Strippers I Have Loved, v6

I didn’t write anything yesterday. Or today. I meant to write something after work, but now I just want to go to sleep. Here’s something I wrote a while ago, kind of un refined.

“Hey! It’s her! It’s fucking her!”

I leaned out the window long enough to see the flash of a gun and dived towards the floor as Desire yelled at me.

“Get DOWN Tara-bear!”

I nodded mutely from the floor.

“Don’t ever look back when someone has a clear shot at you, Tara-bara. Do you want to die? Oh my god, I would die if you died in my car.”

“I know.” I pressed my knees into the floor and made each breath a breath towards Desire losing them, because of course she would. We were super heroine’s, Lillith incarnate, and we always came out alive.

“Hang on,” she said. “I’m gonna flip a bitch.”

We spun around, tires shrieking, and started flying. The engine was vibrating against my kidney and I felt like it was all connected, the muscles I was watching in Desire’s leg, the engine, my right kidney, my eyes, Desire’s leg. She was wearing the same purple skirt and no underwear that she’d been wearing, outside of work, since I met her. I have a picture of her somewhere, now. She’s hugging my dog who’s dead now, squatting in that skirt, her legs spread and her perfectly manicured pussy showing.

When she hit the brakes I thought the engine was going to jump into the car with us. I pulled my gun out from under the seat cushion, but she was just pulling off onto a side street, parallel parking, cutting the lights. We waited, waited, and waited. Nothing happened.

Finally she drove over a few blocks with the lights off and got back on the main road. “Do you still feel like going to the beach?” she asked.

“Not really. We forgot towels again.” I climbed up on the seat. Every day, we got dressed and drove together the hour to the strip clubs. Most nights we spent too much time putting our make up on, sitting in the bathroom picking our faces, and didn’t get to work on time to work. We were always so close, but we couldn’t work if we were even ten minutes late. Usually we’d just go to the beach, if we didn’t get to work. We sucked at finding actual beaches, though, so we’d just drive around in fancy rich neighborhoods until we found water. Then we’d tiptoe through back yards in the dark and wade out into the ocean naked. We always meant to bring towels, but since we always intended to actually work, we never did.

“Yeah, me neither. Let’s go to Kenny’s.”

“I dunno.” Let’s go to Kenny’s meant lets go get some more speed rocks and sit in Kenny’s bedroom where he lives at his mom’s house and smoke a little. For some reason this would make Desire pass out and not wake up for hours while I sat feeling all uncomfortable and jittery and paranoid with Kenny staring at my boobs. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d slept, but I felt fine.

I was shocked by how


I always


“Oh come on. That was stressful, we deserve it.”

“Okay, but if you fall asleep I’m driving us to my house.”


By the time we got to my house it was almost morning, so I carried Desire inside and tucked her into my weird little cot bed and left her there while I took the dogs to the park. That was my weird little double life, mornings hanging out with career women on their way to work at the dog park, wondering if I’d washed off the glitter make up from the night before.

When we got home from the dog park Desire had woken up and scrubbed my house, and was in the middle of making this huge meal. She loved to cook, and her food was so beautiful. We set it out all pretty with a tablecloth and matching plates, but we weren’t hungry. I was worried that I was losing too much weight, so I weighed myself and decided I had to eat ten bites. “Desire,” I said, “you should eat ten bites too. We do this every day and we never eat.” Then we fed the reset to the dogs, proud that we had done our parts for our selves with those ten bites.

That’s how it was, almost every day.

She found out she was pregnant a week before I left. I thought about staying, spending my life as Aunt Tara-bear. We would cook big, beautiful meals, and we could feed them to the kid instead of the dogs. I took her to the doctor, to the free clinic for poor girls who don’t know any better then getting pregnant, even though we’d both banked $500 the night before.

It was very dry and clinical in the doctors office. The nurse asked questions from a clip board. Last period? Check. Pregnancy test? Check. Drug use?


The nurse didn’t miss a beat. “What drug?”


“Last use?”

“Um, yesterday.” That was a lie. We were both trying to wean ourselves off it, but sleeping created a definite need for smoking in order to get out of bed in the morning.


“Like once a day.”

The nurse never looked up from her form. She didn’t say it was wrong, and neither did the doctor when he came. I wondered why nobody did anything. Desire and I, we did things. We knew right and wrong, we saw it all the time, we read it just the week before in the bloody, cut up tattoo of a dead stripper. We were born with avenging spirits, too: the knowledge of good and evil came with the knowledge of who should live and who should die. But neither of us did anything about this baby in Desire’s uterus, growing on the poisonous drugs we gave ourselves.

The day before I left her boyfriend had a day pass from jail. We took him to someone’s basement somewhere so he could do more of the shady things that he was in jail for already, and then we went out for breakfast. Desire said she was pregnant, and he called her a liar. All the way home he yelled and she cried in my new van that I would leave in. He took his car back, and he yelled some more. I put my dogs out in the yard, and I sat on my couch and watched. When he pushed her I pulled my gun out and told him to leave, pointed my gun right at this seven foot tall guy who spent all his days working out. He left, I was that powerful. She cried all night long and I sang songs about Alaska to the baby.

I gave Desire my Dodge-ness monster that I’d lived in when I came to LA and showed her how to reconnect the shift linkage with wire when it came apart. She spent an entire day shampooing the shag carpet that was everywhere in it, even the ceiling, and then I left.

I called her, nine months later. She had a new baby girl who was just perfect, and a perfect boyfriend. She could tell their love was intense because when they got in a fight they put each other in the emergency room. I was working the crisis line at a womens shelter. I didn’t know what to say.

I called again, in another year, and she had another baby. Same boyfriend. She said she’d tested positive for drugs because of some cold medicine she took and the state might take her kids. She talked too fast, I couldn’t understand her anymore.

A year later. Three kids. She was potty training the oldest, yelling at her to wipe her cookie, scrub




  1. Your posts sometimes are like a breeze of cool air on a warm day, but most days, they are like a gut punch followed by a loving hand petting the forehead and a cold strong drink in my own hand.

  2. Tara, I agree with the first two posters. You are a natural writer. I’d like to see you get hooked up with a good agent and solid publishing house. I feel that you could write about anything, even when it’s observation. Be picky and not make your name only in the sex worker industry genre, because you have great talent and can obviously write about almost any issue, topic, event. Thank you for the generous and free blog reports!

  3. I am reduced, in the best sense of the word, only to a feeling of recognition (of talent).

    The only thing that would do this feeling justice would be:

    YES! YES!

  4. Anchasta, wow, thanks! That’s one of the best things anyones ever said about my writing!

    Micheal, ha, I had to google cyberpunk. Thanks for the nice feedback.

    California, yes, I can write about anything, and if I want to I’ll write about sex work.

    Kate… thanks.

  5. You are so gifted…. this was my bedtime story tonight in SD . …can’t wait to see you in Alaska … I miss you so much! Decided I need you and Susan’s help – want to do huntfishstrip very much …got lots of ideas to bounce off of you ….love you- Hatma

  6. Pingback: Stripping
  7. Your writing style is intense. I just spent like two hours reading through this blog. It’s inspiring and in posts like this, it reminds me of my past vividly. Thnx for writing, girl.

  8. I am so impressed. You have become an inspiration to me. Being someone who really sees the world and tends not to judge harshly is a very rare thing. I hope you know how absolutly beautiful it makes you. 🙂 <3

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *