anything but a wasted life

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I’ve been addicted to the television show, Mad Men. Set in the mid-sixties, the men drink like fish, smoke cigarettes like wake-n-bakes, and treat women like pencils. I was in the middle of a VIP a little while ago with a much older gentleman, and as I was giggling and dogging, it occurred to me how antiquated stripping is. Not the act itself, but the attitude I have to adopt. This demeanor consists of smiles and boobs and shut off grey matter. Men over sixty-five are generally the most annoying clients. They are the first ones to go straight between your legs. Over and over. This fact crosses my mind every time an old-timer solicits a lap dance. It’s apparent that most of this demographic has little to no respect for women. It’s best (I know this goes against everything feminists have stood for, and everything I’ve fought for personally in my life, but I’m a hustler with a high cost of living) to act really dumb with these ones. I mean, how do you boil spaghetti, dumb. Actually, that’s probably not the best example, seeing as how I almost burned the kitchen down recently when I tried to heat up a Trader Joe’s hors d’oeuvre for friends. I’ve never excelled in the kitchen, but you get the gist. I’d never get a second dance or a tip if I were to be myself with these pups. Can’t teach an old dog not to grab my vagina. I do my part to educate the small-minded men I sit with, but most of these over-the-hill pooches are a lost cause.

tits&wit

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[sometime in 2012]

I saw Beamer after work this past Friday night. I left for the club early, around 2pm. Halfway down the 110, I realized that I left my fucking work bag at my house. I doubled back. Shit traffic both directions. Wasn’t happy. Got the bag, sleeping pill and headed back down south. Work was lacklust. Only real money came from Cargo Pants, which I stupidly had waited till the last minute to text. Feeling the need to be uber-respectful, knowing that he hates the club, but then breaking down as I saw how the night was going. This “respect” only meant that “Shannon” got less dough because the banks were closed, and he refuses to use ATM’s. Fuckit, I’ll take what I can get. We talked for about an hour, maybe more. Most of my mid-shift consisted of writing, drinking, and laughing with my girls. 10 p.m rolled around, and I needed to skeedattle. I was starving, having only eaten a salad around noon. I texted Beamer and asked if he would order me Chinese delivery. I don’t usually eat at his apartment, but we had negotiated a sleepover because I owe him money—hence the sleeping pill—and a place near his house has the best Vegetable Chow Mein. The overnight kept me from driving home through Manhattan Beach on a weekend night after drinking for hours. Another plus, they’ve been randomly shutting freeway exits off late at night. So, it was a win win. Of sorts. I prefer to sleep alone in my bed, and I prefer not having to be “on” in the morning. Especially “turned on”. {cont}

tits&wit

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{cont} When I arrived at his place, I changed into my “sleepy pants” and dove into the food. He poured me a big tumbler of scotch, an ice water, and ordered a movie for us to watch. I took my Halcyon, thinking it would kick in just after the sex (I was wrong), and I pulled out a joint for him, courtesy of Hattie and her hubs. I’ve never seen him smoke weed, but we had talked about it, and I told him I’d hook him up. He was waiting to smoke up for some reason. Finally, halfway through the film, I told him to light that bitch. He did. I took a tiny hit, just to make him feel more relaxed—he knows I don’t smoke weed, but he doesn’t know about my drug use. He said that he really wanted to go down on me while he was high. “I could go down on you for an hour.” An hour-long head session from a customer sounds like the ninth circle of hell, but with all the booze, pills, and powders, it was likely that I’d be numb from the tits down anyway. I figured we’d fool around when I was done eating and the movie was over, but the Chow Mein and sleeping pill—and what I later guessed to be bunk Adderall from my ex-husband—equaled a passed out hooker on the couch. Just before my eyes closed, I mumbled something about making it up to him in the morning. He said OK, but that he was dying to hold me, so he came over to the couch and spooned me. I went out like a light. Hope I didn’t f(art) on him.

tits&wit

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I’m wrecked. A shell of a human. I’m so tired of men comin’ at me. I have Dallas texting that he loves me and wants to fuck me, then a mere half an hour later he texts that he hates me and tells me to fuck off. I so sick of dealing with his crazy shit. And Beamer is butthurt because I had to cancel our date last night. He recently laid a bunch of heavy shit on me. About us, his feelings, our future. It’s exhausting. Can’t we all just enjoy the fucking moment?! And leave me alone until I’m in your presence? I saw Cargo Pants at the club last night. He only gave me two hundred and was super late. He’s been down on the place lately. Turns out the thing he hates the most is the other male customers. He doesn’t like how they treat the girls, and that they don’t tip or participate. He’s preaching to the sugar-scented choir. But it hardly seems fair to punish me (not come in as much) because of their defective attitude. Loathing aside, he didn’t seem as if he were in a big rush to leave the building. In fact, he held me hostage with a long conversation after our VIP. Not wanting yet another meltdown slash breakup, I only hinted at the fact that I needed to get on with it. All the while knowing I’d be late for Beamer. Honestly, I was just plain running on empty, so when I said my final goodbye to Cargo Pants, I cancelled my post work date with Beamer. Something I never do—I’m a woman who sticks to her word, and of course I could have used the money—but I’m allowed to take care of myself once in a while, aren’t I? I swear, I must be certifiable to juggle all these people’s feelings. I miss the wham-bam-thanks-for-the-sex days.

anything but a wasted life

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The most novel element about this club is the dance prices and the system they have in place for paying said dances. Hence the gold mine. Lap dances start at thirty bucks and go up to six hundred. The customers have to pay for the dance in advance. A manager sits at the cash register and greets customers with a friendly hello and a pitch. So all you have to do is get a guy to say yes to a single dance and then the manager does the work for you. “Hey buddy, you should get the half-hour or hour. Look at this beautiful girl, don’t you want her lying naked on top of you for half an hour?” There are two managers, and they both have thick Lebanese accents. They sound goofy (with the “buddy buddy”) and intimidating at the same time. The guys almost always pay for more than they thought they would. It’s brilliant! Their manhood is on the line. I’ve never worked at a club that did this. It’s so simple and effective. I don’t know why more clubs don’t adopt this method. Yes, I told Randy at The Bare and he just shrugged. I wanted to be like, “Dude! Here’s your “Secret!” He’s all hopped up on that book.

tits&wit

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Remember when we were treated like adults? Back in the good ol’ days. When people took personal responsibility and pilots didn’t leave the seat belt sign on for the entire flight. I was treated more like an adult when I was ten fucking years old than I am at forty-four. It’s preposterous. And it pisses me off. Captains used to turn the light off the second we reached ten thousand feet. Now it stays on until your bladder bursts. God forbid you stub your toe and sue Southwest. All these regulations in our lives are getting out of control. It’s too damn much. We have high tech gadgets, but are in a downward spiral back to diapers. I used to like walking down the isle when a little turbulence hit. I never fell on anyone. I liked the challenge. I slide my hand along the storage bins, not bothering people’s headrests, keeping myself steady. People are ruining it! With their inefficiency, rudeness and opportunistic attitude. This dude behind me has been talking non-stop in an extremely boom-y voice since we sat on the plane. He’s talking at his neighbor. It’s not a conversation. He is literally talking at him. I don’t know how he’s breathing. He has not paused in forty-five minutes. Perhaps he knows a secret breathe-through-your-nose-while-you-pontificate trick. Two of my biggest pet peeves: being treated like a child and inconsiderate people. If I’m not steady on my feet, I will not get up during light turbulence. Or if I fall off the toilet while I’m peeing, I will not sue the airline, I’ll laugh and curse myself for not having ass cheeks that clamp to the seat. I will not blame Southwest or the air pockets. Frivolous lawsuits have killed America. Not to mention our so-called freedom. I don’t need a warning on Petroleum Jelly telling me not to ingest it. I fucking know better. Or if I happened to like Petroleum Jelly on toast, it’s my body and my choice. Those warnings demean my intelligence and my capacity to reason. I hate it. I don’t want aspirin to be Fort Knox. I don’t want to be a mastermind in uber-tight plastics when I have a splitting headache. I had at least a decade, a short, but deliciously sweet decade of no heavy-duty cut yourself sealed packaging and a list of fucking warnings on everything. What are we doing? Why are we getting dumber? We can’t people turn their cell phones off before the plane takes off? Or wait fifteen minutes to put their tray down? Why do we make these poor sods tell us a hundred times? Do people like being treated like first graders? Do they not want to think for themselves? Not this lass. I know right from wrong. I know the fundamental rules. I know not to harm others and that Red Bull will not actually give me fucking wings. I don’t need to be controlled or coddled. I don’t want a car that can drive by itself. That’s horrifying. I’d like separate worlds, one for lazy dumbfucks who don’t want to think for themselves and who want someone to wipe their ass, and one for the rest of us. Who pay attention. Who have their cash or ATM card out, so the clerk won’t have to ask for it. I want a world filled with people who know how to make a left hand turn in Los Angeles. A world without warnings on a loaf of fucking bread. And people who pay attention to their surroundings. I don’t want my ID run through the system because I’m allergic to the quality of air in L.A. I just pray that by the time I’m eighty, it’s not mandated that I get tested for food allergies before buying a head of lettuce and that a woman’s nipple is still allowed to exist.