The Loneliness of Rockstars

Memorial Day, and I made it out of bed in time for a vengeful 90 minute run on some hilly and loose trails with standing water. I’d completely tanked in my 18-miler the weekend before, feeling crappy at the 8-mi mark, and totally trashed by a mountain at the 12-mi mark, and should have been pulled off the course somewhere between there and 15-mi. Nevertheless, my stubborn ass made it, yelping in pain with bouts of walking backward for relief, to the finish. It shouldn’t have been that awful, but I’d had a second really nasty case of strep the day before the race. I saw a creepy doctor, and made it out of there with both kidneys and a double dose of antibiotics — including a penicillin shot in the ass.

Anyway, a vengeful 8 or 9 miles around a lake in the wet, followed by taking my PMS cravings out on my dogs at the dog bakery. Pupcakes!

My notes from work are mostly blank, mostly about that race, my run, emotionally unsatisfying sex attempting to fill that void I’ve gotten, bingeing on vegetables and an unsatisfying candy.

I hung with Cuddlebug towards the end of the night, as usual, and he talked about having read my blog. I’d forgotten about it, but before I left for vacation, he told me that he’d found my old blog and asked whether he could read it. I wasn’t taken aback that he found it — he’s obsessed with understanding the experience of the dancer — but I was surprised that he bothered asking whether he could read it. I gave him permission; I’d rather know what he thinks of it than have him read it anyway and not be able to discuss it. He’s sweet and gentle and more understanding and complimenting of such an honest pile of thoughts than he should be.

Of course, I’ve been writing about him for ages, which is a little weird to have him read, and he corrected me on one bit: he’s 57, not in his 60s. I couldn’t laugh, but I found it a little funny that that bit was what offended him. That was what he brought up, of all of the posts he’s read. I’d written close to 1,000 posts on this old blog I’d kept.


Wednesday, I cooked to fill my time and worked at turning my compost pile. As much as I love to watch things grow and green every spring, it’s been equally enjoyable to watch this pile rot and return to the Earth.

I’ve spent too much time in silence lately.

I headed into work to find a small bird in the club, a gold finch, maybe. He was hanging on the neon Budweiser sign, landing on the chandeliers, flying and bouncing from one man-made and confusing structure to the next. I felt badly for him, being so confused and scared and chased by bouncers, but I sort of liked having a pet in the club. Some biotic innocence, something living, something outside of the people. It reminded me of when it would rain on hot summer nights, and the frogs would sneak under the wooden boards and onto the smoking patio. The patio was my respite for most of the time I’ve danced, and I’ve missed having a place to be alone from the chaos, in a dark corner, feeding that nicotine habit, sucking in smoke and exhaling all of the assholes and anxiety and dressing-room conflict. I haven’t been to the patio in ages; I wonder if the frogs still come.

The Geneticist turned up without texting me, early in the night, with my favorite wine. My regulars tend to come back to me, so I don’t mind when they dance with other girls for a few songs. I realize that I don’t “own” them, that they aren’t playthings and possessions, so when he went to dance with a work pal of mine, I waved him off and told him I’d see him later and I’d be drinking his expensive wine. Later, we did our own dances. I pick up this sense from him when he’s really enjoying himself instead of willing away his constantly-traveling boredom, and it was a “good night” for him. One of the ones when the money is worth it to him.

He talked of flying to see a former dancer, one I’d been best friends with that had completely fucked me over just before she got out of the business. I’m still repairing damage, still missing customers she’d spun up in her web, still dealing with the loss of income. She told me only that she’d done these things to help herself, and all I heard was “…so fuck you.” I can’t be friends with dancers, and people outside of the industry can’t understand this monster part of my life, this princess-on-a-pole, this rockstar/superhero gig. I’m drowning in loneliness, yeah, so pretending to be thrilled that the Geneticist was thinking of flying to see this dancer wasn’t easy.

Dancing is so incredibly isolating, for me. I can’t tell new friends, or it becomes the only part of me they know. But if I don’t tell them, they don’t know me at all. Talking freely about my work is flippant and arrogant; being secretive indicates a shame I don’t have. I can’t trust the women I work with not to fuck me over financially on the back of my kindness about sharing customers. Old friends have slipped away or moved or work rigid daytime schedules. Why can’t I just be more carefree?

I spent the rest of my work-night with a conspiracy nut/human sexuality professor who thinks that the Internet will be in our brains and controlling us in the next year or two, and thinks that the new Coronavirus is a product of terrorism simply because its origin is somewhere in the Middle East. Beyond that, he was an incredibly sane, fun, easy-going man that I discussed the merits of various news sources with. When the men have an honest understanding of their sexuality, they have a lot more fucking fun, and so do I.

The very end of the night was a last-ditch effort at getting dances with a mid-forties man wearing Vibrams. Most Vibram-wearers are runners around here, and I knew I’d already have an easy “in” and conversation starter. He’d tipped me $20 on stage, so my chances were good. We headed back for dances that even turned me on, and headed back for more later. He’ll be back, I think.


~ by The Stiletto-Shod One on June 1, 2013.

One Response to “The Loneliness of Rockstars”

  1. You r an awesome writer. I was a dancer a hundred years or so ago and I remember both the good and the bad.

    Your prose is well done, thought provoking, funny and heartbreaking without trying to be.

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