Yesterday I got to work, unpacked my dress, g-strings, warpaint, perfume and clutch only to notice that I had forgotten. my. shoes.
Shoes are the single-most thing a stripper cannot. do. without.
There was a time where I believed I could not possibly step onto the stage and hustle my scrilla without my French perfume and scarlet-red signature pout. It turns out that, although whale-blubber warpaint and fake floral fragrances do in fact bolster my confidence as I get into character, if the only shoes you’ve got to walk that mile in are well-worn motorcycle boots… you’re fucked.
Strutting around as a naked chick without stripper shoes on paints you as a deranged and crazy-looking bitch who is better suited as an extra on the set of any film featuring Juliette Lewis. Stripper shoes are both symbolically and literally your license to blue-balling any man and every man. No shirt? No problem. No shoes… and no lap-service will you be offering.
Coincidentally, six-inch plastic platform footwear are also the only thing the house mom doesn’t have on sale at an inflated price of about 200 – 300 %. The house mom will sell you tampons, false eyelashes, tarot readings and scrunchies. Somehow, though, she doesn’t have anything to ornament our beloved corns and calluses.
In essence, I’m screwed.
BUT NOT QUITE.
The truth is, I’ve been screwing myself for months in my favourite dancing shoes, that are not at all plastic nor strippery but do the job just fine…
(also pictured: a Sharpie and g-string, which may or may not make more sense as you continue reading)
As you can see, my shoes are fucked. But I bought them in Australia and can’t find any that will suffice as their replacement. Like Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites, my shoes are bruised, broken and beyond repair, and I love them.
Anyway, today, I left my babies back in Brooklyn.
HOWEVER – BY SOME GRACE OF GOOD FORTUNE there is, in the corner of the dressing room, a US Postal Service box brimming with chenille scarves, sequins, and (thank Pamela Anderson) several stinky pairs of shoes of both the Real Girl and Fantasy Girl variety. Some show signs of growing mold and other fungi.
Behold: a typical New York City strip club Lost & Found.
I hold my breath as I pilfer through an abyss of polyester and stench to find a pair of pumps that appear to be a size too small for my otherwise average-sized feet. They seem to be my only option, as I believe the only other pair of spikes to have been donated by a six-foot-five drag queen. I slip them on. I stand up. I do not fall over. My toes hang over the front of the platform as they are trying to cling to the linoleum.
I am known to both scowl and dry-heave at the sight of a girl who has chosen a pair of such ill-fitting spikes. Now I am that girl.
They will have to do. Today, I must rock them.
I walk onto the floor and up onto the stage with the swagger of a fifteen-year-old tomboy in her first pair of heels at Homecoming.
The day ends up being slow and sucky but the good news is that little strutting is required. Most of it is spent sitting, scribbling in my notebook while stuffing my face with fun-sized candy bars and pretzels (thanks, Mom!).
That is, the day sucks until I am offered to go to the Champagne Lounge with a guy who, like everyone else I met that evening, claims to be named John.
“I only want to go if you do,” John assures me.
I assure him: “You know the only thing that changes if we go in there is that you get to fondle my tits, right?”
“That’s fine. I only want to do what you want to do.”
Every asshole says this. It’s almost always bullshit.
I take him up on his offer. I don’t want to try to strut around in these filthy kicks any longer, anyway.
John and I get settled in the Champagne Lounge. As I’m slipping off my loaner-spikes, an inebriated and perpetually-bubbly Brazilian babe walks by and throws her arms around John and myself.
“REMEMBER – “ she squeals, “No sex in the Champagne Lounge! ONLY MAKE LOVE!”
To my luck, and to the credit of men of their word (there are some left, it just so happens) John and I sit, chat about nothing, talk food and wine, hot Latina women (I’ve confessed my ‘bisexuality’ to him) and my tits are left unmolested for the entirety of the three hours for which he booked me. As a parting gift, he even went so far as to impart his own skills as a lap dancer, shaking his front-pleated khakis in my face and bouncing on my thighs while grunting enthusiastically. It turns out he was a theatre major before he transferred to finance where he makes a fat and unsatisfying living but somehow maintains a sense of humour.
The ugly pieces of shit that I doubt were ‘lost’ but most likely ‘left’ ended up being an entertaining and scrillaful blessing in a painful disguise!
***Seriously, though, if anyone can link me to some black velvet peep-toe platforms I’ll send you an autographed g-string.***