Spring was in the air: March Madness weekend with my best four
friends. Early, we hit up a club to watch the games — young with
money enough to enjoy ourselves. Like 10 sailors on shore leave we
entered the club; unbreakable band of brothers. A chair armada to get
angle to screen sports and flesh: Smoked cigars and enjoyed being able
to afford a proper night there. “The tables should have hand sanitizer
on them, not just ashtrays.” The unspoken joy of these places: no
women unless you wanted them there.
I clowned around with my singles. A svelte, toned stripper with a cute
tush, Divine, laughed as I lip-synced to rap: and she kept me
entertained. “Slow down on the drinks,”. As she sat on my lap, I
talked her out of the tattoo she was debating.
“Why ruin a flawless body?” She picked up my cue. Leaned closer,
stroked my chest, whispered pricing in my ear. As I watched a 12 seed
take the lead, arm in arm she walked to the door by the hallway. Six
songs, half an hour, whatever it took to for my divine pleasure.
I left the club to get a cigarette. Can’t smoke inside anymore. Summer
air slamming my face, I rushed through my smoke. Third bachelor party
this summer, the routine wearing thin. 8 of us carting around a shy
accountant! He didn’t enjoy himself. Thus the chair phalanx around the
man with the insecure fiancé, but half were too busy on their phones
to look onstage. When I re-entered, they all were. I had recommended a
day of golfing, then drinking and playing cards. Here the groom came
with rules and hourly texts from the wife to be.
Over 30, my tastes in women hadn’t changed, only their tiresome
tattoos had. A curvy blonde, Mercedes, with “Rest in Peace” tattooed
down her thigh ran her fingers through my hair. After a decade, I knew
the routines. I noted a short brunette, Kitty, she was chatting with
earlier. Saw her onstage.
“It depends on what you want, and how long you can be away from yer
boys.” I watched the brunette twirling on the pole and checked my
watch. The two walked me to the Champagne room, I negotiated them
down. About forty-five minutes later, I wondered how feminists hadn’t
closed these clubs.
A little after midnight: a Halloween themed night of horror at a club.
After dinner with a client: a night away from wife and kids. Client
loved SEC football and short, buxom and bubbly girls; suggested it
after dinner. I finally caved — It was his first visit out west.
Butter them up.
Hated having my SUV even seen in the parking lot. Scanned the room and
paid the covers; several backs straightened for fresh wallets. Tuesday
night! Dead wasn’t just the theme but the crowd. Felt the dread; there
was no chance of a chair buffer as every woman would swing by. Sat at
a table where he could reach the stage’s rim. Gave him $50 in ones.
Nursing a beer, recalled what a lawyer told me. “Thin strippers are
drug probies.” The age of a stripper is inverse to her tattoo
coverage. I saw a group of young women enter. Shift change? No they
sat down — pulled out singles.
I sat perplexed. They whooted, threw singles, weren’t lesbians. A
dancer said, “Your friend said you’re paying for his hour.” Watched as
two girls escorted my client off. At the bar, watched the clock until
my client emerged. Why were straight girls here?
January: my son, home on break for his 21st birthday: Dressed well, he
drank with my wife and I. First official family drink. We knew he
already had beers and God knows what else at college. A nice formal
drink — we were happy he hadn’t crashed a car or knocked someone up.
My wife wished him a happy birthday and went upstairs to bed. His
girlfriend and others came over, excited kids with a secret. I said
goodnight at midnight, they said they were leaving soon too. “Bars
close at 1am.” I said and counted them. A carload.
“Where you off to this late?” I asked, knowing the answer. Smiles. One
of the girls giggled. “We’re taking Mike out for his actual birthday?”
But he had been 21 all day. “Bars close soon.” Silence. They all
sipped their beers. I’d twist the knife a bit. “A strip club then?” A
few bursts of laughter and Mike’s girlfriend slapped his shoulder.
They confessed. They were good kids. I tucked my phone into my back
pocket and crossed my arms.
“From the moment you get there, or see someone you know, you’ll be
waiting to leave.”