I’ve been very lazy about updating. Some funny, interesting, and disturbing things have been up with me and those around me, as usual. Just haven’t made a point to blog.
I’m truly in a burnout phase and it may or may not pass. But I’m pleased to say that, either way, I’m focusing on my future and gradually building it. The need for consistent income still exists and if I had actual money saved after the tuition and taxes I currently owe, I’d take a month off.
One thing I’m focusing on is getting rid of toxic people in my life. In the age of social media, deleting people you are indifferent to or annoyed by doesn’t count. Cutting someone off in real life, or choosing to keep them at arms length is a necessary evil that I need to embrace at my advancing age. I don’t have many friends outside of work here in New Orleans because I’m so hermetic on the days I don’t work (I’ve been reading voraciously), but one of them has to go. There’s no fanfare. It’s just that last time I saw him was such a depressing hot mess and reminded me that he attracts toxic people. Maybe I’ll elaborate on that later.
I’m eager to be back up North, but I know if I rushed into heading back, I’d be depressed by the winter weather and stressed about having to find an apartment while paying large seasonal bills. I’m trying to shop for health insurance, which is head-spinningly confusing, and Obamacare isn’t benefiting me financially (I thought the income cap was going to rise enough to possibly include me, but apparently not?)
So back in November, I felt compelled to move back down here. In fact, I remember quite clearly, the first really cold day hit in late October during the World Series, and knowing that the escapism of my beloved Red Sox was winding to a close, I immediately booked a flight down here.
I’d been dating this cheap-ass loser for no apparent reason besides having a boy to watch the Sox with, and dating a much older guy for the same sort of reason. I found myself wanting to call my Dad and just say, “Hey, let’s get together for one of the games!” Talking Sox is one of those go-to, safe subjects for us, and he knows his shit. Some texts were definitely exchanged, but not suggestion of actually getting together.
There was a particular moment when the older guy I dated broke down a play that had just occurred like I wouldn’t understand it. Something standard and routine, not the baffling play that ended Game 3, which confused virtually everyone. And that moment definitely made me feel a little irritated with him and depressed with myself. Around the same time, I remember having begrudged morning sex with the loser, who isn’t all that attractive. I just lay there, knowing I’d only have to endure about five minutes of bland-ass sex. Why was I wasting my time with these two guys? The older one courted me and the whole time, I felt bad for letting him, because it was a novelty. I wanted to try and open my mind to him, but just wasn’t with it, mentally or physically.
In any case, I was ready for a break from Boston the minute the World Series ended. I’m not a die hard fan all season, but I’m very dedicated during the playoffs and it was so exhausting, I had my signature “burn-out blues” by the time it ended. The games are so fucking long and the primetime networking powers that be showed no mercy in scheduling any pre-8PM World Series games, so it was like I had a part time job as a fan. My income was flatlining because I was relying solely on the private party company and some half-assed Backpage ad for private dances that didn’t yield shit. The morning after the Sox one, which I barely remembered thanks to drinking too much, I was shamelessly loitering at the Starbucks I’d been squatting at regularly, and saw some picture of David Ortiz with a huge beaming smile. Something about the picture made me lose it. I was crying all these weird tears of quasi-joy and trying to be subdued about it, considering I was in public.
Exactly a month later, after literally flying back and forth weekly to attend class up North and work down South, I had another burnout blues breakdown. I was on the campus shuttle, having just pulled an all-nighter of studying and completing a term paper, when I learned via fucking facebook, one of my best friends had gotten engaged. I really needed to cry for myself, but I let crying out of joy for her be the catalyst to open the floodgates. Still, I was in public and it’s no wonder I fell apart after an all-nighter. I was worried my grade would suffer by how half-assed my paper was, but I guess I have some natural writing ability on my side. In my exhausted state, I literally forgot to return to a short answer question I’d started.
After considerable time here in New Orleans, I’m feeling the inevitable backlash. I have to remind myself that it’s still winter back home, because it’s not time to return yet. New Orleans has had a cold winter by local standards and sunset is early as hell here. I need to literally pull out a map and find a city that, like Detroit, or Buffalo, or Cleveland is wayyyyy to the Western point of a given time zone. And out of the cold. The combo of early sunsets, relatively cold weather and some sense of just being “over” this city is making me itch to leave. I guess I shouldn’t feel this way, it being Mardi Gras season, but fuck Mardi Gras.
So, about how this is a stripper blog. Let’s get to that stuff. I’m painfully jaded going on a month now. I guess it was right after Christmas and between New Years I noticed a serious lack of hustle. I’ve been feeling more introverted lately and I just couldn’t come up with anything besides mundane small talk to say to customers. Even if I popped Adderall, which in the past, has worked magic at turning me into the gleeful social butterfly guys empty wallets on, nothing happened. I remember watching this significantly chubby but much younger girl work the shit out of the room because she was magnetically positive and exuded the most pleasant nature ever. But I couldn’t really take cues through observation. I’d hit a rut.
Also, I’d sort of accidentally on purpose downgraded myself to a virtual brothel where the tricks are relatively cheap and there are some seriously rough girls on staff. I refuse to go back to my anal retentive former club, but I’ve been overly willing to settle because I don’t want to be obligated to a set work schedule. And working at a shit dive club makes for good blogging!
“This ho comes up and interrupts the trick I was hustling” is not something I’d hear at my former club. My older club also didn’t tolerate dealers and pimps loitering. I had a laughable recruitment attempt by a pimp wearing a “20K” watch. I am tolerantly chummy with the dealers, cause some of them are actually charismatic and lighten up a rough night (or provide treats if the Adderall pipeline runs dry) but I’m never a fan of pimps.
This one very pretty girl seems to have had a fall from grace. And definitely uses heroin. She’s got a pettite body, great hair and a damn good boob job. Her face is quite pretty as well, if a little tiny bit worn looking. But one night, a customer and I just watched her continuously nod off and snap back, almost betting on whether she’s fall out of the bar stool. Yet, she somehow pulls it together to go on stage. She was kinda sleepwalking through her set like Britney Spears pumped on Lithium, but the guys ate her up. I got all pissy cause the tips dried up during my set immediately afterward. Guys can smell desperation and negativity! I know this, but that doesn’t mean I can totally stop it!
My biggest gripe lately is the smoking indoors. It’s a New Orleans thing and I’m at my saturation point with it. I participate, usually bumming off customers, but it’s mostly just to pass the time or find an excuse to approach someone. I’m not actually addicted to cigarettes at all and it seems lame to add to my existing vice of drinking, when I’m not even a fan. The stench in my hair and all over my clothes is unbearable at times. There are times I wash unworn clothes because they spent time in my locker and absorbed the smell. It permeates friggin everything.
So I find all the girls really friendly there, and although some are rough, there are others who are pretty and/or skinny enough to make me wonder why they don’t work elsewhere. Mostly, their reasons are like mine. Too strict a schedule and “too many rules” at other clubs. They’ll complain about the cheesy, arbitrary bachelor party show at Rick’s Sporting Saloon, or say “Hustler wasn’t good to work at cause it’s the first club on Bourbon and nobody stays.” “I didn’t get along with the manager at Barely Legal.” etc etc. In my case it’s “I got fucked on Super Bowl shifts by the club I was misguidedly loyal to.” I should be working elsewhere. If I step up my game, I could lose a few pounds that might broaden my options. My weight maintenance routine, besides stage dancing, tends to consist of having no appetite lately, leaving room for vodka soda calories. But I need to tone up. And maybe try Rick’s Sporting Saloon or someplace else.
I’m glad I lost some excess summer weight-I seriously BLEW UP while living with my friend who was going through a lifestyle phase herself. But I’m not down as far as I could be. It’s just great to watch yourself as pants start to fit again and the fat pants you had to buy start swimming on you, drowning your ample, but toned down, ass.
I may or may not have mentioned the “Christian Ladies” in former posts, but, compared to New York, where this phenomenon seemed non-existent, a lot of church ladies do outreach at strip clubs here. I mean, they’re all within five blocks of each other, it’s not hard to work their stroll (yeah, I said that.) So, I have no beef with them. I know what their motives are and they’re not too intrusive. They just give us little goodie bags with their phone number and website on it. I’ve totally found myself in Boston pulling out a notebook or other item that would be like “A Gift From The Ladies of ___” with a 504# that I’d be hard-pressed to explain.
One night, it was quite amusing to watch them interact with nod-off case and another clearly high girl. Girls get so fucking chatty on drugs, so my role was strictly observational by default. There was nothing too drastic said, just pleasantries. They asked if they could pray for us (not exactly directed at me verbally) and nod-off girl said “well, I’ll never turn down a prayer.” They chatted away exchanging questions for several minutes. The Christian ladies were really into reminding us they’d be back with Whoopie Pies next time, as if that were as enticing as molly or H for the likes of us. I was just amused that, during the entire conversation, the other girl’s rolled up dollar was just chillin’ in plain-ass sight.
So the main perks of my club are, I always make late-night money, and I don’t have a schedule. I’m taking too much advantage of the latter fact these days. But most seasoned strippers will reaffirm that time off to regroup is mentally necessary in the industry. The last two winters, I’d work five shifts a week and spend excessive amounts of money on stripper gear. Now, I’m being one of those girls who wears the same 3-5 outfits in rotation.
So, I’m thinking I need to find a club in Texas that has a mechanical bull. I’m always getting compliments about my thighs (they can feel backhanded, but whatever) and I recently got dragged to the cheesy joint Bourbon Cowboy, on a pouring-ass night, and lasted so well on the mechanical bull, I just stopped so the next girl could get on.
God, let’s talk about race a little. Bourbon Cowboy is the whitest-ass venue of Bourbon St. Every other place is a normal mixed bag. But my current strip club has plenty of black girls, while my former one had a narrow quota. Racism is not a particularly well kept secret in the industry, and we’re all a little guilty at times. But because we don’t have just 2-3 token black girls who look like Rihanna or Beyonce, like my old club, there’s more noticeable self-segregation.
Among the white girls, there’s shit talk about the feeding frenzy of aggressive hustle on the black girls’ part (implication being, of course, that we are classier and mainstream beautiful.) The black girls kinda work in packs and do that thing where they shit talk loud enough for you to hear to see if you’ll engage in it or play deaf. The locker room is so physically segregated it feels like some Jim Crow shit, and ironically, the tanning booth is on the “black girl side.” The black girls will sit there and just leave the booth open and running as a heat source (and may or may not take photos in it at the same time as prepping for their shift) and so many nights, I go to hit the booth before starting my shift, and chicken out. So lame, right?
Toward the beginning of my slump, I was noticing that whole drama trend that accompanies slower business. The idle time and lack of income makes girls frustrated and want to find drama. Half because fighting over customers is legitimate when there’s not much money to go around. Half because girls are just fucking catty and love to concoct drama where it doesn’t necessarily exist. One night, the trashy waitress went off so hard on a customer, the loser took a swing at her. Oh yeah, and the other night where a guy fell asleep at the bar with drool hanging out that just wouldn’t drop. And the guy who spent hours drinking in VIP and then jerked off in the middle of the main floor, apparently forgetting he was not in private anymore.
So one night, I came in early to enjoy the lower house fee, and some day shift drama of sorts had just unfolded. I don’t actually know what happened, but it seemed to involve a white girl getting her ass kicked by a black girl and calling 9-1-1. Or rather, the manager called 9-1-1. I dunno. I just know 9-1-1 was dialed. And the white chick plus manager were getting chewed out by the other manager. Most people know having to report incidents at your venue can negatively impact your liquor license, other licenses, and ability to do business at all. I’ve heard the conversation before, between a bartender and his manager. If someone’s in real bad shape…..get them the fuck out of your venue and trust that someone else will call an ambulance for them (there are, after all, EMS vehicles on stand-by in the Quarter.) It’s easy to get along with the managers, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a tad jarring to hear one say “If a girl fucking OD’s, don’t call 9-1-1.”
Ok, I’m ready to shut up. My “morning” coffee has literally been sitting in the single cup maker for an hour thanks to this diversion. You’re welcome for resurfacing. And thanks to the gal who left the most flattering comment ever.