Shades of Home, the Stripper Version

Coming to this club is like coming home.  Not like in my little fishing town, where I walk in after being away for eight months and people squeel and hug me.  I know I could always live there if I needed to (hell, I have), the couch is always waiting with a puppy on it, I know all the people, and they all know me. It’s warm and fuzzy and dysfunctional.

No, here it’s a different kind of home coming. I walk in and Sinnamon, the nicest woman you’ve ever met, is sitting at the bar. She lifts her head, stoned, and waves. “It’s not that I ain’t happy to see you, babe, I’m just so stoned.”

In the dressing room the schizophrenic girl is doing push ups (always), the fat girl has a day job and still hates me, and the bartenders horse is sick. We’re polite, but we don’t ask for details. We’re all anonymous here, even though we know too much about each other. It’s perfect, I think to myself, we have some basic consideration for each other, but we give ourselves room to be cut throat bitches too.

I snuck in my Iris in in it’s little velvet bag down in my bag of stripper gear, and I run the cord out and plug it in to recharge.  Wouldn’t want anyone to steal it.  I’m very impressed at how long the last charge lasted, and it’s awesome that it doesn’t consume batteries, even if I do have to sneak it into titty bars to recharge it.

It starts out slow at this club. Slowslowslow. I always forget and after three hours and forty dollars I worry. Two of the new giris keep pretend fighting each other, Jerry Springer style. The bartender flips out in typical misogynist style (for her) and screams that the strippers all have to stay away from her bar, her bar is the only place customers can be safe from us money hungry cunts.

“Have you noticed that this is a strip club?” I think about asking her, but I’m busy talking to my long lost regular. He’s a retired engineer who studies sociology and plays the flute and guitar. You can imagine that we have some good conversations. Retired engineers must not make much money though, because he can only ever afford two dances.

Later, another one of my favorite old regulars. He’s got this long ponytail that I love to play with, and he loves me touching it. Loves it like an acid trip. I give him these looong, sloow, touchy dances, and afterwards we sit, stroking each others hands like teenagers discovering skin for the first time. Part of me feels like I’ve become that teenager, I’m becoming that role, and every time I come back to this town he’s a little more grown up. By the time he’s an experienced, healthy adult, I’ll have become all the stages of normal teenagerhood with him. The other part of me is scanning the room for the next customer. There are 4 customers and 14 strippers.

Then I spot him. I excuse myself from the hand stroker as he walks in the door, and sit down with him right when he sits down. Gotta be quick like that in this place. He’s been working really hard, just now getting a couple days off. All sweet and shy, but without the depth that I like in shy people. As soon as the waitress brings the drinks I tell him I want to dance for him and he says okay. I dance through all the money in his pocket while he sits without expression or movement, and when he hands me his last twenty he wishes me a good night and walks out the door.

I get a couple more dances, here and there. At the end of the night I ask the DJ, I always do here, “did I win? How close was I?”

He consults his dance sheet. “You won by three dances.”

I didn’t make that much money, but I worked hard and I’m top bitch. It’s a good feeling.

When I leave the fat girl is hanging out the door in a thong and corset thing, screaming across the parking lot, “bitch, you think your all that? Come back here bitch! You aren’t shit!”

Ah, home.

Now I’m sitting in a random parking lot, writing this, and two shrews keep popping out of the brush to eat seeds that have been dropped. I see them through the window of my van, but no one else see’s them. They stuff seeds in their mouths, and then they look at each other and dissapear in unison, over and over.


  1. I love that her anger makes her run out the door in her underwear. Oh how I would love to see that. I think you should tell her the Iris is some sort of very sophisticated self-defense weapon that only you know how to use.

  2. Loved this and the flow of it. One paragraph took me out of the story- the one about the vibrator felt odd- like it snuck off the page of a review and somehow ended up in this otherwise lullaby rhythm writing…

    Speaking of the story-
    I was often dumbstruck by the idiocy of female bartenders and waitresses who were more than happy to make a dollar off of my tits while simultaneously claiming their (false) sense of superiority.
    There is no one lower in the industry than those who judge the exploitation they participate in as if they don’t participate.
    It’s the very definition of disingenuous.

  3. “I excuse myself from the hand stroker as he walks in the door, and sit down with him right when he sits down. Gotta be quick like that in this place.”

    This was my whole night last night – scanning, jetting to a table, scanning, jetting to a table…glad to know it’s not just me. I don’t love being pouncy but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    thanks for the great post 😀

  4. “… two shrews keep popping out of the brush to eat seeds …” and it suddenly hits me that you mean actual shrews and not another couple of unpleasant women 😉

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