I go into the club feeling money, feeling it will be a good night, and I am in good spirits. But that quickly changes. From 8p.m. to midnight I have not made a single dollar. There are a few guys there, but the kind that sit there for hours staring at you chewing on one beer, with their arms crossed not tipping any of us a single dollar. About two hours into the shift the girl’s mood drops hard. They are all on something, except me. So I just watch with a clear mind. Some girls go into silence, sleeping wasted on the dressing room floor, others become full of rage and want to fight. Like bi-polar MoodyMolly, who literally steels my song “I’m Still Loving You” and wants me to attack her over it so there is at least an outlet to her frustration. Everybody knows this is Jones’ song, and only Jones can pull it off dancing on this song. May flips out when she hears my song blasting, “WTF, is she trying to fuck with you? Everybody knows that’s your song, everybody knows you dance for San Francisco when you play that song. Are you going to kick that bitch’s ass?” I respond quietly, “Naaa, not worth the effort. She wants to fight. Let her dance on it, that song is 7 minute long, and she’s going to walk off the stage with not even a single dollar for all that effort. Just being so long out there in front of all these stingy douche bags is going to teach her a lesson.” And so it is, MoodyMolly comes back with not a single dollar bill. Whatever…
By midnight I have surrendered, I am at minus $10, haven’t even made my house fee yet! I talk to the little waitress and she says, “It’ll get better!” And I say, “I hope you are right but anything could happen any time!” In that moment I feel a strange, rancid smell behind me, and it’s a homeless looking guy who walks up to me and hands me a $20 bill. Wow, that is a sign from God, right. I walk up to him and say, “Thank you so much, honey!” He answers, “Don’t worry about it!” and waves his hands uncoordinated and his mouth opens in a reflex as if he would gag. I get it right away, he’s not just stinky, there is something mentally not right, but I know I am a born psychologist and can handle it. I know I cannot count on the bouncer who is working tonight, he’s too out of shape and half asleep. So I say to Gaggy, “What’s your name, honey?” And he yells with a giant smile on his sunburned face, “Don’t worry about it! What’s your name?” And then he gags again. I can see all of his bad teeth all the way down to his deteriorated molars. And I say to him while almost passing out from his smell, “I am Joneseee, nice to meet you.” And I have to shake his rough, dirty hand with fingernails covered in black grease.” Now I almost have to gag, but of course I don’t. He tells me singing. “Yoooouuu aaarrreeee speeeecial! I have stacks of money at home, stacks of money you don’t even know. And I just give it away. God tells me who to give it to.” Gags again.
I think to myself, see although people told me over and over again God won’t help me in the stripping business, he does. I am willing to take the gift! Shortly after I think this, I see a skinny, short haired, blond young man walk in. He is very little. He is probably in his 30s but looks more like a 13 year old boy. I can tell something is wrong with him. Physically an under developed adult. But I have no time to think, my BrutallyHandsome DJ calls me on stage. I pick my favorite 80s song, Bob Seger, “Turn the Page!” Skinny guy sits at the front, and I walk in my seductive strut right up to him. All I can think of is my San Francisco, the only way I can pull this dance off. My hips start swinging in figure eights, Skinny guy is mesmerized and pulls out the singles and lays them neatly organized on the stage railing. I break the rules (no body part is allowed to touch the railing at any time due to the law) and touch the railing to swing my long hair over the Skinny guy’s lap. He wants to talk and yells in a mousy voice, “What’s your name gorgeous?” I say, “Jones, and what’s your name, honey?” He yells again over the loud music, “Little Larry!” And before he continues, he spells his name yelling, “L-I-T-T-L-E-L-A-R-R-Y, and damn you can actually dance, you get a raise!” And he fans out more dollar bills. So I go on my knees and then roll on my back opening my legs in a wide play. I can see his eyes following the rhinestones in my crotch area. He’s hypnotized by me waving my jeweled pussy in front of him, and then I pull Jones’ signature heel clack, slam my heels together. And as if he would have known that I was planning on doing this, he jumps up, claps his hands up in the air and yells, “BOOOOOM, it’s like an explosion, cool, you get a raise, BOOM like a real explosion!” And he neatly fans out more dollar bills. OK, I get it, he loves the explosion, when I clack my heels. Desperate to make my night worth the effort I clack my heels as many times as I can without looking as crazy as he is. Each time he repeats his explosion outbreak. Gaggy walks up and places money on the stage, the 5 singles he puts on stage are soaked in beer. Ewwwwooo, but I am desperate for money and wrap them in a paper towel hoping they won’t stick together eternally.
When I get off the stage Little Larry blocks my way to Gaggy. He wants to talk and tells me everything, “I was so drunk I passed out and pissed myself, and they found me but didn’t give up on me. Then I won the $50.000 at The Price is Right. Why do you think God is giving me that second chance? To do something with my life. My mother is really proud of me, I am doing something, and I won $50.000 at the Price is Right. I want to hire you to be a dancing diva at one of my wrestling events. I think I can pay you $500 for the day. Give me your phone number….” He goes on and on…. He is insane but generous.
I free myself from Little Larry to check back on Gaggy. And he tells me, “You are special! Do you want to be my girlfriend? I don’t want you for sex, but you have to drive me!” He gags, and I see and smell all the way down his esophagus. This is almost unbearable for my delicate, sensitive Blood Hound nose, but I force myself to respond kindly to Gaggy, “But Sweetie, I don’t know you, I don’t even know your name. How can I be your girlfriend?” He asks bluntly, “When are you going to pick me up?” then gags again. Me, “Pick you up? Where, when? I don’t know where you live.” He leans in and hands me his driver’s license, “Here take this. Keep it, my address is on there!” I am taken by surprise, “Wait a minute, you can’t give me your ID. Let me just write down your address.” But then it clicks, it’s probably a fake driver’s license, and he might have a stack of those at home as well.
My night was worth it, not a good night, but I do walk with an OK amount of money because of two mentally handicap men. The healthy bastards didn’t want to tip us.
Gaggy tells me many more things that night. He says, “I don’t want you for sex, I just want to take care of you, bathe you, feed you, and put a ring on your finger. If you are true to me, I will be true to you, but you have to drive me. I want your car, you have to be my chauffeur. I can’t drive because I go too fast, like 80 miles an hour. I can’t drive, I can’t read, I can’t write, but I’ll put a ring on your finger!” He gags after every two or three sentences. I listen patiently. I feel sorry for him, but I am also creep out by the thought of him giving me a bath with his black, oil covered hands. I wonder why he won’t bathe himself first.
By 1:43 I am emotionally and physically completely exhausted. I have not just been a stripper, psychologist, listener, I have also been a mad man wrangler. It’s too much, but I get called on stage one last time. Little Larry sits at the front once more and so does a handsome young man I have seen while I was working the floor. The last stage is my stage. I cannot care if I make money or not, I cannot care if I give Little Larry his explosions or not, I dance for me and for my San Francisco. Little Larry still likes it, and the young man puts a $20 bill on stage. When I finish my dance and pick up the money and thank him, he shakes his head and says, “You are Perfection. I will come back to see you next Tuesday, Perfection!” His comment makes my night, his money helps a lot. I look in the mirror while I walk off through the red light, and I think to myself, God, thank you for giving me the body and the brain, and most importantly the strength to work in a mad house. I do believe you are watching over me, although I take my clothes off for living.