A cricket chirps, and there is talk of pills


At nearly 1 a.m. on Saturday night, I was on my hands and knees in my kitchen, making eye contact with a cricket. He looked like he was suspended in midair, because the spider web where he was trapped was so delicate, it was invisible. Crickets don’t seem to have the awareness to know where to look when presented with a human face, but I’m positive we had a moment when I looked into his beady little eyes. I personally killed the spider that made the web so I knew the poor cricket would be hanging around until he starved or died of cricket boredom. “I should be at work. It’s Saturday night,” I thought to myself. I figured I’d start late. I chose to take extra time to study for a midterm instead of rushing off to work. GPAs have a permanence that stripper cash just doesn’t. The extra studying paid off and I got an A on the midterm. I had an odd sense of responsibility for a moment. Hopefully that will wear off so I can enjoy myself.

I ended up starting work at around 5 a.m. on Sunday morning after meeting my stripper friend at a bar near work. The sun was beginning to rise and I was beginning to drink. “You’re really mysterious. I don’t even know what you do all week,” my friend tells me between sips of free vanilla vodka she gets for playing video poker. “I write about you,” I thought to myself. I tell her that school is hectic and that’s all I really do with my life outside of this world of fast cash and free alcohol. I don’t drink as much as I might let on. I only drink socially. My job is very social, though.

At work, we went into the locker room and got undressed among the rest of them. The lighting in strip club locker rooms has a way of bringing out every flaw in garish detail. We stare at our problem areas in the mirror. We pick, poke and prod at our bodies in disappointment. I have a thumbprint-sized birthmark that looks like a brown lake. By far more entertaining than the freak show of cellulite and stretch marks is the opportunity for some quality eavesdropping. On this particular Sunday morning, I had been fortunate enough to hear about the merits of pharmaceutical drugs over street drugs. “It will F- you up, but at least you know it’s clean.” They get into specifics and discuss their favorites. “That’s not a sleeping pill, it’s an anti-psychotic,” a stripper clarifies for another. They discussed a drug that sounded like “sarsaparilla.” “I dated a doctor and he had the best drugs,” a stripper boasts. To support the point of pharmaceuticals being better than street drugs, a few girls chimed in with horror stories of taking ecstasy. It sounds like a nightmare. My fear overpowers my curiosity. I’ll stick with free vodka.


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