My shoes are getting loose and my ankles keep twisting as I back my ass up and down on this guy’s lap. It hurts and my thighs are getting tired and he’s driving me crazy. I mess up the rhythm accidentally-on-purpose, partly to give my ankles a break and get grips on a new angle and partly to throw him off so he doesn’t come. He’s dead set on coming. We’re two songs in and I swear this is the longest song I’ve had to give a dance to since my bitchassho of a friend Ellie got mad at me and decided to make me suffer through an 11 minute Sisters of Mercy song six years ago at the tiny club where two girls switch off the stage through five hour shifts–the same club where I met Hundred Dollar Dave, in fact. That was awful but this is pretty close to as bad.
“We gotta compromise,” he keeps declaring. “We gotta come to a compromise, a conclusion.”
“About what?” I giggle inanely. I already know about what. My last breakup didn’t even involve this much discussion and begging for compromise. He’s driving me crazy.
The bouncer walks by and I see a ray of hope. Last Friday, the first, I accidentally gave a two-song-long dance instead of one because, I don’t know, I’m deaf or all the dubstep really starts to sound the same after a while. It worked out because it was a couple’s dance and I charged them 40$ each–it really is twice the work, not to mention the annoying stress of having to make everyone feel included, and the goddamn boyfriend kept noisily nuzzling and kissing my shoulder whenever I got near him, I wanted to charge him a gratuity for all the saliva: I deserved compensation for the time it will take to wash off as well as the emotional effort of keeping my temper in check, but we all know how that would go over.
But if I confused two songs for once, maybe I’ve done it again. That would explain this interminable lap dance.
The bouncer nixes this idea, it’s only been two. And I was paid up front for three. If it was theoretical money still to come I’d probably call it quits at two but there’s no way I’m giving any money back. No way.
As soon as the third song ends, however, I’m done. He still wants to compromise, we really need to talk, he wants more but I need to stop being so afraid of my own pleasure.
“You like it too much, I can tell. Girl don’t be afraid. We just need to work this out, you need to stay doing that same thing, let’s do two more.”
“Oh no!” I trill. “So sorry, so thirsty, oh my. So thirsty! Let’s check back after I’ve had a glass of water.” I’m shooting this over my shoulder at him cause I’ve already grabbed my stuff and am heading out at a fast trot. I pass Regan, who gives me a questioning look. I make a face at her. With any luck she’ll nab him and get a few dances out of him before he wears her out.
Regan and I are having a competition (If I put the word friendly in there, that actually makes it seem less friendly); I’m not sure if it’s who can get the most dances this month or who can get to 100 fastest, but either way I’m winning.
When I got back out there she got him by the ATM. While he fucked with it she leaned over to talk to me.
“He’s exhausting,” I explained. “I like can’t even handle it and I really don’t want him to come on me! seriously. But he tipped so ask for a tip for sure.”
I wandered off, found someone new. A sweet faced German boy. I led him back and saw Regan still at it which means she definitely got ahead of me for the night. I caught her eye as we walked past and started laughing hysterically; shoulders shaking, she hid her face behind her hair. I beamed at my customer, steered him to a chair where I would have a good view of this past the curtains and sat him down. Regan looked mildly tortured, shoes off and dancing away with determination. I couldn’t tell if he was trying to boss her and she was ignoring it or if he just gave up, but he seemed more tractable with her. Maybe he was afraid of her. I think once she said she shoved a customer up against the wall and choked him with her arm.
“I can’t do that,” I said wistfully. “I got in trouble for slapping a customer.”
“Yeah, but that was at the rack.”
For a while I was slapping guys at the rack on a fairly regular basis: if they didn’t tip, if they tried to touch me, if they threw dollars at my ass, if they were at all aggravating to my perhaps already frayed temper–and focused on the important part. “How did you know about that?”
“I was in the office when they were going over the footage to try to see what happened.”
“He deserved it.”
“It was at the rack.”
Compromise seems content to lay back and let Regan do her thing. My customer is staring at me with a look of baffled delight, an expression I really enjoy. I stop making eye contact with Regan because I can tell my uncontrollable giggles are confusing him. We do three songs and leave Regan still at it.
Continue later, I just got exhausted. And I have so much more to write!
1- Present tense got exhausting.