I’m trying to hustle some older business men, the kind of guys’ whose track-lighting condos or boats I would party at when I was 19 and 20 but I’ve since lost the knack of squeezing any profit out of them at all. Come to think of it, even then mostly what I got from them was free alcohol and drugs. But I’m hitting everyone up, I have goals, man, including not letting Great Lakes entirely ruin my life with their refusal to allow me to pay the principle first. &c&c&c.
“So…” I whisper, trailing my fingers down my main target’s arm, “are you ready for a really good lap dance?”
“Maybe, maybe!” he says genially. “I don’t know, what’s in it for me?”
I hate cleversticks. Don’t try to be clever, it’s a waste of my time and your breath. Before I can do anything but not say this he tilts his head.
“I tell you what!”
A challenge is coming, I can tell. Something like, “if you name the team whose logo is on my friend’s hat, I’ll get a lapdance.
“Tell me who sings this song.”
In my head I groan and hit him with my purse. Outwardly I tilt my head, listen. Cringe, groan again as the ubiquitous tinkling notes register. I try to think back to the one time outside the club I ever heard it, during a YouTube theater marathon with the ex.
Over the winter I hung out with my ex some. We’d reunite the pets, eat, watch tv. I was gearing up to go one night when X asked me if I’d heard a song. I didn’t think so, so of course we had to watch the video. Like everyone else I found myself caught on his teeth and not wanting to stare at his face and then inexpressibly annoyed. I recognised the music from the club, where it was inevitably muddied with dubstep, but I never listened to the lyrics before; like every other motherfucker I recognized the sentiment from agonized therapy sessions, sleepless nights and overrelating to Nabokov’s explorations of the inability to return to a past, one that you maybe can no longer relate to or even recognize.
“Somebody…” he wailed. I couldn’t tell what my reaction was supposed to be, it was too much like a sitcom, sitting there awkwardly listening to this naked guy painted in earth tones wail about his relationship pain. it was like getting Punk’d. “Ashton, are you there?
“I hate it?” I offered. “He sounds like a total dick.” Like of course she would change her number. Clearly. I knew which part of the equation I was overidentifying with, but didn’t really want to explore our respective reactions any further.
“Well, she gets her say,” I was told. Great.
The guy is waiting and I finally dredge up a memory of the name next to the song title on the YouTube page.
“Gotya!” I say, feigning an enthusiasm that this whole interaction has really drained.
He looks puzzled and then amused. “Got-ya?” he repeats. “It’s Gau-tee-ay!”
I love when life mirrors art (or in this case, bad nineties movies about strippers). Just like that, the whole interaction was redeemed; like Gnomey in Showgirls, I got schooled.
“It’s Versays!” I told him cheerfully, and patted his shoulder. “I’ll be back to check on you later.”
Of course I never returned to him, but I did have a good cackle to myself throughout the night, retelling it to my friends but slurring my accent harder so it came out “Gotcha!”
My class on Zionism in the first half of the 20th century got cancelled, leaving me adrift for the past week and anxious about my reception when (if) I ask the Beautiful Professor for a letter of recommendation. That was my last chance to prove myself and redeem my spring term sloppiness. To ease the anxiety I’m working as much as possible and ploughing through Nabokov: The Russian Years.
Currently reading this: http://entertainment.time.com/2012/07/25/i-hate-this-book-so-much-a-meditation/ –apparently Grossman has a weekly column which just made my life, texting pictures of cute animals, and eating dark chocolate sea salted caramels–which the local grocery store has just started carrying in bulk–in bed before work.
1-That’s a real quote.
2- Mystifying and mildly awkward and something which my friends would (and still do) badger me about. I’d try to explain but lapse into quoting Some Like It Hot, knocking on my head and excusing myself by being “not very bright.” Something about invoking Marilyn Monroe in a grand tradition of bad feminine relationship judgment was inexplicably soothing. They’d shake their heads.