There is no escaping these people once they set their mind to finding you. The breakdown of privacy meant, among other things, receiving a constant barrage of reminders about how you were getting old and had wasted your life.

I decided to attend, which entailed no small amount of planning, given my relocation to the other side of the country. I would not be traveling alone, either. Milena was coming with me for the three-day junket at a cost of $1,000 per day.

24-year-old Milena was the hottest piece of ass in the room. The looks from the other attendees as I entered with her on my arm were well worth the price.

The coordinator of the event was a meek woman named Mindy who, for the life of me, I could not remember. I double-checked the yearbook to confirm that, indeed, she existed.

I ran into an old girlfriend of mine, Laura. She had three children aged between four and 14 and worked as an attorney. Her husband, a highly-specialized skin doctor, was on call that weekend and couldn’t attend.

Laura had invested in a new set of tits to go along with facial filler. But she had a weariness about her that no amount of cosmetic surgery could undo. She spoke of her life in the passive voice, as if it was something that happened to her. “Then law school happened. Then Meghan happened. Then Tom’s promotion happened, so we moved to Memphis.”

Milena was talking to a classmate named Nick. He’d had work done, too, on his nose. I walked up to Milena, put my arm around her, and gave her ass a squeeze.

Here were my peers, spending thousands of dollars on surgeries to look younger, when what they needed was a young lover to feel younger. You are as old as your cock feels, and when it’s inside of a young girl, it feels ageless.

“Level with me,” said Nick after Milena went off to get a drink. “Is this a mail-order deal? How did you two meet?

“She’s a whore,” I said, sipping a gin and tonic.

“No shit?”

“Yep. I rented her for the weekend.”

“I’m twice divorced. Modern women…they aren’t worthy of love. Maybe these foreign women are different. Both my wives were cheating on me. I was a good husband, a good father. I provided. I didn’t fuck around. But that’s not enough these days. These days, you have to be a millionaire and have six-pack abs and a six-inch cock. And even then, she’ll get bored and find a guy with a ten-inch cock. There’s no point in being a ‘good man’ anymore.”

The state of affairs between men and women was not the fault of men, I assured him. We had given women everything they wanted at every turn, and still they were unsatisfied.

In a liberalized sexual marketplace, where the price of pussy is trending higher than rare-earth elements, paying for sex is the rational consumer choice for most men, I explained. This is what’s called “market correction.”

“Why haven’t I thought of this?” said Nick.

“It’s been a recent revelation for me as well,” I said.

“You don’t own a tux. You rent a tux,” he said.

“Nobody wears a tux every day,” I said.

Everyone had been asked to send in three post-high school pictures to accompany yearbook shots in a photo montage. There was Laura, smiling her innocent smile, leaning against teammates in a track and field uniform. Then her holding up a law school diploma from Vanderbilt. Then a family photo of the five of them. I sent in a picture of me at floor-level at a Lakers game, posing with Kobe Bryant. A shot of me holding up a tuna I caught on a deep sea fishing trip in Key West. Me and my cat Snickers (since departed), snuggled up on the couch. A picture of Nick with his large, pre-op nose buried in a book. A picture of him hiking at Zion National Park. A picture of him wearing college colors at a pep rally.

These were not lives. These were imitations of lives. By the end of the thing, I was so goddamned depressed I felt like chugging an entire bottle of gin.

Milena offered no resistance as I pounded down three gin and tonics in quick succession and invited her into the men’s room for a quick cocksucking. This is how high school should have been: drinking cocktails and getting blowjobs. We spend our whole lives waiting for life to happen, I thought, as Milena wiped my semen off her lips.


“Market Correction” is an excerpt from Brian Eckert’s new novel in progress, Sex Island.