the beauty of what’s left to the imagination.

24 April 2012 § 2 Comments

Kim, Jas’ in-four-days-wife-to-be, returned from Vegas raving about everything but the weather. She dropped no clues about her party. That’s how it’s supposed to be, right? Leave your Vegas stories in Vegas?

This morning she woke up angry. We hadn’t cleaned the house.

Nor had we finished drinking.

Three nights ago, I was a strip club virgin. (I’m not going to get into why, because only other men and ex-girlfriends seem to want explanations as to why I, at nearly 26, had never participated in retail sex entertainment.) Now, not so much.

The dancers amused me. They paraded around tables, up and down stages. Tux-clad bouncers stood at the stairs, took girls’ hands to help them manage platform shoes. To appear gentlemanly. A radio announcer said to pick our favorite for a dance. That two songs were one low price.

Jas’ brother, Justin, whose countenance said he’d done this a few times before, had explained the rules on tipping and lap dances: “Bring singles with you. And no licking.”


It’s funny how people follow their DNA. A group of Indian men all stared in the same sad way, bad haircuts and young bushy mustaches curious, eyes deprived, entranced. They tossed dollar bills at their countrywoman’s feet like garbage. Undid the top buttons of their shirts. Sweat bullets. I considered the difference between appreciation and waste.

Above another stage: a man I recognized vaguely leaned on the handrail, smirk sketched. I’d seen those eyes before, on wanderers and travelers who’d just found what they now had to have. He gestured with his bills for the dancer to come closer. He caressed her back, side, and torso, quick, with impersonal fingertips, as if she, with her dyed black hair shiny, artificial, were a souped-up Honda Civic at a car show. Ignition empty.

A girl sat on my lap, whispered her nickname into my ear. Her straight bangs auburn brushed my eyelids. “Seline,” she said with a lisp. “I like your style.” She tipped the bill of my hat with an affectionate smile.

“Thanks,” I told her, “but it’s not my party.”

My ratio of entertained:disgusted reached 50:50 about midnight. We went to Lauderdale, drank fishbowls of liquor, watched perhaps the only band who’s covered Tool and succeeded, and on the beach talked about what we knew until the sun came up.

My best friend is getting married, and I need to buy a suit.


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