Black Bird is about to pop, and a fellow stripper pops off

I’m with Black Bird in Arizona at her grandma’s house. Bird is 10 months pregnant and ready to pop. We’re spending our days not doing much. Just picking fruit from the citrus trees and eating them on the porch waiting for the big day. We peel the not-entirely-ripe oranges on the porch swing and toss the peels under the trees next to other rotting lumps of fallen fruit. We get a chance to do nothing but talk. We discuss our childhood and the terrible things that adults let happen to us, peeling back bitter sour chunks of our exteriors and tossing them aside like the other pile we’ve made. It’s therapeutic, talking to bird. Hopefully she feels that way about talking to me too. She’s concerned about being a good parent. Her own mother was a whore who frequently abandoned her. It f---ed her up irreparably in many ways. She carries so much anger and she wants to let it go. As the pile of oranges sits rotting in the shade of the tree from which it fell, she expresses fear of not wanting her own daughter to suffer any damage that formed her own issues.

Bird is going to do a home birth inside a “birthing pool,” which I think is literally one of the kiddie pools you’d find in the toy aisle at the store next to inflatable whales, foam noodles and plastic goggles. I don’t know all the details, though. I do know, however, that I fear for Bird because she’s as big as a house and she has a tiny vagina. I was in the doctor’s office with her when she got a pap smear and the doctor had to use the vaginal speculum that they use on teenage virgins.

Anyway, in the last blog I mentioned a stripper fight that I had the pleasure to witness one night at work. It was the first time I had ever actually witnessed a physical fight between two strippers. I have been in the building during such sexy fisticuffs but I had never laid eyes on the event, let alone took a hand in breaking it up.

It was the end of the night, near closing, when all the remaining strippers trickle into the locker room to remove their wigs and personas, count their money and hit the road. A tiny girl in a bikini was crumpled up on the floor in front of her bottom row locker crying and screaming something undecipherable. I got closer to put my arms around her. It felt like a knee-jerk, maternal thing since she was as small as a child. I’m not sure if I would have done it to a bigger person. I held her as she kept crying. Her mom just died, from what I understood. The end of the night is the best time for nervous breakdowns. Any earlier and you ruin your make-up and any chance you have at making money. At the end of the night you just let it all hang out and cry ’til your false eyelashes slide off your face.

Now I could attempt to clearly explain what exactly triggered tiny girl’s next move but it just wouldn’t make any sense because it still doesn’t entirely make sense to me. One second tiny girl was sitting in my lap sprinkling me with tears and the next moment she jumped up and lunged toward a girl twice her size a few lockers down. All I sort of understood was that Tiny thought she heard the girl say something disrespectful to her. I suspect it was a racially motivated thing, since it was no secret that Tiny was racist and that the victim was black. The victim was just as stunned as I was. I watched for a second and then went over and pulled her off the other girl by putting my arms around Tiny and physically carrying her away in a “sorry about my rabid Chihuahua” kind of way.

Last I heard, the black chick was pressing charges.


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