Bingin’ With The Boys

October 29, 2015 at 8:20 pm (Drunk and disorderly, Sweet sticky things)

Library Love

Library Love

I had stuff to return to the library. I had checked out the brand new Buddy Guy album, and Rain had been watching three seasons of Reba. Talk about a cross-culture checkpoint.

It was my day off, and I was ready to be up and out of the house. The library trip is a nice ride. I insist on using the downtown Central Library, even though there are closer ones. There are none closer to my heart, or my work, and it gave me an excuse to check in at The Mothership.

Eva and Art East were chatting and smoking on the platform. Art walked me toward the Nightclub Store, and we chatted about the nifty security systems. He handed me a couple video discs of recent incidents, one for me and one for Festus. I would leave Festus’ copy at the store, and get a free cup of caffeine. Festus was off, maybe I could get a rise out of him. I texted, “Downstairs with Art, got a video for you.” He’d been flash-mobbed a few days previous, and wanted to see the show. We both did; fighting crime at work is the most fun part of the job.

Southie was in manager mode, so we paid our respects and moved on before he thought of something lecture-worthy. Art was looking for gut-friendly food, so we walked and talked. He’d come into possession of the entire series of The Sopranos, and I got excited. When I found out he’d made it into Season 2, past halfway, I knew how much talking I could do.

We discussed sisters, shitbird characters, family love and all the topics I remember water-coolering with thatGirl and my cousin and the donut guy and, well you know. We would pay for HBO, but we bootlegged our copies for personal use. Really, would Tony have had it any other way?

I lamented that he was missing out on the rich detail in the sets, cinematography. So beautifully photographed. When he showed me on his phone how it looked, I realized it was a better picture than the original TV broadcasts. Kudos. Thanks to OnDemand, I will watch an episode or two to catch up. I *do* remember at the time how much Richie Aprile reminded me of Southie, though Southie ain’t like that no more. Like many brother-in-laws, Richie requires tolerance, no matter how much he pisses you off.

I bid arrivederci to Art, and took my iced coffee to the mall. It seemed like a good day for girl-watching, though there are more miniskirts in March. I sat near the exit long enough to check in with Rain, who was just fine watching Wendy Williams at home. My phone buzzed again. It was Festus.

“I’m at the Bing. It’s audition day. There’s a cute black girl about to try out.”

I texted back, “Shit. And I’m at the mall.”

Festus: “Sorry for your luck.”

Me: “Oh I ain’t hurtin’.”

Except all of a sudden I was. Hurtin’ for certain. Got a mystery sizzle in my lower regions, and a storm in my brain. And off to the Bing we go!

I was marching like a herd of turtles, a man in focus. Southie was in front of the store, and gave me a quizzical stare. “Festus is at the strip club. I’m going to go ask him to work for me tonight.”

“But you don’t work tonight.” Southie knows his store schedule.

“But the strippers don’t know that! I’m broke as a joke, but I can sneak a peek without paying cover!” I was already half a block away. Southie was grinning ear-to-ear.

I squinted, and far back in the bar, chatting up a hottie with bangs and a leather outfit, was Festus. She was the bartender, and apparently the one in charge of hiring. A young woman resembling an eighteen-year-old Janet Jackson was signing forms in her underwear. Wow, points for Festus for knowing my type.

“I had a feeling you’d show up,” said Festus.

“I told Southie I was going to ask you to work for me tonight.”

“But you don’t work tonight?”

“Shh…”

I couldn’t remember the last time I went to a strip joint. (Swapping a baggie of weed for some oxys by the poker machines at Mary’s Club don’t count.) It was 3 PM, and there were two empty stages and a bar.

The bartender told her, “Just holler when you’re ready. There’s alcohol and paper towels for the pole by the steps.” Lana, our lovely dancer, thanked her and went toward the stages.

“Aw dude, it’s been a long time,” I told Festus. He’d reopened his tab and bought me the best tasting cherry Coke ever.

As Lana began dancing, Festus reached into his pocket and slipped me a couple ones. “Go enjoy the show.”

“Are you coming over?”

“In a minute, go say hi.” Lana was doing spins on the pole, warming up. I ditched coat, umbrella and all the other crap I would immediately forget about. Lana danced over, I said hello, and we introduced. I set all the one$ on the stage, both of them, and smiled. The smiling must have helped, she seemed to relax.

Still, I’m guessing I was looking at her like Thanksgiving dinner.

Festus rolled up, beer in hand. She took his ballcap and wore it around the pole a couple times. “Dude, your ballcap will never smell that good again. Ever.” She cocked it back like a sea captain, twerked at him a couple times, and put it back on his head. After the set, we thanked her and retreated to the bar.

I thanked Festus. “I don’t remember how or when the last time I was at one of these. I’ve forgotten the protocols.”

“You set a dollar in front of yourself on the rack–”

“I KNOW THAT MUCH! It seems they are a lot more touchy-feely than I remember.”

“That’s right, you’ve never had a lap-dance!” This delighted Festus.

“Say it a little louder?” I could feel the blush rising.

He pulled out a twenty. “Do you want a $20 topless lap-dance, or a fully nude? Fully nude is $40. Payday is a week and a half.”

You should have seen the numbers flying around in my head. It was calculating like the millisecond counter on the Atomic Clock. No matter how I crunched, I couldn’t justify that. “Dude, I can’t afford it, but thanks anyway. If I were still drinking, I’d be down a hundred bucks already.”

“Well bud, looks like you’re stuck at the rack.” He handed me a wad of ones.

“Aw, dude.”

At that moment Lana walked by. “I have this paperwork to fill out, but I could do one more set if you would like?”

The ones were still in my hand. “Okay!”

The gal on the stage was sitting next to the pole, no customers. I went to my former seat, shed my coat, and hoped Round Two was as hot as Round One. The nice blonde dancer came over to me, sat down, and after about thirty seconds of sizing up my body language suggested I go to the other stage where Lana was. Durrr!

I relocated quickly. As soon as I was situated, Lana was sitting where my drink would normally be. Festus walked up to the stage, tossing a handful of ones in the air, making it rain.

Oh shit. Rain.

A moment of respect for the girlfriend, and…

…it’s still raining. A one-dollar bill floated down on my side of the rack, I picked it up, put it on top of the rest and tossed it gently out there with the others. Now that financing was out of the way, I sipped the cherry Coke and set it aside.

A lot of thoughts went through my head during that set. She was beautiful, which I mentioned an annoying amount of times. She smelled heavenly, and when she climbed over the rack, then back over me, on her way back to the stage, the energy was electric. Hell, it was nucular! I felt mighty young all of a sudden.

The song ended, and we all retreated to the bar. I promised Lana I would return for my first lap-dance someday soon. I found Festus at the bar, who was soaking up his sixth beer with chicken strips. After thanking him profusely for a lovely bit of deviance, I was ready to go. “Could you do me a favor?” He pulled out a small paper shopping bag. “Can you get me some supplies from across the street? Third floor, I think?”

“Sixth floor, actually. You betcha!” I marched straight across the street to the health department building, up to floor six, where at the Clap Clinic is a bin full of free condoms. Not being piggish, I only took a couple dozen. If he goes through more than that today, I will buy him some….

…Because I still had $2. My tee-shirt pocket had two one$ I had forgot about. Hmm… Peanut butter cookies at the mall for Rain? I felt like doing something nice for her, feeling only slightly guilty. Like an alarm that goes off when I find money, my phone rang. “Hey babe.”

“Hey, you still downtown? If you have a couple bucks would you get me some hair gel? I’ll pay you back when you get here?”

“You sure it’s a couple bucks? If so, yeah. I’ll be home in a bit.”

I went to Rite-Aid, and found her hair goop. It was $2.04 after her Rite-Aid discount. I dug for the dime I’d found on MAX, and walked out of the store with six cents more than I left the house with.

Not bad for a quick trip to the library.

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