I work at a human petting zoo’


A customer bit me and drew blood while I danced for him. I was standing in front of him all naked and stuff, and he’s pretty handsy so I’m already kind of wrestling him away, and then he just comes at me with all this excitement and his mouth open and then I scream. I look down and there’s a big dark mark on me. He apologizes profusely in Spanish and tries to rub it to make it feel better and it stings like hell. And I probably have Mexican rabies. I’m batting him away and then he tries to massage me to calm me down. I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror behind us. It’s dark in there. A red glow illuminates my horrified face and sweaty hair extensions.

What the hell is wrong with people? Especially me. Why do I subject myself to these people? Yuck.

He tips me a twenty and I chase him out. I run to the locker room where I see the manager. “This guy just bit me.” I say as I’m examining the mark on my hip in the mirror. It’s bloody.

“You need to stop being so delicious,” he advises me.

We all have a laugh at the situation. It’s funny, I guess. Who gets bitten at work besides animal trainers? I work at a human petting zoo.

One day my friend got her nipple nearly bitten off in one of these attacks. Blackbird remembers putting Neosporin on the girl’s damaged areola.

I sat in the locker room for a while after hitting up the vending machine. It sells packs of cigarettes next to cheese crackers.

I get a bag of raspberry crunch granola. I plant myself in a chair in the dressing room, surrounded by piles of stripper clothes, make up and burning hot hair flat irons crusted with burned hair spray.

“Want some?” I offer a girl. I raise my open bag of hippy crunch to a stripper that walks in. “It’s kosher.” She looks at the bag and declines. “I don’t know what that means,” she says. “Like Jewish or something, right?”

She doesn’t wait for a response and walks off. “What is kosher?” I hear her ask off in the distance of the hallway.

It was also gluten-free but I didn’t want to give her any more new things to think about that night.

Anyway, a manager died. I’m not even clear how it happened. Complications of something deadly and then kidney failure or something. It is some strippers’ medical opinions, however, that he was eaten alive by his own evil. He was well known to take a percentage of strippers’ earnings under certain arrangements and that’s about as specific as I can get considering several readers know who I’m talking about. He was always nice to me, but I kept my interaction with him to a minimum. He kind of reminded me of Gargamel from the Smurfs. He made a lot of money off the strippers, but you know what they say. You can’t take it with you.


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