Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Part 2 of "Stripping for *#@^ Money in a *#@^ Club."

*For Sarah B & Vashti W...for always asking "WHEN..?"

Hey hey, I am back with the second part of this blog entry. Undoubtedly you have been on the edge of you seat, waiting for it..if you are late to the party of my checkered past, please read part 1 that was posted right below this entry. Perhaps it will all make more sense.

  Just left my useless boyfriend of the moment- Rich B- at my casa, driving off in my rust bucket of a Subaru wagon-to my first shift of topless dancing at the infamous Pink Pussycat Club......as I got closer to the club my mind is a swirl of "You know you can always turn this car around" or "you ain't got any stripper skills, what are you doing dummy." Tummy doing the twist to the slow hum of  " Money money-need money" a considerably louder tune to drown out the other thoughts of steering my little car right around and jamming for home.

As I pulled on to the pitted asphalt parking lot in the back of the crummy looking Pussycat building,  my resolve kicked in full force. No one is going to bail me out of my financial crisis. There isn't family to come to the rescue. You come from a background of adoption, a throw away with no money.  To clean things up for a fresh start- dancing is the only job I was going to make quick, fast dollars at. If I let the chicken part of me take over I am going to loose everything that matters to me.  Might as well get in there and do what I must.

I hit the battered back door, holding my little duffel bag of what would have to pass as "dancer costumes." (These little outfits are gleaned from the bottom of my dresser drawers -cheap nighties bought to impress for one night of so so passion, then forgotten about the morning after). Bright sunlight smothers the darkness inside the club. Dust motes dancing in the beams. My eyes squinting, surveying the tattered interior. Crossing the door frame, a silent pep talk creates itself : "everything is going to be okay....." Carry on  / Tally-ho!

Grandma Blondie is all toothy smiles behind the bar when she caught sight of me. "Well look who showed up!" Ugh yeah.....how do I respond to that....? " Yes, yes I am- ready to work." Standing there for a count of three - both of us lost in the awkward moment. Grandma exits the bar and proceeds to a door directly across the room motioning for me to follow.

Keys appear, knob unlocked and I step forward into what can be best described as a former broom closet. A few beige school lockers leaned forward from the back wall. Enormous cracked mirror with smudged lipstick tacked to crumbling drywall. A few metal folding chairs and a faint scent of cloying perfume mingled with hints of desperation assault my nose.

"Another few girls will show up soon, they'll explain all the rules and such." Nodding my head in silent agreement, Granny exits the closet. My behind falls into a chair, feel like crying and heaving all wrapped up into one. Yippee.

The door swings open - in walks a vision of trailer beauty! Size 0 skinny, sucked in cheeks accent a head crowned with a frizzy brown mullet - nervous energy of dubious origins seeping out of pores. Vinyl shopping bags crammed full of clothing are dropped carelessly to the shaggy carpet. Her lips part and out croaks "You are who?"

What an introduction! Whatever...I can out bitch the biggest bitches walking the earth if that's how they want to get down. " HI!!! My name is KATHLEEN, and YOURS?" I half scream out, all fake nice. She gets my no bullshit vibe right quick and introduces herself by her stage name, Sasha. Shit, a stage name! I had forgotten about that!

Sasha / 'Miss Trailer Park" perches herself in front of the mirror, dumping the contents of her dirty make up bag into a tiny heap, while kicking her " bum luggage" into the corner. I awkwardly sit in the shitty chair, trying to will this broad to open her mouth and tell me what the fuck to expect. Sadly, my mental commands are ignored-so I am forced to ask...

" So Sasha, can you tell me how things operate?

Miss Trailer Park continues to rub way too much blush on bony cheeks as these nuggets fall forth:

"Well, you gotta dance to 3 songs in a row. Keep your titties covered until the middle of song three. Ask the guys to give ya change for the jukebox. They don't pay, you don't get to dance. Hustle for drinks, club charge the guys $12. You get $2 bucks for every drink they buy you. Always order rum and coke. Of course you ain't gonna get no booze in it. Bartenders put a shot of water and coke in a tall glass, marking it with 2 straws so the guys don't get it served to them by mistake."

As I absorb this lecture, Miss Trailer Park starts to apply sky blue eye shadow to her droopy lids, then continues:

"Table dances are $40, club gets $25-you get $15. Booth dances are $60-you get $20. Two songs only, don't let them try to hold ya in there. They can get pretty grab ass in that booth." A little pause as Miss T.P. applies here dark berry lip stick, then she wraps up the speech with "Don't be showing no pussy, it makes the rest of us look bad." God forbid I make any other dancer look bad! I just nod, then start to get dressed.

Miss T.P. and I hit the door, making our way out to the dimly lit bar. Grandma Blondie hands us each a dollar to start up the jukebox. I amble over the selections available. Lots of KISS, Bon Jovi and hair metal. Ugh, well at least there was a bit of David Bowie. Standing back, Miss T.P. made here memorized  selections, then walked up the steps to the stage.

Some forgettable rock song distorts its way through ancient, dusty speakers mounted above the stage. Miss T.P. drops her overstuffed red "pleather" clutch to the floor and saunters her skinny ass up to the ONE customer along the stage rail. Clasping her hands on poles stationed to each side of her, this withered desert flower begins to lean over, moving slowly and begins talking in a little girl voice to the man. I lean back against the jukebox and think about the whole scene. Jesus, what a sad, shitty scene I have gotten myself into.

I wander over to the tiny bar " Are Sasha and I the only dancers working tonight?" Grandma gives me a crooked smile  "yep, you ladies are it." I walk back to the stage area numbed by this bit of news. What the hell happens when it gets busy in here, and there is only 2 broads showing their goods? Two sets of tits aint a whole lotta tits for a tittie bar!

Miss Trailer Park finishes here daring set of rocking back and forth for one strange dude, ambles off the stage as I enter in my tunes. Well, I guess luck is working for me right about now. Only have one fella in the bar to make my stripper debut in front of. I drop my little purse to the floor and hit the stage. Finding the wood very waxy and slick I carefully make my way to the middle ask Bowies' "REBEL, REBEL" begins warbling through the speakers above.

As I start my white girl shimmy, the pudgy, greasy middle aged male, who's spare tire / muffin top is pushing its way up on the tight waste band of corduroy shorts 3 sizes too small - waves me over.  I must be doing a pretty good job is he already wants me to come grab a dollar! I do my best "sexy time" stroll over to the stage edge. I grab the poles as I had seen Miss T.P. do, and lean over to say hello. A stubby, half hard penis is poking its way out of the mans shorts to greet me.....ugh, yuck....

Several moments pass as I can't help but stare at the penis-sadly my smart ass mouth was on mute due to the absolute shock of seeing a unimpressive and flaccid dong being tenderly tugged on by this pig. Smiling as he gives his pitiful cock tug after desperate tug, I rise up to a standing position and march my ass right off the stage, as that shit bag never took his eyes off me.

I bang my way into the dressing room, sit down on a chair as the other staffers gather around to ask me whats wrong. As I explain what  the creep did Miss T.P. cuts me off mid sentence with " He does that all the time-don't let it bother you." Grandma nods her head as if to agree and walks straight back out to the bar. All I can do is stare at Miss T.P. with my mouth open in sheer shock. "So this is a common occurrence, to have customers whacking their bags while we dance?"  Miss T.P. smiles wide as she hollers "Yep", skipping out the door.

My first shift and the night does not get any better. Men stagger in, stay for the 2 drink minimum, maybe throw a dollar or two our way, and get the hell out. At no time is there any more than 10 men in the dump at any one time. With only two dancers, weak and very expensive cocktails, why would they? As the evening drags on for a feet aching 12 hours I learn to hate the racket of asking for money to play the jukebox. With hardly any customers, they same guys have to keep reaching in their pockets. Grandma Blonde catches me using my own change to feed the jukebox-but fuck it. I may be a shitty topless dancer in a shit bag grind joint-yet I still have my manners!

No one wants any table dances. Yet I do observe that Miss T.P. gets a number of fellas to pony up $60 for the booth dances. This so called booth is really a walk in wooden cabinet with a bench on one side, a small shelf on the other. Most importantly it offers just enough privacy to behave badly. And at this moment of my evening I do believe that my fellow dancer is doing bad girl behavior in the little den of naughtiness. The topless silhouette of Miss T.P.-straddling her customer, moving in a rocking motion, can plainly be seen by anyone who glances in the door way. A foil wrapper crumpled on the booths floor catches my eye. Fucking for a $20 bill huh? Real classy. And this bitch had the nerve to tell me not to show any vag! HA!

At the end of my shift I had managed to cobble a total of $140. Not great money. Yet it was better than nothing. Which is what it felt like I was earning all night. Never has 12 hours passed so slowly on a job. Exhausted, I peel out of my shoes and dress, splitting for home.

After arriving home,  I spilled my guts to the boyfriend. He was as useless as ever. Not a tender or concerned word passed his lips. Just said "glad your home safe", rolled over, slipping back to dreamland. Mulling over the entire night in my head, I just could not see how I could go back. It really was nothing like I had anticipated. When I broke down how much a made per hour, I knew I had to stick with it if I wanted to keep my home. Yeah, the money wasn't great-however it was my first night (I rationalized) so I better just keep with it. In my minds eye I kept the goal of catching up on the house payments. SO......

For the next 5 months-6 days a week-12 to 14 hours a shift-I dug myself in and become a hustler. If you had money in your pocket I could smell it. Then I was working you to get it in MY pocket.  My attention was all yours, for the price of a drink. Either spend or I walk away to the next guy. Shimming up to you I purred in mens ears about the pleasure they would get from paying for a booth dance-but I never quite delivered. Tugging on my pierced nipples, hinting I may go home with you. Then slipping out before you caught on I had left the building. Shameless I became, hating it. Yet I justified my shitty slut behavior with telling myself these guys deserved to be legally robbed. Just for being piece of shit enough to come in to the bar in the first place.

After those 5 months I was burned out on the place, the hustle, the unhealthy lifestyle-with a good slice of hate for myself. With what I had done to save my home. I bid good bye to the PINK PUSSY CAT, taking a job as a bartender. Leaving that place felt like I was arriving back on earth. As a strip joint is a place unlike any other. XXXXXXXX end....

Next time kids, I will be unloading my history of mental illness-at the age of 42, finally finding the causes of "why I am the way I am",  how I hate my birth mother and why adoption is terrible. CHEERS!

Kathleen A. Langley - Fortier