Ryann Reflections

A glimpse into the life of one anti-social stripper nerd.

Monday, September 25, 2006

guess I'm just stupid...

Am I fucking invisible?

Why am I the one that gets to suck it up, shed a few tears, and keep going? I just want someone to take care of me instead of throw me away. I know how lonely I am. “I don’t want to hurt her.” But fuck feel free to disrespect and discard me. Feel free to ignore my plea for compassion and admission of vulnerability. I asked him to not put me in this position. Feel free to disregard everything I feel. I’m alone on the road, again, and he doesn’t want to hurt HER! Fuck you! What about me? What about my daily routine of wiping away tears to create a serene expression?

I clutch the phone to my ear, sniffling and raging into the mouthpiece. I want to hate him. I’m so disappointed in myself for walking into this again. She listens. She wants to yell at him too. He hurt me. Tears cloud my vision as the car winds its way back to my hotel. Two more shows. I don’t understand. He likes me. He doesn’t want to hurt HER! It hurts. I don’t know why I’m supposed to be irrelevant and invincible. I don’t feel invincible.

I don’t understand. He likes me. We’ve always been drawn to each other since the day we met, over five years ago. We were together last year. We were together before they rekindled their relationship. Then I went on tour. He chose her. He wants a relationship with me, but he won’t leave. It’s not working, and inevitably they will go their separate ways, but not yet. He likes me, but in his mind it’s complicated. I get to be the one to fall. Maybe you don’t leave the good girl, with the good family and the picture perfect scene to take a risk on the stripper. Perhaps I’m too far removed from an acceptable life. He likes me, and I like him, and now I have to walk away... It hurts.

The TV flickers a superficial distraction as I struggle to rebuild the illusion. I want to yell at him. I’ve already yelled at myself. In spite of my experience, I fail to hold on to complete cynicism. I really should. I dared to hope. I dared to believe for a moment that it could be something other than a mistake.

I glance at the clock and drop my jeans to the floor. The mirror reflects my sadness. My eyes glisten with tears. I pull off my tank top and bra and examine my naked body in the mirror. I need to tan more. Slowly I paint on a new layer of makeup, a fresh layer untouched by tears. I smooth out my flushed emotions beneath foundation. My lips shine, liquid. Liner protects my secrets, and shadow detracts from the lies of sweet seduction. I hesitate with the mascara, reluctant to risk exposing myself, but add a touch. A final sheet of powder and blush create a soft and sexy deception. I still want to cry, but I won’t until after my shows. Maybe I am invincible. Maybe I’m just too good at becoming fictitious. Tonight, alone in my hotel, clutching my care bear, the emotions will flood. I might cry, but I doubt it. After hours of giggling, flirting and dancing I have trouble expressing anything real. Maybe I’m just too good at compartmentalizing.

It’s time to be the fantasy again… two more shows… I need happy stripper music.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Packing?? hahahaha

Reluctantly my eyes scan the rubble surrounding me. On my chair I’m safe from the disaster. If I just sit here and stare at my computer screen I won’t have to acknowledge the chaos of procrastination in my peripheral vision. I haven’t packed. Fuck! That’s not entirely true, over the past few days I’ve managed to FINALLY pack all of my work stuff. However at this very moment, if I’m not a work I’ll be naked because everything I actually need (clothes, makeup, jewelry, books, socks, shoes, toiletries etc…) seems to have taken on a life of its own. It’s resisting me! And here I am… sitting on top of my bra, towel and sweater, in my pajamas, blogging. Maybe if I have a shower I’ll be more in the mood to stuff my entire life into a suitcase. (I don’t want to leave) Maybe I’ll have a shower, do my hair and makeup, decide what to wear, and then start packing… Maybe I should eat breakfast first…

I don’t know why I don’t have elves to help me pack. I should be able to go out and come home to find everything cleaned and packed. I think my invisible elves quit, because I’ve been trying that for days… and now I have to be out of the house in 90 minutes. Stupid Elves!


Saturday, September 23, 2006

the pattern continues...

I wish I could believe. I want to have faith that I won’t be alone forever, but I don’t. I don’t think I’m the sensible choice, and I don’t believe any man I want would ever be foolish enough to take that risk. I’m never going to be the easy choice. I just don’t believe it. I’m the mistress. It’s all I know, and it hurts.

It’s hard for me to find someone I can relate to on the level I need. There are days when people challenge me on it and it’s annoying. It’s hard for me. I’m not willing to compromise my standards, just my boundaries… over and over again. I’m so tired of being the other woman I just want to scream. I want to cry. My eyes stare blankly at the screen, fighting the mist of pain floating just behind this expressionless mask.

I was with the Brat last night. (I’ll take dumb ideas of the day for $200 Alex)
There were too many reasons to not go, and only one reason to see him. I wanted to. I missed him. I wanted to be near him and cling to every second of time I could spend with him. I knew it was a bad idea. I knew it was inevitable. I know we created the circumstances. It was lovely. I miss him. But always lingering in my mind are his choices. He chose someone else and I feel like a fucking fool for being vulnerable again. I’m standing here waiting for him to hurt me again. I’m waiting for him to tell me he doesn’t want me. I don’t believe I will hear anything else. It’s all I know. I snuggle closer to him, shrouding myself in his warmth. I hide from my fear in his arms. I close my eyes to shut out reality and steal these precious moments. I just want to feel something other than disappointment. I want to hope.

It was a bad idea. We’ve been trying so hard to keep out visits within time constraints, in public places. The sexual tension masks the reality, we should not be here. I should not be here.

I’m leaving soon. I have to pack and organize my life. I don’t want to go. This tour is too long, and I’m already homesick. I’m excited to see a few friends, and I’m looking forward to work, but I don’t want to go. I don’t want to be alone every night. I don’t want to lie in bed at night clutching my care bear and denying tears. I don’t want to watch couples on the street while craving the simplicity of human contact. I like his hand grasping the back of my neck.

I’m feeling lost and ashamed. I wish I was stronger. I’m angry that I’m letting him hurt me. I’m disappointed in myself for loosing my resolution in that holy moment, for wanting it, for allowing him to make me the other woman again. I’m annoyed that my independence is such an efficient excuse. I don’t need him. I’m okay alone. I don’t want a boyfriend, or a distraction, or a mirage. I want a partner. I want to be real.

But instead I’m going to get on a plane. I’ll be back at Christmas… Maybe with some distance I’ll just forget the sting of impossible situations. Maybe someday I’ll actual break this pattern. Maybe someday I’ll be more than the other woman… maybe someday for someone. Maybe someday I’ll believe it, but not today.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

It's a challenge

I’m an overachiever. I have a blind sense of arrogance that I rely on to get me through the challenges I accept, only to be left thinking “What the FUCK have I gotten myself into now!?!” I’m there. I’ve done it again. I’m in over my head again. I did the same with chemistry, and physics… why should stripping be any different? I want to experience what this industry has to offer me, and I need to do it on a time line. I doubt I’ll dance for a decade, but I’m watching the industry in Western Canada crumble. I know if I want to maintain my freedom, income, and enjoyment of my job I have to ensure my name is established. FAST!! It's business, so I’m heading east. I’m entering Ms Nude Canada and the qualifying contests leading up to it… I’m fucking terrified.

I’m not a blonde bombshell that can perform incredible feats of contortionism. I’m not a gymnast, nor am I a body-builder. I’m 5’1” little brunette with nice natural tits and the girl next door appeal. I’m not strong, and I don't defy gravity. I’m just a little nerd, with lofty goals. I’m just another stripper. AHHHHHHH!!! I’m fucking terrified. What if I make a total fool of myself? What if I’m not good enough? What if I really CAN’T pull it off??

Wheee... obviously I'm in a delightful cycle of self-doubt. I know it's temporary, and it's just part of the process of learning with me.

1-2-3-4, step, pivot, back, step… 1-2-3-4… swivel, step, kick, slide… 1-2-3-4. Right hand grab, spin, step off, step 1-2-3-4. Slide, flip, crawl, arch…

Maybe it’s not organic chemistry, but it’s an art. I’m spending all day everyday working on my show, trying to pull together something amazing, graceful, and sexy. I’m taking on a lot in the coming months, and it’s not easy. This week is long hours and a lot of trial and error. There’s only so much you can see yourself doing, especially on stage while performing. (Note: Do NOT spend the show staring at your self in the mirrors. It looks stupid.) I’m so thankful to have a dear friend and retired dancer helping me out this week. Constructive criticism please, it’s the only way to improve. When I was 17 in art school it was a hard thing to learn, but learn I did. It was hard to put a drawing in front of 25 peers and hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. Learning to give and take a critique and survive to show up the following week with something new was the first thing I learned in university.

I’ve been told I don’t take criticism well, but I think I disagree. I don’t take negative bullshit well, especially from unqualified sources. I don’t want to listen to that sort of crap, so no I don’t respond well to some guy in the bar telling how I ought to live my life, or what I should do in school. I’m also not encouraging to Photoshop nerd telling me about studio lighting. I’m incredibly impatient with the arrogant asshole who thinks his penis is justification for seniority, has held a first aid ticket for a month, and is trying to tell me how to deal with a penetrating pneumothorax.

But as for the task at hand, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. It’s a learning curve and like anything else I’ve ever done I rely on my blind arrogance to get me far enough in, while my actual skills catch up. It works for me. Teacher! Teacher! Thank god she’s so patient with me. It’s a challenge. I’m just an overly ambitious little nerd, who happens to look decent naked.

It’s a funny balance in life of when certain qualities are an advantage or a disadvantage. For instance, my tendency to be overly analytical and technical is NOT helping me be sexy and fluid. I might be smart business wise, but as for the stripper illusion, intelligence is not an asset. I have to stop thinking, shut up and just dance.

It’ll come together.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

I'm lonely


I’m feeling weak, yet impermeable. I’m vulnerable but hidden behind a melody and a costume. I crave to be exposed and accepted.

I want a hug. I want to be held, and told that I’m beautiful. I want to be cherished and loved and protected. I want to be the woman He wants.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

fat day

I’m having a fat day. August was just entirely too lazy for me and I’m still working injured. I pulled my groin two months ago and it’s still bothering me. Of course I’ve worked through the entire injury- because what choice do I have really? I’m not covered by worker’s compensation because I’m not an employee and I don’t pay for benefits. I can’t afford to take months off to nurse a little boo-boo. Really it’s not too bad unless I squat, arch, or spread. (Oh riiiiiiiight that’s my JOB) I’m open to suggestions on how to heal my leg faster. It’s difficult to get into massage and acupuncture as often as I’d like because of my work schedule. But I try.

So, my leg hurts and I’m feeling fat (not enough high energy shows burning calories as a result of the injury) Too bad I can't just throw on a comfy t-shirt and be done with it. No, I’m not actually fat- at all. But I am hormonal and female and if I want to have a fat day- I’m bloody well going to have a fat day.

I haven’t been writing about work lately. I suspect because for the most part it’s rather dull and repetitive. There are only so many ways to ask for sex for money. The customers tend to be predictable. This week we have a brand new rookie in the lineup and I’m finding it interesting to hear everything from fresh eyes. She’s totally green, and what shocks her, wouldn’t faze me. I’ve been living in the stripper world and it permeates how I interact with society. It has changed how I look at the world, how I perceive men, how I view sexual power. Becoming “The Stripper” changed me. It will change her too. The naivety will fade. I’m proud of Who I Am, but I wonder- will she be? Being confronted with such a fresh young girl, still so untouched by the harsh realities of this industry is both refreshing and saddening. It’s not an easy road, especially if the attitude is overconfident. She will stumble and fall a few times. The innocence will dissolve. “I’m different from those other girls. I’m just going to dance for a few months to make a quick buck.”

Uh huh… hey me too.

We’re all “different”. But the money comes, the lifestyle is incorporated. The money isn’t as fast as it originally seemed. The expenses are high. The lifestyle is pricy. The freedom is enjoyed. Many girls dance for a few months and quit, unable to handle the pressures of the job. Many dance for years longer than they intended. I certainly rethought my timeline. My answer to the question “How long do you plan on dancing?” isn’t what it used to be.

I’m going to dance as long as I love it, as long as it’s a positive experience, as long as I’m meant to.

As for actual work… well I’m back at the Drake this week. It’s familiar and cozy. The staff is great as always. It feels like home and I’m happy there. The patrons are generally quiet and alone. Nothing too exciting this week… Go to work, dance, sell a few private shows, giggle and gossip with my DJ, hide upstairs in the dressing room, read, write and be a nerd, chat with the girls and do it all again.

I do like my life.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006


We’re finishing lunch, discussing life plans and enjoying the afternoon when a white pick-up catches my eye through the window. We watch from our booth as he backs up. The angle is wrong.
“what is he doing?” my friend asks.
“He’s going to hit my car.” I reply.


My car lurches forward, rocking back in the stall.
“He just hit my car”. I jump out of my seat as he puts the truck in drive again and starts to drive forward. I sprint around the building as he’s rolling forward, ready to flee. His driver’s side window is open. I glare at him
“You hit my car! Where are you going?” I demand. He looks confused and irritated. His hair is white and the sun hasn’t been kind to his skin over the years. I notice there is dirt under his fingernails as I stare at him in disbelief.
“Did I?” he responds defensively.
“Um… Yes! We all saw you back into my little red car there. Are you going to deal with it or do I have to call the cops?”
“Fuck you!” He spits and hits the gas. I memorize his license plate as I watch him speed off down the road. I’m confused. Did that really happen? Who does that? He hit my car! AND he drove away! I slowly wander back into the restaurant baffled by the exchange. Did he really just hit and run my car? Did that dirty old guy just swear at me and drive away?

Inside I relay the story to my friends and dial 911. “I’d like to report a hit and run please…” The information is collected and reports are filed with both the police and insurance. I’m pretty sure he’s in trouble now. I’m pretty sure he’s a jerk too. He hit my car! I guess I get to add visits to my insurance claim office to my ‘to do’ list for the week.

Seriously, WHO DOES THAT??


Sunday, September 03, 2006

return of the Brat

I need to write my way out of my head. My thoughts are spiraling around emotions too fast to process. I’m still raw. I like being emotionally present. I like being vulnerable, but it’s not easy.

I had lunch today with the Brat. It’s the first time we’ve really had an honest conversation in almost a year. We really fucked that one up. I want to say “he was an ass, and I don’t want that in my life”. I want to say “what was there is gone and I’m glad” but I can’t.

I still care. My heart is still there, as it always has been. I’m reflecting on OUR mistakes. I fucked up. He fucked up. Timing was a bitch, and communication suffered. I was a disaster last year, and totally unavailable for what we were starting. It should have been something. It was something. It was real, but became shrouded in silence and assumption. It was friendship, but became lost in fear. It was beautiful, but was sacrificed to circumstance.

I watch him from from across the table, defensive yet determined. He wants to fix the friendship. I'm wrapped in sadness. I’m sad for what we lost, for the pain I feel, but mostly I’m sad for what we could have shared. I can still taste it.

I watch him play ball with a puppy as we sit and talk with an old friend. I stare out at the water, marveling at the exquisite view. The colours of the water shimmer the reflection of the sky, but deeper and stronger. There is peace here. I love it.

I have hope for the friendship.

We walk... I close my eyes and feel his energy play in mine. I feel him near me. I catch my breath as I’m thrust into awareness; the sexual tension is still there. Dammit!! The conversation flows naturally into ambitions, plans, travel, and academia… school… work… Present romantic situations are not discussed, hinted at, nor acknowledged. I need today to be about me. I need to feel that I am special, that he missed me, and that the relationship we share is unique, valuable, and real. I do.

I rest my head on his shoulder and allow myself to relax under his hand. His energy is warm and caring. I’m torn between the false preservation of defensiveness and the desire to just be open. I like the feel of him beside me. I like his hand stroking my hair. I like the familiar flirtation. I like knowing this moment is special. It’s a holy moment between two souls struggling with mistakes and desires. I want to salvage the friendship. I know it’s real. I want to wrap his energy around mine and make things right. I want him to kiss me, but I'm trying not to think about that. I’m trying so hard to break the cycle. Denying the feelings never seems to effectively eliminate the pain. I don’t want to be the other woman anymore.

It’s been a beautiful afternoon, and I will cherish it.

I don’t really know what to do tomorrow. I don’t know what path our friendship will take but I’m just going to be honest in every moment as it comes, as best I can

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

over a sitcom

I cried this afternoon watching “Friends”. It was the one where the Ross/Rachel relationship is reviewed because invitations for Ross’s wedding have arrived. I watched Rachel remember, and debate whether to attend the wedding or not, and I cried. I cried for the loss of expectations, and hope for reconciliation. I grieved the loss of Maverick in my life and thought about his engagement. I lost myself in a moment of consuming loneliness.

I laughed as the tears flowed freely, satisfied and amused by the exposure of my soul. I’m crying over a fucking sitcom...

and I love it.