Ryann Reflections

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

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Just another night at Harley's

I notice him immediately. Early 50’s, peppered hair and obviously self-important, he stares at me, licking his lips, throughout my show. Fascinated by my performance, or just horny, he motions for me to join their table.

Wide-eyed, I smile at him as he explains how important he is, and how much money he has, and how honored I should be that he has chosen me to support this evening. He hands me a $100 bill and explains, “You got my attention. I’m taking the boys out tonight. They all work for me, and I want you to show them a good time.”

The boys are well-behaved and dull. I dance. They pay. We chat. I dance again. I’m making money for pretty lazy work. All I really have to do is sit here and listen to Mr. Very Important Executive talk about how very important he is.

Fiona finishes her show and joins the group. Neither one of us cares how very important or supposedly wealthy they are, but they are spending money. I watch her as she dances, enjoying her performance as I always do. Mid-dance Mr. Very Important Executive leans over to assure me that I’m beautiful and I’m talented and I shouldn’t feel bad.

Dammit! I forgot that I’m supposed to have no self-worth and feel threatened by every other dancer. He’s starting to get annoying… correction: More annoying!

Fiona and I trade entertainment duty, attending to the group for the duration of their company drunk fest. I dance. She dances. I do a show. She does a show. We take turns sitting with Mr. Very Important Executive and listening to his condescending bullshit.

I try to enjoy her show but I’m interrupted throughout by reassuring bullshit. I obviously need him to validate my worth. He is so very important and I should listen to him. I give up explaining that Fiona is a good friend of mine, and I’m not threatened by her. She’s gorgeous, and one of the best dancers in the country.

He replies with “But so are you. Don’t feel bad. You’re beautiful, and I really enjoyed your show.” (Fiona is doing a hand stand on stage) “You’re just as good as she is. I don’t want you to feel like you’re not good enough.”

“Okay.” I nod at him, trying to unsuccessfully end the topic. A question about work effectively turns his attention back to talking about himself.

Finally midnight draws near and the group abandons their fearless leader. They leave him in our care, drunk. I’m squished in between him and Fiona, trapped listening to his advice.

“I know you don’t understand what I’m talking about, but you should listen to me and be smart about things. I know you don’t know how to do that.” His voice is patronizing and I’m fighting the urge to tell him off.
He keeps talking. “You girls have an opportunity to make a lot of money, and even though you don’t understand how the world works, I’ve made a lot of money in my time. I’m a multi-millionaire and I know how to be smart. I know you girls don’t.”

I stare at Fiona, my eyebrows raised and lips tight. She smirks at my obvious desire to say something smart and bats her eyelashes at him “Uh huh…. Oooh. Uh huh…” She gazes at him.

I throw up a little in my mouth.

He continues. “How old are you girls?”

We lie.

He nods, believing us. “Well you girls are young. Too young. My company is big, and I’m very important, and we’re responsible for a ton of big expensive things that you girls are obviously impressed by” (I might be paraphrasing a bit here)

The bartender pulls me away from the absurdly condescending lecture before he gets to his point. I leave Mr. Very Important Executive in the fine hands of Fiona and go get dressed for my show. She joins me shortly having finished the conversation.

“So?” I ask

She shares the remainder of the conversation. “Well He has a lot of money, and he enjoyed my show. I’m a very talented dancer, and in his position he’s pretty qualified to judge that. He’s in room 203 in the hotel and he doesn’t know what I charge, but he thought he’d put that out there.”

“Alrighty then.” I shrug, laughing “He is very important you know.”

“Oh yes!” Fiona agrees, rolling her eyes.

The bar is almost empty as I wander back out to do my show. An old native guy is peering at me through is dirty glasses. Wiping beer from his white handlebar mustache, he waddles over to get a closer look and I catch the overpowering scent of diesel (the fuel, not the cologne). He’s been following Fiona and I throughout the bar all night, each time becoming more unintelligible.

4 regulars are hunched over the bar basically ignoring me as the music plays and I pretend to dance. I wander around the stage playing with the music, doing disco moves, and laughing. The “chicken dance” sends Fiona into giggles and she runs up to the front of the stage. Pulling a chair front and center she sits there for the remainder of my set.

The final notes of my third song fade into silence. Nothing happens. No music. No fourth song. No nothing. The bar is dead quiet. I shrug and lay down on my blanket on stage, clothed only in a pink PVC thong.

The bar is still silent as I watch the bartender fight with the CD player. “Piece of shit!” I hear him say.

“Well someone sing me a song and I’ll take my panties off” I announce to the bar.

The old native guy jumps out of him chair, accepting the offer. He raises his voice high, does a little jig and sings loud and clear…

"I once was happy but look at me now
I’m sitting in jail for raping a cow.
And when I get out how the people will laugh
‘Cuz I’m the proud father of a horny bull calf"

I collapse in a fit of giggles on stage. When you ask for a song… well I guess you get a song.

It’s just another night at Harley’s Hard Rock Saloon.

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