I’ve been here since the begining of June. Seven weeks, maybe eight. Exactly seven times longer than I usually stay someplace, and two or three times longer than I’ve probably been in one place since last summer.
It has it’s joys: watching the elder flowers turn to berry, and the roses to hips, my summer lover, the adorably dysfunctional family that tries to assimilate me, seeing grouse babies grow up, catching up with old friends I haven’t spent this much time with since last summer. It has it’s down sides though, and stripper drama is definitely one of them. Normally I’m not even in one place long enough for the other girls to remember my name. But now we’ve all been celebrating the great nights and sweating out the bad ones together for weeks. They know my name, my favorite songs to dance to, and what brand of eyelashes I use. This is how it is.
Last night was slow. I wasn’t going to go to work, because I got up early and had a long day floating down the river with stripper friends, and because the last few Saturdays have been slow. But I’m stuck working every night, and I can’t seem to make myself stop.
So when a large, middle aged guy from Vegas came in with his friends I was on him like glue. If there are any customer groups that consistantly love me, it’s fat guys and guys in their forties. It was a good kind of glue, too. We had a little rapport right away and were talking about things to do while in Vegas. When the rapport peaked I started to sell the dance, but then realised I had to go on stage next. This is when dancing is like chess, there are so many possible movements, and you can only control for so many. Or none, really. So I left him with a kiss on a napkin and my empty drink to mark him taken and told him to come up to the stage and watch me.
He didn’t, and soon another girl was sitting on the other side of him. He hadn’t bought her a drink, so maybe he didn’t want her. Or maybe he liked her better. There’s only one way to find out, and my seat was still empty. Just like in chess an empty space is an invitation.
I sat back down. “Hey, sweetie, you didn’t come see me on stage like you promised.” [pretty pout]
The girl on the other side leaned over, gave me a mean glare, and announced loudly, “Unfortunately he’s busy right now.”
I had a pretty good feel for this guy, and I was pretty sure that this would majorly turn him off of this girl.
I played sweet. It’s like in chess when you pretend you’re losing, but you know better. “Oh, I’m sorry,” I turned to the customer, “should I come back later?”
“No, no, come back to the VIP room.” See, you catch more flies with honey…
The other girl was complaining loudly that she’d been sitting there first, but talking to no one in particular. Being my sugary self, and since the other girl has always been reasonably cool, I tried to bring her along.
“Cool, shall we do a double dance with Sapphire?”
“No, we’ll all go back, but I want you,” he said.
Sapphire, still bitching, didn’t hear. The whole group of us stood up and started moving back to the VIP room, Sapphire bitching the whole way that she’d been sitting there first and I was a backstabbing bitch.
In the VIP room my customer directed her to do a dance for one of his friends, and then did two dances with me. Sapphire sat and glared at me all through the second one. When we were done she started complaining loudly again.
“Look,” I told her, “obviously this is a problem. Let’s go talk it out with the manager.”
“Oh hell no, we ain’t bringin her into this! We gonna talk about this right now.”
“Other people are doing dances back here and we’re ruining the whole vibe, let’s just take it out of the VIP room,” I told her.
She kept yelling.
“This is really unprofessional. I’m going to go get the manager.” I walked out.
The bouncer was staring at the VIP room door looking very worried, and the manager was on her way over from the bar.
Much yelling and non-resolution followed.
After work I came to my summer lovers house. We slept in the van and it was beautiful. Later, a telephone spat and the knowledge that I’ve been here too long.
I might take tonight off to think about that and all that it implies.