Thin and tall with a round butt and the tiniest boobies ever, the new girl is working her second night as a stripper. She has thick, black hair like Princess Jasmine. She introduces herself and starts telling me way too much about herself. I think her father may have been a professor of mine. I’m struck by her honesty and doe-eyed innocence. She shows all her cards and my first words to her are, “Don’t trust anyone here.” I look at her and she’s so sweet and she gives me a hug, excited by some kind of brand new sisterhood, perhaps. My instinctual thought is, “Get out while you can!” What an incredibly strange, gilded rabbit hole she’s venturing into. I’m going to be supportive either way. The outfit she’s wearing does nothing to set her apart. She’s drinking heavily. She spends too much time talking to people who are there to waste our time. Mistakes, mistakes. I keep an eye on her the rest of the night.
A bouncer escorts her to a group of gentlemen celebrating a bachelor party. I’ve already been sitting with them. We’re all convened around a bottle of Grey Goose on the low cocktail table. She sits next to some nondescript young male. She’s not sure what to say. Naturally, she’s nervous. “Do you want a drink?” I ask, knowing the answer. I play hostess and poor some drinks. I make her the strongest vodka cranberry she’s probably ever had. It’s not a good habit but when you’re new, you have a grace period to be foolish, I think. I can’t drink. I don’t have that off switch that keeps so many other people out of jail. I’ve been known to get sick and mean. “Possessed” is a word people like to use. I swirl a straw around in my blacklight-reactive fake cocktail and tell the guy next to me, “She’s new.”
She is called to the stage but, like a new puppy, hasn’t been conditioned to associate her new name with herself. She chose a very “girl next door” name, which is particularly strange because her real name, which she should not have told me, is very strippery. At some point your stage name becomes such an integral part of your identity that you almost introduce yourself in the real world as that person. The impatient DJ gives her a hard time all night. The DJ, the other strippers, and all the other vultures have no interest in being nice.
She bumps into me through out the night. She flatters the crap out of me. “I bet you make so much money.” I can’t complain. “I would kill to look like you.” Please, no more. It’s not possible to tell in the light but I’m blushing. “Oh honey, I’ll give you my doctor’s number.”