Chocolate, Vanilla or Strawberry?

I was dating a guy in NYC a couple of years ago whom I suspected, might be obsessed with anal sex. I suspected this because he used to fumble around my downstairs with his penis, like someone making their way through somebody elses house during a blackout wielding nothing but a broken torch to guide them. I’d lie there staring at the ceiling, naively wondering if he was having trouble finding the correct hole. You know, the one that naturally lubricates itself, is directly adjacent to the clitoris and stretches in an accommodating manner. This fumbling business happened a lot. The next clue, was the off handed comments he would frequently make referring to anal sex.  Months later, when I was back in Australia continuing a relationship with him, he sent me a dick pic. It was awful on so many levels.

Two things stood out the most, the pubes that had been given the haircut of a Gregorian monk, and the anal porn captured in a freeze frame in the background. Both things, disturbing in equal measures. One of my girlfriends was crashing at mine during this period and I showed her the picture. She gasped. Then laughed. Then turned the lights on for me, illuminating the fact that yes, this manchild was obsessed with anal sex. Just as I’d suspected! Ding!! She pieced the puzzle of the photograph together with a conversation I’d had with her once about being bored with the sex because he always had to finish by flipping me over, pushing my face down in a pillow and pounding one out.

“BABE! HOW COULD YOU NOT KNOW?!?!?! SERIOUSLY? IT’S SO OBVIOUS.”

To this day, she still cannot believe that I can be so dense. So unquestioning. So simultaneously inexperienced but experienced. It wasn’t obvious to me. I’d been in relationships for the better part of twelve and a half years since I was a teenager and had been terrorised by a small number of shit dicks in between (the trauma caused by weird ass, marshmallow, enoki mushroom, mini winni dicks was so real that Shit Dick is #1 on my Deal Breaker List).

I’ve had anal sex before. When I was 19. It hurt like Hades and the experience can only be likened to having a sword shoved up my arse. I told him so. I also asked him if he actually really wanted to have anal sex or was he just joking, to which he replied….

“No! I’ve done it a few times before. But I wasn’t that into it…you know….sometimes you pull out and get a whiff….”

Thereby eliminating ANY chance that he had of me exploring the option again. Deny, deny, deny. All that attempted anal probing. For nothing. What an idiot. If he weren’t such a closet anal prober, he would be able to plan in advance and be with someone who keeps a bathroom cabinet shelf full of spare douches. Denying himself his best chances of world class whiffless butthole surfing.

Like a small child who had tried to sneak his spoon into the neapolitan icecream tub and steal aaaaaall the chocolate flavour and having the lid slammed down on him. Cutting the spoon off in the nick of time as it blindly wandered the stripes, pretending it wasn’t sure if it was the strawberry, vanilla or chocolate flavour that he was attempting to lodge his spoon in. He would’ve got further if he’d been honest about it. I told him this as we remained friends for a couple of years after the demise of our vanilla dating experience.  Until I visited NYC again in October last year. I was supposed to stay at his place in the East Village for five nights. I had expressed several times before hand that there would be no spooning, no kissing, no sexing for it was neither my vanilla, strawberry nor my chocolate stripe that enjoyed the aggressive, porn computed tappings of his spoon. I drew the lines of clear platonic borders and I expressed this several times, but his ego was beyond borders. Total waste of a good spoon. Strong. Rock solid. Upstanding. I warned him, the lid to my tub of icecream closed to him in 2013 and was not about to open any time soon aka ever.

I ran away after two nights. So stressed out by this pathetic prober that I was on the verge of insanity. First I ran to a bar to see girlfriends Fat Percy and Dolly who were able to assist me in the drowning of sorrows in my favourite sorrow drowning joint in the East Village. Then to where my  girlfriends Lolly and Kimba were staying a few blocks away where I was able to rest my weary head and give my fight or flight instincts a much needed safe house. Lids to all of my flavours safely sealed, without danger of intruders. Since returning to Melbourne, there’s been only two fumblings. Both with inflatable spoons that just haven’t quite had enough in them to make it smoothly into even the vanilla tub, let alone work its way over to chocolate. I consider myself as in the midst of a drought. Waiting patiently for a solid, unwavering, good looking spoon to come along and hang with my forkables. A spoon that isn’t attached to a lying misogynist with anal shame and mummy issues would be great.

 

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Vagina Face

  

There’s this thing that men, women and everyone do where they like to make unsolicited comments on your personal appearance. I was prey to this at an early age. While my sister had nicknames like Pretzel and Sticks, my relatives thought to cleverly offset these with my nicknames of Pork Chop and Garfield. Then somehow they are genuinely surprised that I had a weird relationship with food and had a brief love, hate, vomit affair with an eating disorder in my mid 20s.

In much the same way, it’s common for men in the club to pass judgement on our appearance. “It’s just so nice to see a woman with real curves these days.” Note to such men, no matter how you phrase it, few Australian women like to be told they have put on weight, are curvy, or voluptuous. Down here on lonely island we run behind the booty loving times of the USA and UK. It’s hard to keep up with the rest of the world when you’re clutching onto a snack pack of celery sticks, sprinting on minimal calories with bow legs cause you’re trying to maintain your box gap at a pace.

Back in the day when I would allow the men to speak their minds, I’d have bets placed on what the status of my pubic hair would be. Bald like a prepubescent girl? Landing strip? Untrimmed? Some creative topiary perhaps? The latter would always be the witticism of the group imbecile with a laugh like the stupid hyena from The Lion King. Not knowing the term “topiary” it would usually be expressed more along the lines of, “Yeah! I bet fifty bucks she has her bush cut into the shape of a fucking rooster or something. Cock on ‘er box! LOL. Like on Edward Scissorhands. ROFL. Edward VAGINAhands. LOL. Why was that faggot crying if he got to trim bushes all the time?? (more LOLing and ROFLing)”  Yes, yes. We get it dickhead. Excellent use of a double entendre “bushes”. Clever. This is what we, as dancers deal with on a regular basis. Some girls are so professional that they can even make themselves giggle with conviction. I cannot.

To turn the tables, I’d like to address the not so recent trend of the fluffy beard. The beard so big, long, puffy and lustrous that it has the consistency of freshly spun fairy floss at a state fair. Untrimmed. Requiring the launch of beard oil products into the Anglo world. Caressing the space around it as it drifts in the breeze, seemingly with a body and mind of its own. Enjoying the tickling sensation of sweat gathering at the tip of the tuft, dripping to the ground below. Every time I see one, I can only think of a hairy armpit in my face at a festival, and a vagina on someone’s face. An untrimmed, 1980’s vagina coat.

Before I ever kissed someone with a big, bushy beard, I’d always imagined what that would feel like. Then I did kiss someone with a big, bushy beard and I found that I’d imagined with great accuracy, how gross it would be. The beard part. Not the mouth, lips, tongue part. Just the fluffy face pubes, like a million flies on my face, grazing their little wings just inside my nostrils. The man was beautiful, gentle charisma, funny as fuck, was my hero with a perfect nose, blue eyes bursting like sunbeams, sweetest soul and built like a tattoo covered giant in a cowboy hat…with a vagina face. I’d like to say that I’m patiently waiting for the trend to shrivel up and die, as patiently as a mother who hopes it’s just a craze as she observes her 13 year old son has just started smoking weed and listening to limp bizkit…. But I’m not. Patient that is. I’m so bloody over it. I am a single woman dealing with the stark reality that 95% of men fall into at least one of the following categories: boring, couldn’t handle a dinner party with me and my friends, can’t handle my job even though they say they have “no judgement”, have beards, have dad bods. Seeing a potentially cute face trying to claw it’s way to stardom through the obstructive curtains of a fluffy beard is such a waste. Makes me feel like a guy at a peep show who’s gold coins never up the game. In so many cases I can see the cute eyes poking out over the puff of vagina face, the suggestion of plump kissable lips, a cheeky smile (dimples perhaps???), but unlike many women considering a labiaplasty, the lips of the man never quite protrude from the bush with 100% transparency out into the open air.

Every time I notice myself having these hateful thoughts, maliciously imagining myself taking to this or that face with a can of shaving cream and a razor, I feel slightly ashamed. I’m embarrassed because years later, I have discovered common ground between myself and the hyena from the Lion King pissing his pants laughing over the Cock on a Box. Schlepping my way around judging this and that, minus laughter, add forlorn whimper. Fingers crossed it’s only a few months before you all look back at your beards in photographs and wonder “What was I thinking? My strong jawline is hidden. My perfect cheekbones…hidden. My eyes….look promising but overshadowed by the ramshackle garden of pubes on my face.”

This is my Christmas wish. That all beards be reduced to rough stubble or shaved entirely. It’s shallow and selfish I know. But I can’t help it.

 

The Kindness of Strangers

There’s something to be said for the kindness of strangers.

Earlier in the year I found myself dealing with the consequences of a 10 week encounter with a narcissist. I cannot claim faith to accuracy and call it a relationship but the aftermath can be likened to wading through a quagmire of tepid feces. It was that good. On top of this, my dog fell suddenly ill with auto immune disease. The process of tests, financial draining, her fast deterioration into an ongoing illness, watching the light in her eyes dim, the energy in her limbs fail, pushed me beyond the brink of any sadness I had experienced up to this point. This is surely my year to learn some lessons, as two days before my birthday, I found out I was pregnant. To the narcissist. Bleh. Just when I thought my basket was full.

I spent my 35th birthday at work. Thankfully a place that has a few precious stars who blink at me through the darkness, let me share their radiant light, and hold my shoulders to help me get me off the floor, look me in the eyes and tell me that I’m strong when I had forgotten this was ever a word that I could apply to myself. One of these wonderful girlfriend’s of mine introduced me to her regular customer and he took a shining to me. He’s a tricky one to be booked with for an extended period of time. In general conversation he begins on a subject but doesn’t wait for a reply, barrels over the top of you, completing 32 segways and 33 subject changes by the time he takes a breath for air. He is a sweet soul but somewhat disconnected. Literal. Confused by the patchwork of social mores, the tones and rhythms of conversation. My girlfriend left the room to go and do her 20 minutes on the stage and I was alone with him. He made the observation that I looked sad and asked me why. I told him about my dog who is the closest person I have to me. I told him that nobody in the whole wide world, loves me the way she does. That she is the only person I have who would put me first. Take a bullet for me. Lay starving next to me, rather than eat my arm to save herself. That I don’t know how I would face a day, in the current climate of my world, if she were to die. That this is what I truly believed. That is how I truly felt. I’ve never been so terrified of the possibilities of my own action unto myself, should her heart stop beating.

In this moment, for just a few minutes, the customer changed. He suddenly became a friend. He engaged with me in a way many of my close friends hadn’t been able to. They once made jokes as I sat with tears running down my face, squawking about how big my tits were now. How amazing! What a coup! What a silver lining! I couldn’t even keep company with most of my own girlfriends during this time. They meant well, but I could not laugh at the situation I was in. I did not know what choice to make. I felt like an anchor of sorrow attached to a decrepit dingy, that had already been dredging the bottom of a stupid shitty pond for 7 weeks since I found out my dog was sick. How could people not be tired of my tears? I avoided dinners and celebrations. It was all too loud and overwhelming, enhancing my already hormonally enhanced anxiety. I was alone no matter where I was.

In a small room, at my place of work, this stranger looked at me, and spoke to me with such genuine love and kindness. With the innocence and well wishes of a child who understands the feeling of sadness, but doesn’t understand why it has to be a part of life. He did not seize the opportunity to overstep the mark and touch me. He did not try to take what he could get, while the getting was good. Nor did he condescend to me, or raise himself above me to give sage, unsolicited advice. His human heart spoke to mine with such compassion and truth. The likes of which I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered from a stranger before. We are pen pals now. He never fails to surprise me with the words he wraps me up in. The most comforting embrace. The most gentle tendrils of kindness permeating my every cell, to make me feel the ‘ok’ is in there somewhere. This man has been a gift to me. He is special. If someone had suggested that the kindness of a stranger whom I met at work, while I was pregnant and naked and feeling so very alone in my heart, would be the thing that would resonate with me, I would have broken at the suggestion. But he appeared. And thankfully my heart was still open enough to accept his love.

He writes to me,

‘Hang with the ones that are positive and positively reinforce you and your ideas, the ones that make you feel free… Be amazed and bedazzled by all the cool aspects of life, interact with truth and the beauty of all your skills and entirety of your shining being will beam out.

Billie the Legend can do anything and everything by looking after herself and her pals and embracing intelligence, empathy, and day after day braveness

And as I said in an earlier screed:

“take care,

sleep well…

remember to think of those that love and care for you when you lie in bed,

feel comforted in their embrace…

and you will sleep….

plus talk when you need to,

to the ones that will really listen (and not judge),

the ones that really do support you 100%”

All the best and thanks for your email esteemed buddy.”’

It’s these encounters that make me wonder “How lucky am I?” and to know that I would rather reveal myself in both sorrow and joy, than to stay hidden and let these people pass me by.

There are not enough words to give thanks to the strangers and friends, work mates and  birds flying overhead, fleeting moments of beauty, acts of kindness, that have supported me through this year. Coming out at the other end with a smile on my face is a testament to all of those people and little things that were there for me the whole time. Even when I wasn’t ready to open my eyes and see them.

  

 
* Thanks for the tattoo D.Ferguson, another kind stranger. Two words that always help me from an old friend from across the sea C.Lambert

* Image of “Big Bird Alone Under Lamplight in Central Park” by another angel of mine A.Rovedo

FAITH. A BLAST FROM THE PAST.

Faith. A blast from the pastI found a piece of paper scrawled over with the brain zap of my 19 year old self falling in love for the first time. The first part was romantic as all hell. The usual treacle drenched musings of a teen in love. The last part made me realise that I’ve lost something important.

The first time I read it, the words sounded like someone else’s. Reading over it again I recalled those feeling from over 16 years ago. Sharp and hazy at the same time. I became aware that I held my breath as I read. I’ve always found the process of falling in love terrifying. But that very first time… I can feel that memory. Eyes open. Cheeks flushed by the cold, fast air against my face as we fell into the abyss together. Reckless. With a faith that I don’t think I ever had before or since. And today I am doing my own head in because I realize that I haven’t let go of all that pain, still harboring sadness from the actions of a boy who didn’t know what he was doing any more than I did.

It’s times like this I wonder how much damage I’m doing to myself walking into the doors at work? How many encounters can this little heart take? One after the other, with men who just by being who they are, no intent or malice, provide countless exhibits in the case against faith.

We almost got married. I was 19. I still have my wedding ring somewhere. We eloped to Rome, but I bailed 3 days before the wedding. I didn’t want to have that day without my family there. It didn’t feel right. I remember when I told him, we were sitting in the hot sun together, sweat running down the back of my calves as our legs dangled in unison over the stone blocks of ancient ruins in a park near the Colosseum. All he said was, “I feel like someone just cancelled Christmas.” His face was upturned and he squinted into the sun, before lowering his gaze to stare at the ground and take my clammy little hand in his. He was adorable. He loved me so very much.

Turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.

My first love chose liquor and lies in the end. Let me travel 32 hours back to Australia alone, to have the jelly bean we made on the bottom bunk of a hostel bed in Dublin, vacuumed out of my uterus. Abortion was illegal in Ireland in January 2001. I had no option but to come home. He stayed over there to drink himself into oblivion, and didn’t come back until one year later when I said I knew he’d been banging someone else and that it was over between he and I. That slap in the face. It’s the slap in the face that reminds someone that they have something to lose. Sometimes too late.

Wasn’t too late for him. No way. I was still brimming with faith. I took him back, as you do. It didn’t work out, as it doesn’t. Took another 2 years to drown. I never long for, or mourn  the 14 year old child I could have had. I never long for, or mourn the relationship I had with him. But I long for, and mourn that faith. I don’t know how to get it back. I don’t know who is deserving of it or if I’ll ever find them. I still love that guy who saw it last. We are friends to this day, and I will always, always love him because he did the best he could, he never laid a hand on me, and he is a good person worth forgiving. We were young. We didn’t know any better. But somehow I knew this…

“I am terrified that we will sooner or later turn from each other and I will never be able to have back, or to give again, exactly what he has of me now.”

Faith….

Dreams Come True!

Last night I was on the club Catwalk. Front centre pole, otherwise referred to as “Cellulite City”. It makes girls who have no cellulite, look like they do, and girls who do have cellulite, look like they need to fast. Forever. I’m in the latter category. But whatevs. I work my angles and find the shadows to keep me safe. Can’t remember if I was working my angles last night though. I’d had 3 tequilas, a hideous glass of cheap Australian sparkling and 2 vodkas in the 1.5 hours I spent with my regular customer. Effectively rendered myself entirely ineffective. SMASHED. He came and went so I was left to populate cellulite city with my thighs and ass alone. We did ok, not quite a metropolis. The music was good. Better than usual and I vaguely remember moving really slowly. Mostly so that I wouldn’t fall over or hit my forehead on the pole. I have a bad track record with stationary objects.

I looked up and saw a little Indian man coming toward the stage, his shiny bald head catching the light as he emerged out of the darkness. I beamed a big, happy, drunk smile at him. He beamed a happy little smile back.

“Hello, how are you going?” I said.

“I’m good. How are you?” He replied.

“I’m great! What’s your name?” I said.

“Blah Blah. What’s your name?” He replied.

Standard mind blowing opening conversation.

“Billie. Would you like a dance?” I asked.

He held out a little wad of $5 and $10 notes and gave them a little waggle up and down. Not in an offensive carrot dangling way, just in a wad of money waggling way.

“No, no. I don’t want you to dance. I want you to lie down.”

I’ve never been asked to do this on stage before so I made an effort. I lay down on the stage with my back arched and my legs elongated toward the ceiling, my ankles crossed lightly, making beautiful iridescent shapes with my body by catching the light just so.

“Open your dress.” He instructed.

It’s not a dress. It’s a playsuit but I didn’t think it was the appropriate time to correct him on the specifics of my garment.  I let it slide and pulled aside the two pieces of black fabric that drape over my breasts so they were exposed and peaking toward the ceiling. He stood there smiling at me from the shadows and then extended his arms, reaching his hands forward into the light. His wad of cash was sitting atop of his left palm, and with his right hand, he began to flick each note over the top of me. Slowly and deliberately at first, then with the reckless abandon of a small Indian man who is living his African American hip hop hunny DREAM, while also making a dream come true for an extremely drunk  stripper who had only moments ago been schlepping her way up and down and around a pole in cellulite city. Maybe the lights aren’t as bad as I thought…. No. They really are.

Fast forward 25 minutes to the smoking room where I was dressed and ready to go home. Lipstick wiped off. Fag in hand, slurring my way through a rubbish conversation with one of the other girls. A dancer walked in and asked to have a drag of my cigarette because her customer had just tried to stick his finger up her butt hole. Turned out it was my little Indian friend with the shiny head, ticking yet another one of his dreams off the list.

Black Dress 2_2

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.

 

LOLITA

  

One of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever seen or could hope to see in real life. The actual unicorn of mine, and many other’s dancing careers.

I remember the very first time I saw Lolita in the locker room. Accompanied by the first of her string of egotistical, maniacal, narcissistic BFF’s. She was awkward at only 19 and I remember detesting her hair. It framed her face like a big boofy triangle, the contained frizz creating waves like a logo for a product designed specifically to control this issue that could really ruin a girl’s day. She didn’t say much but annoyed me just through her association with the mad queen who had the most shatteringly loud voice, laugh and presence in the room. The Queen of Hearts once tried to behead a friend and me for a transgression that existed in her crown alone. As the Queen flounced loudly from the Red Room, Lolly slipped us a shy smile and for about a millisecond her beautiful soul made contact with mine before she lowered the lids of her blue eyes and was swallowed up in the charged crimson wake of the Queen.

A couple of years later we became friends and 4 months after that I watched her marry her man in the country. A small affair of around 30 people. It was a blast. Their family and friends were an incredible testament to them. Funny, wild, intelligent. Drunk as fuck. Still intelligent. Drunker as fucker. Less intelligible.

Together we speak the same dialects of ridiculousness. Her skills are unsurpassed, well framed but never contained within the knowledge of a couple of languages and a library of literature who’s pages have been thumbed and folded in rapturous flips and turns.

Exhibit A

Billie: My petit bon oui citron chi chi. So sorree for tres over slumber incident. Was tres bien to google you bon bon shakie bon bon xX

Lolly: Spankyou muchlies le bonbon! C’est not un problem for le sleep-in, I like to catch le rays in my le car. Und sankyou for de presents in de bag, you are such an un le rockstar rock le roll schnazzle le dazzle******* X

Exhibit B

Billie: For the love of SERGIO!

Lolly: He doesn’t like George Michael…BOOOOOOOO!!!!

Billie: He is above the law.

Lolly: He is ALL man…he is like the perfect love child of Don Juan and Jesus…

Billie: …and a little bit of Johnny Depp for good measure. A measure I treasure. A sax in his dax. A song in the schlong?

Lolly: …a careless whisper in my hairless crisper…

Billie: …heart beat skipples, skyward thy nipples.

At first she may appear as quiet and awkward as she is beautiful but the layers go further and further to reveal something worth waiting for. It’s like holding a beautiful wilting ballerina peonie in your hands. So you peel off the outer layers of the wilted petals, with each layer the petals become more f-f-fresh. When you finally gain access to the heart of the flower you find a gigantic cartoon cock and hairy balls with confetti spoofing out of it right into your face. When Lolly is drunk the layers are dispensed of. She’s not shy or quiet when she’s tipsed. And in the case of full retard drunk, the gigantic cartoon cock with all of its confetti spoof goodness spritzes away indiscriminately like one of those hard core sprinklers on a high school oval.

Lolita is a professional. She rarely lets life outside the office get in the way of her paperwork. It’s rare to see her effected by negativity, or to witness her reacting aggressively to any one of the million awful things people say to us. She is die hard loyal to the club. She is die hard loyal to her friends. I once walked out the backstage door and saw her holding a friend of ours as her chest heaved with tears. Lolita had both her arms draped around the girl’s shoulders, her face downturned to the crown of the sobbing mop of hair as she gently said, “Don’t cry Sandy…. Please don’t cry.” The simplicity and sweetness of her was enough to melt anyone’s heart. She was like a child pleading with the mother and a mother comforting her child all rolled up into one big ball of love and compassion.

Recently our home club changed its rules as a non-touching club. A meeting was held on the Monday, to announce the new rules would commence on Thursday of the same week. I didn’t have the heart to attend the meeting. I was barely working anymore and I couldn’t match the outrage of my friends. It felt fucked up and awful but at the end of the day a business decision for an evolving industry that, as one of my dancer friends put so well, will probably be nothing but a burlesque feature show in 20 years time. I was just so sad to see a solid group of strong women break. I’m glad I didn’t go. Lolly was so upset. I was told that her tears poured out of her and that seeing her lose it “was like watching a unicorn cry.” A lot of girls quit. They felt violated and betrayed. Because it’s not just where we work, it’s our home. And these girls that we work with are our Ya Ya StripperHood. They give us the acceptance that some of us haven’t received from our families and a few of our friends. Together we giggle at how the narrow world beyond our magical kingdom would misconstrue our experiences. How much fun and laughter they miss out on just because they have a hive of bees in their bonnets about things they will never understand, at how they miss so much because the bees buzz too loud for them to hear the songs we sing. The tears of our unicorn seemed to mark the end of an era of enchantment. The golden years for the golden girls. Everything seemed altered. But our unicorn is still there, glimmering brightly in the darkness, heart still in tact and laugh still carrying over the bass of shit ass techno.

Fetish in My Face

My best friend once told me that feet, eyeballs and armpits were in the top 10 of sexual fetishes. She told me this during a particularly hilarious conversation where she relayed her latest flame’s armpit licking fetish. I had never heard of this before. Of course I’d heard of a foot fetish. I’ve seen Boomerang starring Eddie Murphy. Strangely, I had also heard of eyeball licking way back when I was 19 as my then boyfriend’s younger brother was fascinated by the practice, although not in a sexual way.

The first time I ever danced for a guy with a fetish was when I was about 7 months into my illustrious new career. My ex was being a full on mother fucker but I kept going back to him. In much the same way that female viewers continually punish themselves by watching Ashton Kutcher movies. In an effort to show me that I didn’t need him anyways, my girlfriend Lucy took me to a Club X store on Swanston Street in downtown Melbourne to buy me my very first vibrator. I was embarrassed as hell but everyone else in there seemed fine with it all. Titles like “Pakistan Poonani” and “Lawrence of a Labia” sprung from the covers of dvd’s and magazines to my wide green eyes. The comedy of it all seemed wasted on these people. I marvelled that they were not snickering in the aisles at “Big Trouble in Little Vagina”. They seemed desensitised to both the humour and the sex. Could this stuff really be a turn on? The covers did not look promising. I tried to ACT NATURALLLL while my friend purchased the potentially vibrating fake penis and handed the bag over to me with a packet of batteries, a smile and a flourish. The cashier was chatty. Chatty chat chat. La la la. On the inside I withered in my boots.

I can’t say how long we were all talking for but it became clear we had been talking for too long when he showed up at my work on the weekend and asked me to take him down to the private rooms for a dance.

“Oh god. Is this guy stalking me?!” Is what I thought.

“Ok sure.” Is what I said.

He was quite a sweet guy. Aesthetically horrifying, creepy, but sweet. I was too green to turn down sweet creeps back then. I was a much nicer person. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings or to say that I thought he was one of the most hideous people I’d ever seen and that that in itself made me very uncomfortable. I didn’t understand the concept of self preservation. Keeping the mind safe so that memories of grim and yukky customers don’t lurk in your subconscious, waiting til your head hits the pillow, before they hit you in the face. These memories can become a perpetual nightmare that plays over and over in your head, becoming the sheep that lure you downward into a disturbing slumber drenched with cold sweats and nightmares.

So, down to the school room we went. I did my dance. I strung it out for 15 minutes but he booked me for 40. His manner was weird, as though he was waiting for something to happen. I felt he was bored, uncomfortable, dissatisfied.

Eventually, he said, “I want to ask you something. But I’m scared to cause you’re gonna think I’m really weird.”

Nice me circa 2006 said, “Really? Why? It’s ok babe. Just ask, what is it?”

“Well…..would you…would you take off your shoes?”

“My shoes? If you want me to. My feet are pretty sore, new shoes. Blisters.”

“I have a foot fetish.” He spat out.

“Oh. Oh, ok. Really? Alright.”

So I took off my brand new shoes and pretty much did my same dance in a different sequence so he wouldn’t notice my limited vocabulary of movement. I felt so unbelievably awkward. I sat on the chair opposite and tried to think of attractive and dainty ways to flaunt my size 9’s in front of the sweet creep. I was not confident. I was mortified. I am 5 ft 3″ and my disproportionate feet have been the subject of decades of ridicule. Even now, friends will see them, as if for the first time and be like, “Oh my GOD! Your feet are ENORMOUS!”

Yes, yes they are. Fuck you frenemy.” Is what I’m thinking.

“Ha ha, yeh, I knowwwww.” Is what I say.

I had no idea what the fuck to do with the feet. My feet. All of a sudden they seemed separate to me, threatening, hovering life forms with five long and skinny appendages each. I had an inkling that I was still supposed to give a sexy dance, just like any other. But I really couldn’t figure out how to improvise a sexy foot dance. I stood on one foot and pointed the toes on the other as I made what I believed to be a Mae West-esque circular movement with my battleship. It clearly didn’t cut the mustard as he began to be quite assertive with what he wanted me to do.

“Put them near my face.”

“What?” Not only did I not want to put my feet near his face, but the logistics of this task were near impossible if I were to maintain my balance.

“Can you please put them near my face?”

“WHAT THE FUCKING HELL??????” Is what I thought.

“Ummmm…..my feet have been in these shoes for about 8 hours now…I don’t think you want me putting them near your face. They’re probably really stinky by now………..And I have blisters…” Is what I said.

He replied testily, “Oh, I hate it when people say that.” He then relaxed and took a deep breath. “Feet don’t stink. They don’t have an odour, they have a fragrance.” He drew out the word ‘fragrance’ like an English aristocrat, “I love the smell of a woman’s feet. That’s one of the things I love most in the world. Just sit down. Sit down and put them so they touch near my face.”

I remember his words, expression and posture so clearly. I remember the red glow of the downstairs dungeons meeting the blue tones that the UV light threw across the school room, creating a spooky glow.

This was not the Cinderella tale I had been told. This was not a scene from Boomerang starring me and Eddie Murphy. This shit was real and it was grossing me out. My circa 2006 lovely self made no objection though. I put my foot near his face.

“Yeh, rest it on my shoulder and touch my neck with it.” He closed his eyes, savouring the smell of my foot. I remember clenching my jaw, looking at the ceiling and thinking, “I’m gonna spew on his face…” I was utterly grossed out by the obvious waves of pleasure that were washing over him with each deep inhalation of foot fragrance. I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Okay! That’s the end! Thanks heaps babe.” I fastened my shoes up but tried to ACT NATURAL at the same time. A casual lean here, a casual lean there.

He tried to get me to stay longer but I said I was busy. He came back 2 weeks later. I looked past him in the club and pretended I’d seen someone I knew across the room, flashed a golden smile and pursued the wave I’d just thrown to my imaginary friend. Then I hid out the back.

He returned three years later with a new bleached blonde hair-do that glowed disgustingly under the UV lights. He remembered me and asked again if I would dance for him. Babe in the woods was long gone by then.

“Sorry mate. I don’t do fetishes anymore!”

Not to my knowledge anyways.

Sasquatch lives!

Alone in the Land Down Under

Today I was out and about and noticed lots of cop cars and an ambulance outside a house near the park. I’m not an accident perve. I didn’t whip my binoculars out for a look and so I remained clueless for most of the day. As it turns out, Greg Ham had died in his house, alone and been found by friends this morning. He was the guy responsible for the flute riff in “Land Down Under” by Men at Work.

I fucking love that song.

I can’t even tell you how many nights I would go out with my friends, packet of textas in my bag so that we could draw dodgy imitation 18+ stamps on the backs of our hands and gain under age entry to seedy jizz fest clubs in the Canberra bus interchange. Those were the days. The air inside thick with sweat and sweet with the smell of Midori cocktails. Sixteen years of baby faced age and dancing on podiums to songs like “Land Down Under”. And Bon Jovi. Always with the Bon Jovi.

I was skyping my sister just before and I told her about it, we did some googling while we talking and I read an article about his death. One of his neighbours had had no trouble spilling her guts to the press about how he “looked like he’d done it hard”, “had obvious health issues” and “was a good guy who used to walk the streets and look a bit daggy”.

A lightbulb went off in my head when I read this as I realised that Chockie and I had walked past him in the street on Good Friday. I remember it because I live in a quiet, half wealth-half hipster, inner suburbs area and I’d never seen a guy like that before. He looked like a total hobo, long stringy hair, and his neighbour was right, he did look hard done by but he had a gentle presence. I smiled and said ‘hello’ to him and when he looked up, I was stunned by the bright, bright blue of his eyes. He looked at me, as though he thought I was looking at him, and thinking what a bum he was. It struck me as sad for someone to walk around like that constantly thinking that people are judging them. Although, I guess I have my nights like that at work.

This whole Greg Ham thing has made me think about Frank.

I’ve not seen Frank for over four years. He was a big, fat, old man who would come into the bar fortnightly and spend a couple hundred dollars of his pension early on in the night. He had a few girls he would see, and often if I got there on time, I’d swoop him up. I think the first time I met him I gave him a lap dance for about 3 minutes and then just sat talking to him. From that day on, we just chatted. It was easy.

Frank was super fat. He was so fat and unhealthy that he got diabetes. He had to have a ventalin every now and again for his asthma but I could hear him wheezing with each intake of breath. His breath. Holy shit. It actually really did smell like shit. Like he’d stuffed his face with a turd for dinner and forgotten to brush his teeth before he came in. I would sit next to him, and hold my breath while he was speaking, and then when it got to much, I’d rest my head on his chest to avoid copping air shitticles in my face. He was comfy to cuddle. And I knew that he really appreciated the human contact. It was kind of like cuddling up next to my grandpa. I’d sit there like that and he’d stroke my hair out of my face and tell me stories.

He was a lovely man. I learnt a lot about him. He didn’t have any friends, or any family that he got on with. He lived alone and didn’t even go to his sister’s for Christmas because they always ended up fighting. She bossed him around and he didn’t like that. He described his mum as a mean old bitch, but out of fear of living his own life, or out of obligation to her, he’d taken care of her til her dying day.

I felt bad taking his money. But I also knew that a couple of the girls he saw weren’t very nice and I justified that if he were paying for company, he may as well pay for someone who actually really liked him, despite his stench. I asked one of the girls if she would sign a card and put in some money for a present for him for Christmas. She looked at me with suspicion. As though I were laying a trap. I let her make me feel like an idiot, I worried it might be too intimate to give him a gift that was only from me. So I didn’t end up getting him anything. Just giving him a big hug and saying “Merry Christmas Frank. See you next year”.

I never saw him again. He didn’t come back. I have a feeling he died unnoticed. Alone in the land down under. A fat, hopeless heap on the floor. He is one person who I wished I’d let into my life, just so that he didn’t have to be alone. Given him my number, or my email or something. And then maybe when he died someone could have contacted me, and I could’ve gone to his funeral and shown his family that he did have someone else who cared about him. That he had a whole other life that they didn’t know about. At the very least I should have ignored that skinny mole and written him a Christmas card telling him how sweet I thought he was and how I really liked him and his stories.

The Rise And Fall of the Vertically Challenged – Hitting Below The Belt

Ouwwwwch! My fucking vagina!
I stay cool. I make my face light while inside I battle my reflex to fold over
myself.
What the fucking fuck just torpedoed MY VAGINA?
I take stock of the people. Scan for signs of a smug expression, someone
trying too hard to act natural…
Did I walk into the corner of the pool table? A bar stool?
I look down and what the hell am I looking at, but a midget, or do I say dwarf?
Dwarf.
I look down at the dwarf.
“Did you just punch me in the vagina?”
He looks up at me, shrugs his shoulders and raises one eyebrow,
“Meh.”
Fucker.
I take dignified strides to the elevated DJ booth and climb the steps to his eye
level,
“Andy!”
Thrusting my arm behind me in the direction of my assailant.
“That dwarf just punched me in the vagina!”
When I turn my head my rigid index finger points at an empty space. The
dwarf now stands at the foot of the steps taking a long swig of beer and a hard stare
directly up into my butt cheeks. A snort and a ripple of laughter from the DJ booth
override the music blaring in the club.
The dwarf shrugs his shoulders, his eyes drill a hole through the fabric of my
outfit and into the center of my ass-universe.
“Ew!” I say, “Gross.”
“Meh.”
He walks a few steps to discard his empty beer.
I turn toward him until I feel my ass rest upon the booth door. Smirking, his
gaze settles on my chest. My tits have fallen out of my playsuit.
Oh yes, here I stand, righteously perched on the highest platform in the club,
beaming my breasts to an audience of 300 or more.
“Andy,” I hiss at the DJ, “That man punched me INTHEVAGINA. Aren’t you
gonna get security?”
“Can I have security to the DJ booth? Securityyy.” He croons.
Minutes pass until a tall lurch with a Viking beard and a shaved head ambles
over to Andy. They lean in toward one another, covering their mouths in the
exchange. Security straightens up and while he walks toward my assailant I consider
what response would best prop up the remains of my dignity as the dwarf is
escorted from the venue? A flood of breathless relief; a triumphant fist pump; or,
shall I hold myself above it all with dignity and refuse to acknowledge him at all?
The Viking bends over the dwarf, pats him on the back and laughs.
“This is a fucking joke!” Even as I clamber down from my perch I’m annoyed
by my poor choice of words. I push my way through the backstage door,
A dwarf, a DJ, and a stripper walk into a bar….
I imagine the trio swaying with laughter as they finish the joke I started.

Two flights down, sixteen steps each, four landings, five doorways to reach a
safe place. In the filthy cubicle of almost privacy I flick the toilet lid down with my
stiletto, furiously pull reams of z-grade toilet paper to cover a space big enough for
my butt and sit. Alone, weeping in a toilet stall at a strip club on a Saturday night.

How is this my life?

At 4.45a.m, I have to move my car and get back to the club before the car park closes
in fifteen minutes. The sky is still black but the street is lit with headlights and neon
signs. The summer city air thickened further by layers of noise, cars, drunkards, and
the echo of bass from the clubs. A roll of hot wind stirs trash and a confetti of debris
falls from the trees. It is the busiest time of night as the streets overflow with
clammy revelers hailing taxis back out to the suburbs or on the 24 hour clubs
outside the city.
Please night, end.
I don’t look much better. A puffy after-cry face full of reapplied makeup, my
track pants sagging off my ass, and a wife beater singlet with no bra. On my way
back to the club there is a commotion outside the kebab shop. The area is roped off
by police tape and a paddy wagon parked by the curb with flashing lights but no
siren. People stumble by underwhelmed. I crane my neck and I see him…
The Vagina Dwarf.
His hands are in cuffs behind his back. The police are hoisting him from the
ground into the back of the wagon.
Across the wide expanse of the intersection I hear myself yelling,
“SUCK IIIIT MIDGEHHHHT!”
People turn their heads to me, to him, back to me. Scrunching their faces at
the nasty shrew screaming with such abandon. I don’t care.

 

 

 

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