As we know, I do my best to share the stories of my readers. This one really has no direct category to be placed in, but I will add it to the collection of great stripper and strip bar stories. The reader who submitted this story asked to remain unidentified for professional reasons. No, I don’t know what is meant by that, but I always abide by requests and people see it when they read stuff here. I have seen this happen in real life more than once, like every day. One would be amazed what people leave at a strip bar. One would be surprised the efforts people go through to get their stuff back. And, yes, unfortunately it is kinda like talking with a giggly five year old when you call a strip bar, its always been that way because she is never hired for her people skills on the phone, she is hired to be the first thing you see when you walk thru the doors so you go DAMN! let me in. When one enters a strip bar it is like walking through the portal to an alternate universe, often one needs to pinch themselves because the world is cruel outside the doors. So, allot of weird shit happens in a strip bar, but then again a strippers job is to separate a visitor from as much of his/her money in the shortest amount of time, every time. With that being said, read the email.
I went to the strip club the other night…allegedly. I’m not sure it counts though because I don’t remember being there, much less remember driving home. “Oh the humanity Grayson, the humanity,” I hear the voices saying. “How dare you drive home black-out drunk; you could have killed someone!” Shut thefuck up right now and let me finish you interrupting ass-hag! I didn’t quite drive home drunk and I do specifically remember one incident from the night…being woken at 3:30am by a security guard(?) while passed out in my truck in some establishment’s parking lot. Whose parking lot it was…I was totally and completely unsure of. After that, I am wholly unaware of the events except for the fact that I slept for the next 26 hours straight, missing work and occasionally waking up from some pretty twisted dreams of disembodied heads, parallel universes and ex-girlfriends wanting to “give it another shot”…again; then dumping me and shitting – both figuratively and literally – on me and my life. I mean, this heartless cheating cunt had the audacity to…wait, what the fuck was I talking about? Oh yeah, right…blacking out at a strip club and not remembering; I’m the good guy. Anyway, it was like the movie The Hangover, minus the ‘wolf-pack’ and a whole lot more depressing. Like our lovable characters from the film, I was (possibly) drugged with GHB and had to follow vague clues I’d unknowingly left myself in order to find, not a lost friend and groom for an imminent wedding the following morning, but my debit card and driver’s license. So yeah, a completely sad version of the now classic comedy.
The entire night started with an innocent trip to a bar, not to drink, but to sit way back in a corner booth with my notebook (actual paper-type book you write in with pens; not a computer…I ain’t fuckin’ rich folks). Yes, I said that shit with my nose in the air like some pretentious hipster at Star Bucks; feel free to punch me if you ever see me. Anyway, how I got from said bar to, what I later found out to be Cabaret East, I have no fucking idea; but I figured my notebook might have a clue, since I’m always leaving myself notes. I had 20 pages of some seriously fucked up and twisted shit written in there that I am proud to say I loved, and don’t actually know when I wrote it that night. When I got done high-fiving myself and making mental notes to write shit-faced drunk (or drugged) more often, I noticed 2 phone numbers on the last page of writing. One had the name of a tattoo parlor and the other was for a person named Corrin. Intrigued, I picked up my cell phone ready to dial her(?) number until I came to the sudden realization that I had to have used my GPS since I surely had no idea how to get where I went or how to get home. Sure enough, my GPS was the last app I used that night. I searched the ‘recent addresses’, plugged that shit into Google Search and voila, Cabaret East. I got the phone number, called that bitch up and what follows is the conversation, verbatim, I had with the receptionist…as much as I can recall days later anyway:
Girl – Cabaret East
Me – Yeah, hi. I believe I visited your fine establishment Sunday night, and whether I left by my own accord or was forcibly removed, I’m not sure, but I believe ya’ll might be in possession of my ID and debit card.
Girl – Um…what?
Me – I think I walked my tab. Do you have my debit card?
Girl – Uh…I dunno.
(Silence for ten seconds)
Me – (irritated at this point) Can you…I dunno…look?!
Girl – Oh yeah (giggles), sure, one sec.
Me – Wait wait wait!
Girl – What?
Me – Don’t you need my name?!
Girl – (giggles again) Oh yeah…of course!
After talking to this brick wall of human intelligence for what felt like an eternity, I was finally able to extract from her that, yes, they did indeed have possession of my shit. I hung up the phone, triumphant that I CSI’d the shit out of my situation, while also ashamed-beyond-words at the same time because I still don’t know how my shit got there in the first place. I will be fucked until my literal day of recollection.
Later Tuesday evening, I went up to the titty club to retrieve my shit and was met by a big, burly, black mother fucker who looked like he’d choke me with my own intestines; who also happened to remember both, helping me to my truck as I vomited along the way AND waking me up at 3:30 in the AM to send my hobo-ass packing. I thanked him for telling me about such obviously proud moments in my life, then I swore to him that I’d been drugged; in return he handed me a bill with a smile…for just under $350. I fought back maniacal fits of laughter, tears and the intense urge to vomit.
I wasn’t sure if I was playing out my fantasy of a poor man’s Hank Moody from Californication or if I was literally just fucked up enough to get myself into such shenanigans; because I don’t generally share much about my actual personal life other than the intense anger that I feel in general towards society, but I’m pretty sure some people at this point would consider a negative bank account due to a – for all intents-and-purposes – fake night of debauchery, as rock bottom; for me…it’s just another Sunday night.
As for Corrin…she is a stripper, who had as much recollection of me as I had for her; we will not be in touch.
I like this man’s references to movies and life in general. I have the answer he seeks. It wasn’t drugs, it’s deeper than that, its more mental than that, it was out his normal element if you ask me. Plus, writers are fucking out there in their own world anyway, no offense to y’all writers, but it’s true. People often overthink shit too, which is death to our brains, then add in strippers, titties, alcohol, a strip bar, blacking out, and one can see where the imagination just goes ape shit. Not to mention the movie reference, because those were some pretty fucked up movies. Neither here nor there, he solved his dilemma. Too bad he doesn’t remember what went down. Or does he? Maybe its his mind blocking shit that isn’t in his norm or his mind knows that if he recalls anything that he will be in mental disarray. Who knows.
Yesterdays drive home was pretty interesting due to all the rain and all. I have been driving my wife’s Mustang back and forth this week due to my Pathfinder being down for the time being. I never realized, really before yesterday, why I don’t like driving cars, especially low profile cars, in storms that are dropping so much water that we are flash flooding everywhere. I never thought this to be a problem until yesterday afternoon, when I was the one in the low profile sports car fighting to be able to see. Something I never suffered or even thought about in my Pathfinder, but it sucks ass in that Mustang, way too low to the ground for me personally. I had that on my mind as I arrived home, still pouring rain, and wondering how much longer I would be doing this drill because I’m not a fan. I really don’t know how my wife does it, but I’ve never heard her complain, don’t think I ever will, because she will never talk shit about her new baby, never. Me, I can, she’s not my baby, my baby is sick, sitting in the drive waiting for Dr. Scorpion to have the money to operate, which will be very soon.
Other than that little challenge, the day was rounding out pretty normal for our house, I was getting dinner ready, secret recipe chicken cordon bleu, everything about it is a secret, and no I will never share it with anyone, I will die with my secret, which is why it is prepared like a black op in my kitchen. I’ve been making this recipe for, let’s call it 25 years or so, many have asked to eat it, many have asked how I make it, and I have yet to cough it up. It’s time consuming, the preparation takes some time, but it gives time to get the twice baked potatoes going as well, another secret, everyone stays the fuck out of my kitchen when I’m going, nobody wants to get cut, except my wife, she braves entering the secrecy of what I’m doing to sneak a kiss. She’s a naughty one you know. After it was all prepared, cooked, the kitchen cleaned spotless, we sat down to eat. We had a “weird” quiet dinner, the mood was as dark as the skies with the storms. Everyone looks tired. Afterwards, we are all fat and happy, kids off to the bath, and its time to wind this bitch down finally.
Sometime just after eight someone is knocking on the front door. My wife and I give each other “that look” of WTF!, shrugging my shoulders I get up out of my chair to check out the knocking on the door. When I swing open the door I see a younger girl standing before me, finding out later she is 20. My initial questions were who are you and what do you want. In my head I was saying, “we’ve found Jesus, we don’t donate to politics, we don’t do surveys, and unless you are selling thin mints this conversation is over”. She introduced herself, I didn’t recognize her name, or her for that matter. Well, she said she would like to talk to me if I had the time, she thinks I can help her with finding something she is looking for. Once we are inside, I invited her in because I was somewhat intrigued, meanwhile I was getting the stink eye from my wife. The young lady presented me with a letter from her mother, in this letter I was listed as a “next of kin” and that she needed to contact me for information on her biological father. Then it hit me, her mother’s name I recognized, talk about a name from the past, like many moon ago past. Apparently her mother and a very, very good friend of mine had a go at it while we were all stationed in Korea together, except she failed to tell any of us she had become pregnant, as it happened she found out after she had rotated back to the world, back to her husband, then she is told she is 3 weeks pregnant. She failed to let her husband know the particulars, just told him she was pregnant.
Obviously many years have past since then, many, and the lives of everyone change as well, divorces happen. Anyway, what had led her to ask a question or three was because of the man she called dad, he needed a kidney, she agreed to donate him one because that is what family does, I tend to agree. But guess what? His daughter, the girl he raised for most of her life, wasn’t a match for donation. But how can that be? We know why, because he’s not her biological father. Needless to say, questions were asked, no real answers could be given, except for one, which was me, because her mother knew that if anyone knew where to find him it would be me. Luckily, she was right, I do know where and how to find him. First, I called her mother, who sent me to voicemail, and I was told that she has chosen to disappear for a while because she doesn’t want to face anyone, especially her daughter. I made one phone call, from the privacy of my bedroom, to my friend, who wasn’t shocked, or at least he didn’t seem shocked or a bit surprised. He gave me permission to give her all of his contact information, his name, and everything related. Ready for the twist? Okay, he was married to wife #1 at the time of conception, divorces a few years later because he caught her red handed cheating on him. Since then, there has been a #2, #3, and a #4, only with wife #1 were there any kids, one son. Now, the kicker, after all these years, guess who he is dating once again, and talking about marriage, wife #1. He is unsure how she will take this news. That’s a damn fine question, how will she take it?
Needless to say, as curious as I am about if he actually comes clean, I don’t think he will. As much as I think of him as family, I know he has two weaknesses in life, women and alcohol, usually mixed together, over and over, repeat, so on and so forth. But, I’ve known this sonofabitch for many, many years, we visited hell and returned a few times over, which is why I keep up with him. He’s really not the kind of person I hang around with these days, simply because I’m too old to run around drinking like a single guy and I know from personal experience how hard that is on family life and marriages in particular. Anyway, back to the story. We talked about her mom a while, a name I hadn’t thought of in probably 20 years, we came back to the world and everyone who was friends over yonder just lost touch. She talked awhile and decided that it was time for her to go. She apologized for taking up our time and away she went. My wife and I had a long conversation about what happened while I was stationed in Korea. How do you explain what happens in another country while away from your family for 15 months one time and 14 months another time. Might as well want to talk about all the times I spent in Las Vegas or any other place I went to. I admit only one thing for myself that I wish would have been different, which was literally being drunk the entire time. I also admitted that I was true to my now ex-wife, I didn’t need or want the trouble. Was it lonely? Yes. And I drank myself into oblivia to keep that shit from driving me crazy. Tempted? Yes. But, the plus for me was I stayed really busy, I did my AF job and I had a part time job as well, not for the money, but to keep the mind and hands busy.
Anyway, be careful of the bumps in the night, it might just be a blast from the past, and that just might lead to questions about things, people, and places that we spent years forgetting. Trust me, a person never married to someone who was in the military has a very hard time understanding that there are times they must be separated for any length of time, which is the death of many marriages, trust me, I know this personally.
Every once in a while I feel that I can share a little bit about my personal life without giving away that I’m actually a living breathing human being who has a life outside everything else I do. I had a funny haha last week that I think y’all could see how one line of text can have a thousand meanings on one’s head when, in reality, it was an attention getter to intentionally mislead me, to distract me from what I was actually doing at the time. Luckily, for me, I was intrigued enough to investigate. Let’s set up the plot, I was outside messing around with my daughter’s car, maintenance mostly, new air cleaner, windshield wiper replacement, windshield wiper fluid refill, and a taillight bulb replacement. Simple enough, something she asked that I do while she was out of town. In fact, the house was empty with the exception of my wife and I. That whole scenario can lead to big trouble, usually means I’m steam cleaning the carpet. So, being outside taking care of little things that needed to be done was just fine with me. At about lunch time I start getting texts asking if I’m hungry, asking what I’m doing, and how long I was going to be, tell you the truth I was starting to get annoyed a bit, telling her to bring her ass outside if she was so curious. Then there was about thirty minutes of silence.
Then she sends this text, “all I have on is the radio, want to dance?” It was drizzling out, I was all but done outside anyway, so I didn’t answer the text, I don’t think I was supposed to, I think I did the right thing by just going inside to see what in the world was going on. I opened the door to a quiet house, and all I could hear was the radio coming from the back bedroom, my bedroom. First I did stop by the kitchen, which was on the way, to wash my hands and to get a drink of water, then I followed the song on the radio that was playing. I was lead to the bathroom in fact, where I find my wife taking a bubble bath, then she tells me that she told me all she had on was the radio. I will leave the rest to your imagination, if you have one, if not then just know that we both had a nice candle lit bubble bath together.
Later on in the afternoon she wanted to get out of the house, to go somewhere, just go out to get out of the house, no kids, no wondering what the kids would do for dinner, nothing, just go for a drive and see where we end up. So, she got all dolled up, wearing my favorite jeans, a ZZ Top t-shirt, and her hair pulled back in a tight pony tail. She’s up to something, I just know it. We drove around in her new mustang for a few hours, she makes me drive, I don’t know, its weird with her, if I’m in the car she wants me to do the driving, been like that since day one. I thought it would change with her new car, but no, same old habits. What if I want to get chauffeured every once in a while? I’ve learned, don’t ask that particular question to her, it doesn’t end well at all. I just figure if we are in her car that she would want to drive. After not eating lunch I was starting to get real hungry, I asked if she had any suggestions, no of course, said for me to pick. Fine, I pick Joe’s Crab Shack, it was close and I haven’t been there in a few years. Dinner was good, margaritas were decent, and my company was very good. It gave us an opportunity to talk, to have a “date night”, and just be us for once in so many years. I get it, we don’t get allot of one on one time, we are always doing something, or we always have the kids tagging along, so it was, in fact, very weird, a little too quiet if you ask me. But, it was a fantastic night, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, never, we need many more of these “date nights”.
Soon enough, we would leave, she wanted to head across the freeway to go to the mall for a few minutes, she wanted to go in to get some makeup that they only sell at the one store. I knew it, I knew there was a plot, I new it was too good to be true, I knew I just gave up the next hour of my life because we cant decide which shade of black she wants for eyeliner. Of course, I’ve been a victim in this store before, I hate this store, so much I can’t bring myself to even type the fucking name. Plus, she asks me, the colorblind motherfucker, which color do I like, I always just answer with the one that has the cool, off the wall name, has kept me out of trouble for many years. This time, with no kids, I had no excuse to go to the Lego store or to Brookstone, I had to go in, her not letting go of my hand was the tell tale sign for me, I was already getting the cold sweats, fuck I hate this store. As a pleasant surprise, she walks in, never letting go of my hand, because I would have run for cover and she knows it, she picked up what she came in for, a compact of something or another, and we then checked out, we were in this beast of a pit less than five minutes, tops. Not a word from me either, and not a word from her either, we were just done, just in and out, scary.
Then we head to Sears, where I get told to hang out for a while, and that she would return for me shortly. Huh? She tells me to just roll with it, don’t worry about it, she would be back. Well, okay then, I shall just wander around Sears for a “while”. I didn’t see much I haven’t seen before, same tools, same lawn mowers and lawn shit, same beds, same vacuum cleaners, same appliances, and the same conditions at the shoe department, nice shoes I like, decent prices, but only go up to size 13, which is bullshit. Why can’t we just carry size 16 so I can at least try them on? But then again, that is the same scenario at all shoe stores in the mall, which is also bullshit. So, I’ve managed to kill almost thirty minutes and still no wife, so I make my way to the jewelry counter, not getting anything, just wanted to get my watch cleaned, they use one of those sonic washers which is pretty cool, gets all the muck out of the crevices. Just before the lady is done with my watch my wife slinks up behind me, wanting to know what I was buying. Then she sees the lady bringing my shiny black watch back and then she knows I’m not buying anything, no need to, I bought this very Fossil Relic watch in November of 1999 and it’s never, not once, given me any shit or reason to replace it, I make Father’s Day, birthdays, and Christmas a bitch for everyone, because a watch is never an option. After putting old faithful back on my wrist I notice she is carrying a Victoria’s Secret bag, which she will NOT let me look into. Trust me, I tried, no dice. How rude. Hand in hand we leave Sears, one more stop I’m told, which is good, its 8:45, and the mall closes in fifteen minutes, bonus.
We end up at Hollister, not my favorite, yet not the worst place to shop for women’s clothing. But, damn, this place is so expensive, I always expect to have to pay some kind of “cover” every time I walk thru the doors. This one is cool though, the entire staff is all female, dress like strippers, the lights are down low, the music is always bumping, and they offer complimentary bottled water. Plus, Plus, Plus, and Plus for me. Okay, she shops here at the teenie bopper store because they carry her size, “0”, and the only other place that carries that size in most of the pants is Guess, but she has never been let down here. I took a seat, she begins the hunt, she’s like a lioness on the prowl, stalking her prey on the open savanna, and when she finds the one that catches her eye, she pounces. It’s fun to watch, deadly on the wallet, but still I appreciate watching this part of the “chase”. She finds three pair, all blingless, all slightly torn in various places, but ones she seems to like. Off to the changing room, let the show begin! My wife is a natural born tease, she knows I still check out her ass, she knows my eyes still follow her around as she passes by, so, she abuses me with it, and she knows she is doing it. I liked all three, well, two of them, the stretchy ones I really don’t like. They look like jeans, don’t feel like jeans, and just “aren’t right” in some weird old school way. I know, I’m showing my age here, I cant help it, I don’t like them, they just aren’t right. The other two, perfect, absolutely perfect!
Now we head out of the mall, my wife reluctant to let me carry the bags, which is odd, I’m the guy you always see carrying the bags, but not tonight, which is fine, its weird, but fine. Get out to the car, bags in the truck, out of sight, and we head on home. When we get there, now nine-thirtyish, I settle into my chair, flip on the television, and find I have missed the first half of River Monsters, oh well, he never finds the big monsters until the end of the show anyway, that man pulls some fucked up fish from the depths of the rivers and lakes, and just think I used to like going out on the water, but now that I know it’s full of all the different kinds of “nopefish” I may just have to stick to the cement ponds. I never bothered turning on any lights because I didn’t plan on being out there in the living room very long anyway. You know that eerie feeling you get when you just know there is someone behind you, the feeling that makes all the short hairs on your body become electrified? I got that feeling, soon after I feel the cool hands I know so well, come across my shoulders. She held my head so I couldn’t turn my head, told me to close my eyes, and I feel her hands leave me. Moments later, I open my eyes to see my wife wearing what she bought at Victoria’s Secret. Um, OMFG!
By the morning the house was full with kids again, the hustle and bustle of everyone getting ready for work and for school. It was nice while it lasted, the quiet times, the time with my wife alone, and the not having to worry about everything happing around us. Out of the blue I get a kiss on the cheek from my daughter and a thank you for taking care of her car. My son, gives me a fist bump, he’s getting too old to hug me I guess, all of thirteen. As I stand in front of the kitchen sink taking my medications I feel a familiar touch of a cool hand going under my shirt onto my back, and then a kiss between the shoulder blades. No good morning, not that I usually get a verbal good morning, just what I got, it was nice, real nice. Then as softly as she appeared she slinked into the shadows of the hallway heading to the bedroom, undoubtedly to finish getting dressed for work. As I drove off to work I remembered that the entire day prior all started with a clever text, “all I have on is the radio”, what a nice thought.
I do really hate getting caught, especially when what I was doing wasn’t actually wrong or Illegal. But, as it stands, last night I got caught getting my tips from the club last week ready to go to the bank so I could pay some bills today or tomorrow. I will explain the money part of that in a bit because I know someone is going to ask about it. So, yesterday evening all the kids were gone, dinner was on the grill, and I remembered I needed to go to the bank. Now, I don’t keep secrets about money from my wife, she knows I make a decent amount in tips bartending. She knows I also get a paycheck, she knows I’m a 10-99 employee as well which means we save 20% of my earnings to pay Uncle Sam in January. What she has yet to figure out is why a bartender in a full nude strip club is paid what I get paid. But, the money is the reason I am there. I can’t help it I am able to negotiate what my time and services are worth. A while back, when I started back, I agreed to work Wednesday and Thursday nights, roughly 30 hours between the two days, for $1200.00 since I knew I would be paying my own taxes.
Plus, as bartender I keep ALL of my tips, but I also get 5% of the tips to the waitresses, and 1% of the tips from the dancers. Doesn’t sound like much does it? The stack of money on the table represents my tips plus the additional tip outs from the dancers and waitresses. The bundles are $100.00 if you are counting. Since I report and pay taxes on this as well, it all stays well documented. Which, is what I was doing last night when my wife came strolling into the dining room, home early from work. She had a surprised look on her face, like I just showed her a sasquatch body laying on the table after varmint hunting. Needless to say, she wasn’t ever aware that at anytime during the week there is a similar amount of money tucked away in the safe. Then the conversation got ugly. Supposedly I am hiding it from her because she has been unaware. I tried to explain it all goes to our joint checking account, minus what goes to a separate joint savings account for taxes. Still not believing me I had to get my tablet so we could explore the last few months of Wells Fargo deposits. A new bit of information came to light that I was unaware of, she doesn’t pay attention to the account balances. How the hell not? Well, seems that since I have always been the monthly bill payer that I would let her know if there is a problem so she never worried about it.
Yet, I am the one being told I’m hiding money from her. I still can’t wrap my head around it because it seems like a bizarre way of thinking. Then, this morning it hits me, its because I am the man and she is the woman, therefore I am automatically wrong. But, I have a frugal wife, she is not a spend-o-holic, she believes, as I do, that we will want to take trips, pay for college, and still one day retire. So, I have no complaints in that department. No other department either really, perhaps the jumping to conclusions part, but we argue and communicate very well with each other. In the end, we spent a few hours in the hot tub drinking margaritas and not talking about work, money, or our worries. We just sat there butt-ass naked enjoying each other’s company under the partly cloudy sky listening to the hum of the margarita machine churning out the next batch. All and all, after dinner, the hot tub, and the excellent margaritas, we went to bed with smiles on our faces. She mentioned this morning that I’m still an asshole but she still loves me.