Dispatches from Suburbia

If I played an instrument, I would have a band called "The Simon Thomsen Sex Tape"; and other musings, rants, and disconnected ramblings.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The One That Got Away

"crawlin on her belly shakin like jelly
and I'm getting harder than
Chinese algebraziers and cheers
from the compendium here
hey sweet heart they're yellin for more
squashing out your cigarette butts
on the floor."
-Tom Waits, "Pasties and a G-String"

When I'd first begun college, my older brother took me out for my first, and only, trip to a strip club. It was a slow Tuesday night at the Ice House, and the few patrons yelled and cheered at the bored-looking, skinny strippers beneath the black lights.

At the hosts' table, my brother pulled out a twenty and asked for a pile of ones. The host smiled deviously and said, "Sorry, we only have two-dollar bills."

"Very smart," my brother said. He traded in his twenty for the pile of twos and we took our seat around the stage.

"So what do I do?" I asked.

My brother handed me a small pile of bills and then waved one of his own bills in the air. "Just show them that you have money. They'll come over here."

I timidly held up a two-dollar bill. I could not seem to find my comfort zone, couldn't seem to embrace the strip club ambience, even for just one night. The rail-thin stripper strolled over in her high-heels, g-string and nothing more. She squatted down before me, waved her breasts in my face, and began to gyrate. She chewed her gum and didn't even make eye contact with me and she had that look of eternal boredom. I blushed and gingerly tucked the bill in her underwear, then I wondered if she enjoyed her job.

I leaned back and surveyed the other patrons. All men, all eager to give the strippers their bills, all panting and cheering and totally unembarrassed to be there. I, on the other hand, was uncomfortable and totally out of place. I leaned back in my chair with a fake smile plastered on my face as I tried maintain the appearance of calmness and peace with my surrounding, but I know that my faux comfort I wasn't fooling anybody.

Since I also knew that this would probably be one of the only times I'd ever set foot in a strip club, I decided to make the most of it. I bought a lap dance.

One of the girls had come to our table and made small talk with my brother and me. She sat beside me and sipped on her drink. There I was, sitting at our table next to this topless 19-year-old in a green thong, as if I was on a very, very strange date. That's what it felt like, a date, a date that both of us had been suckered into by friends who had set us up. I didn't know if I was supposed to buy her a drink, if I was to ask about her line of work, or if I was supposed to complement her clothing. What clothing was I supposed to complement? "Hey, nice thong. Cool tassles."

Finally, after lots of awkward conversation, she asked, "Wanna lapdance?"

I shrugged. "Sure."

She wasn't quite as thin as the girl on stage, but she was skinny nonetheless, and just as bored. In her bright green thong, high heels, and nothing more, she took me to the back room, where she instructed me to sit on a plush couch.

She grinded against me, and as she waved her bottom in my face she said, in her jaded way, "You don't come to these places very often, do you?"

My voice cracked like a 13-year-old's when I replied, "No." Her statement made me feel slightly more comfortable, though. At least it was apparent that I was not in strip clubs all that often. But why did this make me more comfortable? She was a stripper at her workplace, not my date. Did I feel that she'd be impressed with my not being a strip club regular? Why would she even care?

After the lapdance, I tipped her generously and wondered if I was supposed to thank her, the same way one wonders what they are supposed to say after sex. "Um, thanks," I said and made my way back to the table. Our date was drawing to a close.

Eventually my brother and I left, and the girl in the green thong waved goodbye. I waved back, feeling like an ass, knowing that there would be no call the next day, no goodnight kiss, not even a goodbye hug from my date. Just a wave before she climbed upon the stage and twirled around a pole.


At 12:32 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

I always say thanks after sex. Sort of like when you fly and the crew says, "you had a choice and you chose us. Have fun in your final destination."

At 1:36 AM, Blogger ShadowFalcon said...

It always makes me smile to see Tom Waits lyrics :-)

Ummm I think pole dancing/stiping can be rather fun. I personaly wouldn't do it but I few of my friends did it occasionaly at uni and they loved it.

At 4:04 AM, Blogger Susan Miller said...

I enjoyed the view of the place from your eyes. Once I went with some friends from work. It was after lunch and one of those things that I was curious about. All I could do was sit at a table and study the men in their suits as they perched themselves next to the stage.
If they were enjoying it their faces didn't show it. It was all rather somber and sad. Not what I had expected at all. But then it was after lunch.

At 6:54 AM, Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

I too find strip clubs depressing. I don't think of it as a terrible thing, but a sad one and lonely one.

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Erik Donald France said...

Viva Tom Waits! I can't add anything new to the comments already rendered. Makes me think of Paris, Texas, though.


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