Strip Trip and Trust
Updated: Jul 2, 2018
This post is going to be long and cover several different topics.
I have a friend. We'll call her Selene. I've known Selene for about a year, from working at Vivid in Manhattan. Selene is a beautiful, tall, light skinned African American woman, with an alternative look. She has tattoos, piercings, and an "alt" hair style. She has an athletic body, and regularly goes to the gym. Like myself, I know she is not a prostitute, and she doesn't do any drugs. She does drink (I don't). Selene is intelligent, generous, and very, very funny.
A couple weeks ago I got hired at Gossip on Long Island. For me, financially, it's been a drastic improvement, compared to summer at Vivid. Being in NYC in the summer is really hard for most people in the service industry. Most customers spend their weekends and their money out of the city, either in Long Island or at the Jersey Shore. I told Selene she should audition at Gossip too. She did, and was hired. Her first night was a Friday night. But the first night you get hired is never a good night to judge how much money you'll make at that club. When you get hired you have to fill out paperwork, then learn the "lay of the land". By the time you're ready to start working, it's usually already pretty late. Needless to say, Selene didn't have a great first night, but was excited to have been hired none the less.
Without traffic, Gossip is about an hour from where I live in Brooklyn. With rush hour traffic, it can take anywhere from two to three hours to get there. The couple of times I worked there before Selene was hired, I always got there right when the club opened at 8:00, and always made several hundred dollars within the first hour of the club being open, because there were usually very few girls there.
So, the next time we worked was a Tuesday. I told Selene to get to my house by 6:00, so we could get there by 8:00. She said she had a myriad of problems come up, and didn't arrive until 7:45. We didn't get to the club until 9:30. I was a little annoyed, but didn't think too much about it. That night I made about $700. Selene made about $160. Selene said she felt like the customers were being racist toward her. I was really busy that night, and hoped that she simply had a bad night (which happens to the best of us). The next day I cleaned out my car, and realized there was an empty bottle of Jack Daniels in the door of the passenger's side. I couldn't think of who might be dumb enough to have had an open container of alcohol in my car. My room mate, who is a mechanic, sometimes goes in my car (when I ask him to), to fix something. I thought maybe he accidentally left the bottle in there.
The next time we worked was a week later, again on a Tuesday. I told her to get to my house at 6:00. She didn't arrive until 8:40. I was very upset, and let her know. We were driving along on the LIE, when I looked over and she was drinking out of a Jack Daniel's bottle. I said, "What the hell are you doing? That's illegal. I could go to jail if we get caught with that in the car." Her response was that we wouldn't get caught, but that she was sorry and wouldn't do it again. We were honestly too late to pull over and get rid of it, so I just hoped we'd make it to work without any problems. That night at the club was a really miserable night. I think I made about $200. I don't know how much she made, but it was less than what I made. She cried, again claiming the customers were racist. On the drive home, I didn't say anything about the bottle of Jack Daniels. I hoped she got rid of it, but didn't check. I was so frustrated with the night, and felt bad that she didn't make any money. I just wanted to get home without any argument.
I was invited to do comedy at The Golden Banana in Peabody, Massachusetts. I invited Selene to come on a strip trip. A strip trip is exactly what it sounds like... a trip strippers go on, usually to try new clubs. I told Selene to be at my house at 3:00. Being on time for comedy shows is EXTREMELY important to me. Being professional is at the forefront of my priorities. Selene didn't arrive until 5:30. I was very upset, and again, let her know. I also reminded her that she absolutely can not have open containers of alcohol in my car. She was agitated by the reminder, and felt like I was treating her like a child. Had we not hit any traffic at all, we should have been exactly on time by leaving at 5:30. We hit two huge accidents, and ended up being an hour late for the time the show was supposed to start. I remained in contact with the booker and apologized profusely for my lateness. He said it was okay, and that they were going to start late anyway.
Comedy in a strip club is a pretty weird thing. Even the most happy-go-lucky customers are not there to see an old fat guy tell jokes. They're there to see T&A. Luckily, my act alludes to that I'll be getting naked very soon. I kept it short and sweet. It went well. Afterward, there was a pole dancing competition. Only four girls (including Selene and me) ended up participating. The two of us were clearly the best pole dancers. The club ended up foregoing the prize and gave Selene and me $100 each. At the end, a fat old man told jokes and the crowd HATED him. Selene and I stayed and worked. We each made decent money (I made slightly more), but were shocked to find out the clubs in Boston close at 1:00, so our progress was cut short. At one point an old white man wanted to do a private room with me, not her. She claimed he was racist. I didn't feel he was being racist at all. He just happened to be more attracted to my look. He was a mega creep, anyway.
The next day Selene and I were going to work at The Squire. We went out to eat, and then stopped at a liquor store. I didn't mind that she wanted to pregame before we went to work. Our plan, though, was to work until 1:00AM, then swing by the hotel, shower, and get on the road back toward home. In the liquor store she reached for a pretty big bottle of Jack Daniel's. I reminded her that she couldn't bring an open container of alcohol in the car, and she should get a smaller bottle. She seemed annoyed, but agreed. We went back to the hotel room and started getting ready. Selene took longer than me to get ready. By the time we got to the club it was 10:45. They refused to hire us. I don't blame them. It was really late, and they close so early. Selene claimed it was racism.
We agreed that we should still go out and have fun in Boston, since neither of us had ever been there before. Our makeup was already done, and it would be a shame to waste it. We went to the downtown area. This group of black guys were standing on the corner and cat called us. Selene decided to go talk to them. I followed her. She seemed attracted to one of them, and they started talking. At some point I realized they were selling heroin. I went into a coffee shop and told Selene we should leave. She said she didn't want to, because they had a lot of money. Selene and the guys decided we were going to a nightclub. One of them offered to drive us. I told Selene there wasn't a chance in hell I was getting in a car with gang banging, drug dealing strangers, in a strange city. We agreed to take my own car and meet them there.
When we arrived, there were two of them. We'll call them Malachi and Chris. Malachi was the one Selene was talking to. I hadn't said one word to Chris yet. Malachi paid for our parking, then we skipped the entire line, went into the club, and Malachi paid for our entrance into the club. We went to the bar, and they bought Selene a very expensive drink, and me a bottle of water. Over the next hour or so, Chris and I started talking little by little. It turned out that he seemed pretty nice. Some how the conversation came up that I (in the words of Selene) had been "white girl spooked", and that's why we drove in our own car. Chris told me that when Malachi made that offer he grabbed him, pulled him aside, and said, "Are you crazy? We don't know if some niggas sent these girls here to set us up." I thought it was INCREDIBLE to find out that Chris was just as scared of me as I was of him! That moment sort of made us much more comfortable with eachother. We spent the rest of the night talking more, holding hands, dancing, and laughing. It turned out that Chris is very intelligent, polite, and educated. I wasn't about to forget, though, that he was a drug dealer with two kids.
At the end of the night we were going to go back to Malachi's house to hang out for a little while longer. Selene said she might possibly hook up with Malachi. Chris said he had to make a stop and do something. It took him a while to get there. When he did, he only stayed for maybe 10 minutes, then said he had to go somewhere else. I assumed he was either going out to sell more drugs, or he had a girlfriend he had to go tend to. Malachi was supposed to order food, and Chris was supposed to come back. Three hours had gone by. Malachi never ordered the food. Chris never came back. Selene got really annoyed because Malachi got really drunk, then took off his pants. We ended up leaving in a hurry.
When we got back to the hotel room it was about 6AM. I told her we had to pack and drive home. We had to stop at my mom's to pick up my animals, and I had another show in Manhattan, and couldn't be late for it, and still had to sleep a little. Right before we were going to walk out the door I asked her what happened to the rest of the bottle of Jack Daniels. She said she left it in the refrigerator. I had a feeling she was lying. I said, "let's give it to the person at the front desk." She turned around, opened the refrigerator and (surprise), it wasn't in there. She said she must have accidentally packed it. She riffled through her bag and found it at the bottom of the bag. She immediately threw it in the trash can. We drove to my mom's. She slept most of the way.
When we got to my mom's I passed out cold. A few hours later I woke up, got my animals, in the car, and we drove to NYC. I had my comedy show, and it went really well.
So... I guess alot of topics have been touched on. Let's start, first, with racism in the industry. YES! Stripping is undoubtably a racist industry. An average looking white girl is MUCH more likely to be hired over a beautiful black girl. However, I don't believe that's what's happening to Selene. I believe she doesn't realize that there is a huge difference between trying to get hired at 8:00 on a Tuesday, verses 11:00 on a Friday. I could be wrong, but that's just my take.
Next, I think Selene may have an alcohol problem. My grandmother, father, mother, and many other family members and friends are alcoholics, and her behavior patterns are consistent with theirs. I don't think she's out of control with it, but I was really disappointed to realize she doesn't respect my wishes to not have open containers of alcohol in the car. It's something my grandmother, mother, and other alcoholics would do. They don't like to be told what to do with their alcohol.
Now, a totally different topic: friendship. I'm not going to lie. I feel very lonely in life. I've been mostly single for about four years. Most men of quality do not want a girlfriend who strips (that's a topic for another blog). It's a very long story, but I had to cut the girl I was "best friends" with since I was 12 out of my life, about 6 months ago (long story short, she was a really controlling, abusive, selfish person). Most of my family is dead or incarcerated. I have people that I hang out with, but no one that I am very, very close with. I was, and am still hoping I will be able to build a strong connection with Selene, but trust and respect are huge factors. I feel disrespected by her lateness. I don't know what will happen to our friendship yet. I really, really hope it will grow. But I can't put myself in danger of having to deal with legal trouble. I hope she will make better decisions in the coming weeks.
The last thing I want to talk about is Chris. Like I said, he's actually a really nice person. Selene asked why I wouldn't consider dating him. She thought it was because he is black. That's actually not a factor for me, at all. I told her there are several reasons. First, I would not consider dating people who have children (unless their mother is dead). That is true for people of ALL races. She asked why. Here's my answer: I would not consider dating someone with children because I am petty. I would be such a bitch to their mother. I know, beyond a reasonable doubt, that I am going to be an exceptional mother. I have a way with children, and always have. I am spectacular at making learning fun, at getting children to trust me, at disciplining children, etc. It's happened numerous times in my life that I was clearly the favorite adult. I am petty, and I already know I will be a better mother than the kid's mother, and I won't be able to keep my mouth shut about it. I also, obviously want my own children. I am going to homeschool my children, and I am going to travel with them. I would HATE to have to send my husband's child to school, but my kids would get to stay home with me having adventures every day. I would also hate to have to ask another woman for permission to take her child out of the country. There are a million other scenarios I could touch on. But that's the general idea. The other main reason I would not consider dating Chris is because he is a drug dealer. I am surprised that this seems to be more of an attractive quality to Selene than a deterrent. I explained to her that my father committed suicide by overdosing on heroin. I know, first hand, how that drug destroys lives. I could never consider involving myself with a person who facilitates that type of misery.
This was a very long post. I apologize if it was too long, or if I didn't complete some of the topics. A lot of it is still being thought of. Too be continued...