Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ten Cents a Dance

Ten cents a dance
That's what they pay me
Gee, how they weigh me

I bet after adjusting for inflation since 1930, Ella and I get paid about the same for our services... and it might as well be monopoly money in either case, hell, she is complaining about it. Hear, hear, sister. Actually it is monopoly money. A lot of the men buy, with their real money-- or, usually, with their company card-- wads of fake cash with the club's name printed on it, which they use to tip us, which we exchange at the end of the night for real cash with a 20% cut. I guess the point is that they can use their company cards, and get drunk, and start feeling like it is just monopoly money (it is), and spend freely since they can't very well hang onto it and give it to the wife to get groceries the following day. I know it's good for the club, and maybe for us too, even with the exchange rate. But it's peanut money anyway. And there are still those who come in and say they can't afford a dance, and watch, and don't tip, and chat away like it's Come on dude, at least fork over the thimble.

But I made out pretty well last night, like I usually do when I stumble in late, dragging ass, forgetting my makeup bag, all sorts of overit, and finish my first gin and ginger before I even get up on stage.

I used to be a real dancer, classically trained real-life ballerina, and it translates, though chaine turns and grand plies would be ridiculous in fishnets, to Danzig, and sliding upside-down down a pole was a move I had to learn onstage, on air, without a teacher. It was easy though... I like to think the dance training helped. So it's actually fun for me. This gig. And, more importantly, it's the easiest job in the world. Lax schedule, short hours, low expectations, no micromanaging bosses; we're independent contractors in a kind of co-op situation where we actually pay for the luxury of working there, with that 20% cut and a significant house-fee to boot. Perfect job for free-thinkers and lazy people.

And, though I would never say it, I feel that Dr. Julian Darcy and I have quite a bit in common, professionally. I pay him an exorbitant fee for 45 minutes of his company, he listens to me, he acts like he cares, and then when my time is up he holds open the back door for me as I leave, closes it behind me, takes a breather at his desk, maybe calls the girlfriend, and sets up for the next pretty hysteric. ...They pay me a comparably exorbitant sum (after doing the arithmetic, it can be even twice or three times more per minute, but that doesn't include the unpaid time sitting, chatting, lubing up for expenditure-- just trust me, it's peanut-money) for my company, I listen to them, I act like I care, like I'm fascinated, titillated, dance around on them with my contrived-genuine lust, never take my eyes off them (while a rectangular bouncer does the same), lead them out of the back room, and head over to the dressing room to smoke, text, whine, or sometimes even read, and stroll back out onto the floor to troll for the next victim.

I would never say it, because it would be a damn insulting thing to say, and because I know Julian is light-years beyond me, and does real things, and is actually helping me and would help me more if I had a real malady other than a serious crush or real true love for him. And he does lots of other things and is very respected in his field, and it's just beyond comparison and I'm not even comparing. The previous paragraph was, well, one long comparison, but... well, only in my twisted little universe. Point is, really, just that sometimes I'm doing multiplication tables in my head when talking and laughing with these monkey-men, but sometimes I meet men there I really do like quite a bit. I've even dated a couple. There was one I met that I totally fell for and ended up seeing for a while, turned out to be a lying, philandering asshole, of course, but to his own credit he warned me he would. I told Julian about him the day after we met, joking warmly that he was the first person who'd ever complimented my clunker when he drove us from the club to a diner down the street and J briefly dropped the poker-face to look at me like I just came crashing down onto his couch through the roof in a Soviet spacesuit, cradling the corpse of Laika in my arms.

"Do you even know anything about this guy?"

Errrrp... I did not, no. I do now, again, thanks to my knack for espionage. But, no.

"Well, maybe a guy you meet at the dance club is not the best candidate for a positive relationship."

He always says "dance club," never "strip club," and only once said "dumb stripper bitches" ironically, after I said it, also ironically, to qualify a certain type of girl. He never swears, either. I don't swear much myself, but I find that I do it more when I talk to him. I guess he gets me going. Speaking emphatically.

I'm seeing him tomorrow. I'm not as nervous as I've been before the last several sessions, because last time was normal, while the times before were... not exactly. I won't explain now but something had intensified and reached boiling temperature I guess, and now it's subsided, which, is sorta cool, and sorta sucks.

Anyway. Check in later maybe, with my audience of none. Off to make my red hair redder.

Love and late-night diversions,

Scarlet O.

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