Stripper to Hugh Laurie: My Liver Hurts.

In four weeks, I’ve racked up enough stories that I’m having a difficult time titling this post. I could practically come up with a witty title hour by hour.

A couple of months ago, I started pouring booze down the hatch because I needed a way to tolerate, “What’s your real name?” without hitting most people. I’d gotten mean, impatient, absolutely unforgiving…frustrated. I’ve been frustrated for a long time, and I’ve always been a bit intolerant of intoxicated morons, but my attitude at work had gotten so unforgiving and vile of even the most human of interactions that I had to do something. Loosen up, Dancer. Loosen up. Booze. Suddenly, I’m tolerable. Friendly. Pleasant. Kind of fun, and making a good deal more money.

My pre-work bath had me feeling some ribs on the right with a deep ache yesterday. Bruise? It’s been a long time since I’ve had pole bruises, or bruising above the thighs at all. The mirror told another story: maybe, because there was no discoloration, maybe it’s my liver aching.

It’s interfering with running. The days are hot and humid for this runner, even with such a mild summer, and running after work while rum or vodka is still running its own course doesn’t seem like a good idea. I’ve been working so much that I’ve hardly gotten in an hour here and there. After I finish this post, I’ll be stepping out for a well-deserved run. Just a few miles on sore feet, but a few I need.

I’m officially on “vacation.” Maybe, “staycation.” Nay, “half-assed few days off work with one regular in town in between and no money to leave town.” There.

About a month ago, my car was broken into. After fixing the windows, the quite-alarmed mechanics alerted me that I needed tie rods and control arms fixed, and that, in the meantime, my car was on the brink of kind of dangerous to drive. Dangerous-smangerous! I crossed my fingers (still crossed) that I could hustle up a down payment before the tires fell off of my car, and set to working insane hours for the past month. Screw you, spine and metatarsals! Screw you, liver! Screw you, knees and hips and neck!

With one minor aside for a cheap race two states away (I took a rental car), I hustled and hoarded every penny. I sat on sweaty laps, stinky laps, laps of men with gross puffy mustaches that I fantasized about shaving off before they realized what was happening. I danced with the weirdos, the drunks, the barely-legal. The tanning and blonding and freckling and injection of booze into my diet has given way to new income this summer, a period of time I normally dread for it’s halving of my income. Save, save, save, like a drinking chant, a bra-and-panty uniform instead of a toga.

A work pal I like, a wispy girl who loves eating her greens and red wine and playing outside and sunshine, like me. Being pals is limited to sharing a bottle of Jeremiah Weed in my car, taking in the late-evening heat without air conditioning in my poor car, kicking back and thinking about what life was, but that’s all I can give her. Another girl, a pal to eat Indian dishes with, an insightful dancer of a decade, a live Barbie in proportions and bleached hair and well-done boobies, a girl to laugh with, a girl I make laugh by plopping down at her side at the bar while it’s slow and talking shit. I’ve always been a bit mouthy, my fatal character flaw.

A friend who’d screwed me over is, apparently, returning to the city, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she’ll stay the hell out of the club. I’ve tolerated her, I’ve befriended her, I trusted her more than I should have, and my dumb ass got burned when she decided that leaving the industry gave her license to hurt those that wanted the best for her. My dumb ass still Instagram-creeps her and hopes the best for her, just ONE stripper who can get out with a career and spirit intact, spies on the foods she makes, envious and furious and still hoping she becomes some elite book-writer in the field she’s chosen, a little bit famous in her passions. But the last thing I want is for her to come bumbling back into the club. Bridge, burned.

One drink into the night, I told my boss that he reminds me of Dr. House (of the television show, House). I never realized, until I’d watched serial episodes back-to-back before work, how similar they are. His jaded, sarcastic, give-no-cookies, forget-the-humanity attitude; his monotone and mocking speech; his constant, hazy, chain-smoking addiction to cigarettes despite his better knowledge and his give-no-fucks attitude about indoor smoking bans; he even sort of looks like Hugh Laurie plus glasses minus the cane and limp in the show.

So long as the bank says yes — and they really ought to, with 20% down, decent credit, and a tax return that tries to be humble about saying “I’m responsible enough and have disposable income,” — I’ll buy a 2014 Mazda CX-5 tomorrow. It’s over. The insane work hours are over. Worry over repairs, over the lifespan of my car, bills for rental cars for traveling, over. I knew by Thursday or early Friday I’d have enough by the end of Saturday, as long as I didn’t fuck up royally at work or the club wasn’t whistle-in-the-wind-Western-movie-style dead. Still, that feeling of completing a long, physically and emotionally challenging task, one that I had to give so much to, gave way for emotional collapse as soon as I hit my couch after work last night. I don’t have to go back. I don’t have to go back. I don’t have to drink rum or vodka for about five more days. I can run a little more, play in the sunshine, let my dogs loose in the grass, sleep. Oh god, sleep, I am so sorry for the sacrifice lately.

It’s been hard for me to write this post. The past month has been a jumble of post-worthy tidbits, but mostly, I want to leave anything work related alone for awhile.

The time one girl tried to beat another’s ass on the toilet over throwing pennies on her stage for being a “two-cent whore.” A regular telling me that he and his wife divorced after twenty-odd years because of accusations of rape, and going into detail about wanting and taking from her so long as she didn’t mouth that actual word, “no.” My guilt in doing brutal sacrifices for bachelors with new belts that I enjoy so much I rush out of work to sleep with my ex; being so vicious that I wonder how much longer I can keep the cognitive dissonance of knowing I’m actually harming and humiliating someone badly and, yet, not only participating in the public ritual, but excelling at it and being turned on by it. I wonder whether my moral compass has gone on the fritz.

Enough, enough. More stories, another day. For now, I need some sunshine.

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~ by The Stiletto-Shod One on July 14, 2013.

One Response to “Stripper to Hugh Laurie: My Liver Hurts.”

  1. Don’t worry about your moral compass as long as it still points westish you’re good. At least that’s what I tell myself. I can relate to this post so much. The job gets you down and jaded. Sometimes I just need a break to remind me that humanity isn’t really all that soul sucking.

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