THE GRUDGE

I’m not a massive fan of horror films. Blood and guts effects me in a visceral way that I find hard to convey to people effectively when they’re trying to joyously recount their recent experience of having almost sliced their own arm to the bone, or even just ripped one of their hideous acrylics down to the nail bed. Basically I just want them to shut the fuck up before I lose control of my emissions and either shit or spew myself. Slasher movies terrify me not only for the imagery, but also because some fucker out there has actually conceptualized this extreme violence, and most likely some other fucker out there has carried it out in real life. The cogs in my brain continue to churn over and over this sickening probability well into the night, the next day, and the day after that. The trauma doesn’t end with the film credits.

Japanese supernatural horror on the other hand…. That shit is fucked up and I don’t know why but I love it. The Ring. The Grudge. My belief in the supernatural exists but is undefined so I can maintain my psychological distance. I have a hard time believing that evil spirits hang out in a video tape, waiting ever so patiently for SOMEONE to press play so that the spirit can emerge with the sole purpose of freezing the face of a random Japanese teenager into a hideous distortion they will be cursed with forever more. Although, in all honesty, it really would be my worst nightmare. To start watching a film with my looks in tact, not only to be horrifically robbed of the pleasure of a film which turns out to be nothing but static, but to also have my face twisted and frozen. In one foul swoop – shit movie, eternally fucked up ugly face. I guess it’s a good thing that nobody even has a VCR anymore so the evolution of technology has saved us all.

Knock on wood. I actually am superstitious.

There is a girl I have worked with in a couple of clubs here in Melbourne. We called her The Grudge. This sounds like I’m just being a snarky bitch but if you’d ever seen or worked with her you would understand. She really was just like The Grudge. Her demeanor, her glide, her face slightly downturned to one side so that when she spoke to men she would have to gaze upward through one half of the long straight black curtain of her hair. The effect was both incredibly eerie and mesmerizing. I’d watch her from across the room wondering what the hell she could possibly be saying to get guys into the rooms? Did she speak at all? She would literally seem to just appear next to a man and one hand would lightly move, with such fluidity and grace, to place itself on the edge of his shoulder or arm. She wasn’t a crotch grabber, or an ear licker when she hustled. She didn’t press herself up on, or drape herself all over the boys. She actively avoided contact with most of the girls she worked with, and as a result, who she was as a person just added to the mystery of The Grudge. The club lights never seemed to find her in full. She was luminescent and somehow the light seemed to refract as if passing through her, creating a hologram effect. It was weird. Or maybe my imagination is taking poetic license. Whatever. Hologram Grudge sounds good to me. She would breeze by cold and pale, receding into the dark pockets of the club. Lingering there, glowing as a ghost would. Existing. Watching. Then, spotting a man, she would get going for a glide. First she was here, and then, she was over there! As if by magic.

thegrudge

Once I was with a customer and I left him at the bar so I could check my podium times on the roster backstage. I was gone for no more than 2 minutes and when I came back The Grudge had one pale frosty hand on the shoulder of my guy. At my home club, us girls will just let each other know if a customer has been waiting for us so that the intercepting girl doesn’t waste her time. It’s accepted and appreciated for us to do things this way. As I was midway through extending this one liner courtesy to The Grudge, her downturned head sharply clicked upward by only a 22 degree angle, so for the first time ever, I saw her gaze lock straight forward, burning into my eyeballs. A strand or two of her perfectly straight Asian hair became dislodged. All of a sudden she looked distressed. Nay, psychotic, as she began screaming into my face. A blood curdling scream. Over reactive, hysterical, guttural, horrific…. I don’t know if I could use enough adjectives to describe how much over kill was laser beamed into this moment, searing a firey hole into the fabric of the universe directly in front of the male toilets.

“I’M SPEAKING TO HIM NOW YOU CAN’T COME OVER HERE UNTIL I’M FINIIIIIIIIIIIISHED!!!!! YOU SHOULD NOT DO THIIIIIIIIIS!!!!!”

The exclamation marks could continue indefinitely as well but I’m curbing them at five per sentence. It was as if she were seeing herself in the mirror for the first time…in a Japanese horror movie. Insert grudge terror pic here.

In this moment, I realized that I am not particularly good when it comes to confrontation with demons. My glib vocabulary and tinkling laughter evacuated the building and I was left with two raised eyebrows and an open gaping mouth, staring of its own accord at the spectacle. To be disgracefully honest, it was even worse than that as I’d only just had botox so my eyebrows were actually incapable of raising themselves. My brain was sending furious messages to my eyebrows to move skyward, and my paralyzed eyebrows were scrambling these messages to my nostrils, which, due to the scrambled directive and their own unique set of raising limitations, then flared out to their full capacity creating a generous circumference that had to be seen to be believed. Like a peacock fanning it’s tail, it was probably the most impressive nostril flare of my life. Her widened eyes and my widened nostrils were engaged in a face off. Literally. In the end my nostrils won by default as my customer finally regained his composure, lightly placed his hand on my shoulder and led me away, gliding across the floor in a state shock and triumph.

 

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The Big O

  
People often feel a little guilty about objectifying us girls when they visit a strip club. I guess that’s one thing to feel bad about if you’re an asshole about it. But it’s also condescending to think of strippers as victims of objectification. I mean really, no one seems to feel sorry for the 14 year old Kate Moss in that Calvin Klein campaign. It’s the very thought that turns it from an appreciation to an objectification.

It’s what a lot of women like to think so they can feel sorry for us and be safe because obviously we are all fucked in the head, which therefore makes us less appealing, and therefore less likely to steal the husbands or boyfriends of theirs that we have absolutely no interest in stealing. These concerned girlfriends and wives obviously haven’t heard that thing about how crazy girls are the best fucks in the forest because if they had they’d be increasing their benzodiazepine intake to allay their fears of members of orthodox or born again church groups; women living in isolation on self sustaining farms in bum-fuck-no-town-no-where bunking on mattresses stuffed with sustainably farmed organic straw in shipping crates collecting the hair shed from their bodies to reverently stuff the pillow of their long haired guru; and of course girls in mental hospitals who can be unpredictable and on all kinds of meds. And they certainly would not see the correlation between the benzo use of themselves and the latter. No need to worry so much about the strippers or the crazies. The kind of bitch who will go after your hapless man, powerless like a deer in tit lights, will not be contained to just one industry. That kind of bitch, is that kind of bitch, no matter how she makes her money.

It’s what a lot of men like to think so they can feel like nice guys when they ask you “What are you doing in a place like this? Doing a job like this? You’re such a nice girl. Funny. Smart. Beautiful. Sweet…” As though they are really, no I mean really seeing us as humans. As if you can’t be all of those things and take your clothes off for money. As if you can only be all those things if you star in Disney kids shows (ja cause Britney and Lindsay are such awesome idols for your children), or work with special needs kids, or work behind the counter at Baker’s Delight getting paid $12 an hour and stuffing your face with samples of sundried tomato pull apart bread all day long – I only say this because that’s what I’d be doing…. No offence intended for anyone who actually does work at Baker’s Delight. OMG and shit quality custard tarts!!! I would smash those all day every day til I was sweating sweet gooey custard that I could collect from my arm pits and scrape back into empty pie shells I bought from Woollies on a Saturday morning, refrigerate and then eat all over again in the afternoon.

On the nights that my humour is still in tact and guys ask me what I really do for a living, what income in a respectable trade I need to subsidise, I often tell them I work with people with special needs. People who dribble and sometimes even vomit on themselves, don’t understand social etiquette, have addiction issues, anger management problems, mental retardation coupled with sexual perversions, autistics from across the entire spectrum and people with Aspergers disease who don’t understand emotions and how their words and actions effect others.

“Wow! Really?? That’s so saaaaad. Those poor people. How long have you been doing that for?” Sometimes they get it. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes I let them in on the joke. Sometimes I don’t.

“Yes, I really do work in community services…..in a way. Yes, sometimes it really does bring me down. It can be pretty intense. Yeaaaaaah.”

Sometimes nasty ladies of the 9-5 circuit come in and objectify us too. They sit at our podiums specifically to snarl and snigger at us and talk about our cellulite, or how their bff 4 eva sitting next to them is waaaaaay hotter than that girl on the stage, or how she has been going to Pole Divas for nearly 2 years now and is totally so much better at that descending angel inversion than that girl is…oh, and waaaaay hotter too. I imagine this last type of girl actually ends up demonstrating this inversion on a pole at 1 Oak in New York’s west side, or any which one of Melbourne CBD’s unsuspecting sign posts in the wee drunken hours of her “later that night” montage. Unashamedly displaying her g-banger and the half of her butt cheeks that drew the short straw and didn’t get to hang out the bottom of her skirt that night. This epidemic of pole rape is sweeping its way across many nations like wildfire. And it’s not due to globalization or climate change. I hope it never stops because it’s insanely entertaining and hopefully therapeutic cause these girls obviously have something they need to express that isn’t seeing the light of day or the dark of night frequently enough.

On the flip side of that female market there are also many feminists out there defending our rights as real people with real feelings and to them I’d like to say thanks for the sentiment of care but without delving into a muff that I don’t know that much about having never done that myself, us kids are alright! And if we aren’t, it’s not due to being objectified by strangers. If this were the case I’m pretty sure every girl who walks the street out there in pretty much every country, fat or thin, short or tall, would also be in a high risk category and worthy of an armed defence force and pamphlet literature containing A LOT OF UPPER CASE BOLD text.

To be honest, sometimes it’s a relief to be the object of my own heart’s desire. To just be a shell of a girl. Shiny and bright. Under lights that erase the imperfections of my body that I notice daily. Languid limbs dancing slowly to my own song on a pole in the middle of a snow globe. Suspended in time with glitter falling all around until the floor is covered in a life that seems brighter than the shit day you just had, the Aunty you visited in a hospice last week who’s skull is the most prominent feature of a face that once had a sparkle you’ll never forget. It can be your 20 minutes of peace that set, or your one accumulated one hour of happiness that day. Unless they play top 40 Katy Perry, Skrillex or any one of the empowering Pink ballads on the system. In which case your day is still fucked and the soundtrack to your nightmares has been decided for you by the DJ who is too busy getting a blowjob in the booth to care what kind of ear violation he is subjecting you to.

Objectification is in the eye of the beholder. Hold onto it, or let it go but please don’t spoof into my sparkle globe with your condescending cunt or cock confetti.