It is bizarre to me how quickly your circumstances can change at the club. One minute, I was down in the dumps in a dead club, while the next found me twirling across the wood floor of some random dude’s house singing karaoke songs at the top of my lungs while Willie Nelson’s niece danced topless on a kitchen counter and crooned about how lovely my voice was.
Earlier in the week, I had had surgery on my jaw which left my entire face swollen and distorted. I hadn’t even planned on working that Saturday if one of my $400/hour regulars hadn’t asked me to. He was a no-show, however, and my evening wasn’t going well. It’s difficult to hustle with any amount of self-confidence when your face looks like an exploded can of biscuits.
When I don’t have any clients, I will sit in the back at the VIP bar and hang out with Luis the Coke Dealer if he’s there. Luis was, indeed, present, but tonight, something was off. He was drunk, slurring his words and dropping things. Luis never gets drunk.
“Come home with me tonight,” he said as I sat down, leaning over to kiss me.
Luis also never kisses me.
“Luis, you know I have a blanket policy of never going home with anyone from the club.”
“Please. I’m going through some shit right now, and I don’t really wanna be alone.”
That statement hit me in the feels. I had felt the same way, freaking out two nights before, afraid I’d be stuck as a cartoon version of myself forever. I had to line up a parade of friends to come over and calm me down.
“Welllllllll, I would, but I am SO tired, and my back is killing me.”
“I’ll give you a massage. No sex, I promise. I’ll just let you sleep. Please. I need you.”
Luis is not a client. He only bought dances from me once. Luis is a friend, and I try to be there for my friends when they need me.
I sighed and relented. “Okay, fine. I’ll come with you when my shift is over.”
No sooner had the words left my mouth when one of Luis’ bodyguards bounced over, his round, youthful face flush with a tale-tell cocaine glow. Luis tends to hang out with a bunch of men who look like they spend far too much time at the gym and not enough at the library. I refer to them as his bodyguards.
The bodyguard loomed over me. “Who are you?” he asked.
“Um. I’m Circus.”
“Hell, yeah, you are! Girl, I want all up in your carousel!”
Before I could say a word, the bodyguard launched into a very long monologue about partying with millionaires at a party called “The Stripper Dip,” at a house in League City known for having the second largest pool in Texas with three of the hottest girls who weren’t even strippers and man, the best molly in the world that contained no methamphetamine and afterwards he fucked this girl who looked just like J-Lo whom he’s known for three years but didn’t think he had a chance with because she was so hot and she owns her own nationwide real estate business but he made her cum, like, ten times and afterwards she said no one ever been able to make her do that but he didn’t get off himself not even once because he only wanted for her to have a good time but now he’s playing playing it real cool because he doesn’t want her to think that like, he’s super into her even though he really is but man I’m really hot too and can he please have some dances now?
At this point, I was incredibly impressed by this guy’s lung capacity. He hadn’t stopped to breathe once.
Back in VIP, the bodyguard, who’s name I now knew was Bradley, told me that he made one hundred grand a year selling natural gas while working only three to four hours a week, and he was also a boat captain with his own boat rental company and a DJ at weddings and parties on the lake but he used to be a stripper down in San Antonio but he had to stop that because he never made more than two hundred dollars a night but man, he still had his skills and would I like him to dance for me and didn’t he have a great butt and I should feel it and man, he knew I was going home with Luis but I should really go with him instead because he had this great, big garden tub and he would light some candles and run me a bubble bath and massage my feet and treat me like a princess and there was a bench at the end of his bed where he could give me more dances.
I interrupted him. “I gave Luis my word,” I informed him, “and I’m going to keep it.”
“It’ll be fine,” he said. “Luis won’t care. He’s my buddy.”
He called Luis into the VIP booth. “Luis, will you please tell Circus that it’s okay if she comes home with me? You won’t mind, right?”
Luis shrugged. “She can do whatever she wants.”
“See, Luis said it’s fine.”
“That was not Luis saying it was fine. I’m sticking to my word.”
This displeased Bradley, who decided not to take no for an answer. “Look, he said,” I’ve got this living room at home that is full of lasers and my DJ setup and this banging karaoke system. Why don’t you and Luis come over and sing some karaoke with me for like, half an hour, and then you can take Luis home?”
At this point, it was clear to Luis and I that Bradley was not going to shut up and give up unless we agreed. We reluctantly agreed.
To be continued . . .