I veered into the corner where this shoddy neon sign flashed Venus Exotica
over the door of a small building. Its windows were painted black, so as not to look in, I guess. I could feel the beat of
the music. You know, when the bass is so high you can feel it in your chest. Anyway, I walked up to the door. I’d like
to say I got in because I was so old looking for a sixteen year old. But really, that old strip club would let a ten year
old in, if they had cash. Honestly though, I have very mature features. At least that’s what my mum says. I have a defined
jaw line or something. Who can tell with mothers? They’re all a little nuts because they believe in the unfaltering
goodness of their kids. I mean if some punk went up to my mum and said “I saw Jack going into that strip joint”
she’d shake her head and say “not my Jack.” I swear on the bible, she’d say that.
So I walked in and there are chicks all over the place dancing,
stripping, jiggling, all that fun stuff. As I drank the beer I was too young to order, one of the girls I saw stripping earlier,
the prettiest one, came up to me and struck up a conversation. She was absolutely gorgeous, a great figure and these knockout
green eyes. She was a real sweetheart too, a real nice chick. I was wondering how she got caught up in some place like that.
She couldn’t have been older that eighteen.
Anyway, she told me her name was Candy and I commented
on what a nice, pretty name it was. I offered to buy her a drink but she said she wasn’t allowed to booze on the job
so, finally, she let me buy her a coke. As she was sipping away at it, like a real lady, this bastard struts up to her, like
he was some smooth operator or something, and stuffs a ten dollar bill right between her tits. No kidding, he just put his
hand way the hell down her shirt. I wanted to protest but I mean what I was supposed to do? So she excuses herself and leaves.
I knew she was going to follow that bastard around because he paid her. It’s like some unwritten law. You see, they
want the guys to keep coming back, so they give them service for the cash.
I watched her sauntering over to him. His beer belly was hanging out from one of
those shirts with the pathetic sayings on them like, “Viagra-free zone” or “I’m with stupid.”
He reached around, like he was so slick, and grabbed her pretty little ass with his giant goddamn grubby hand. I felt deeply
sorry for Candy or Karen or Stacy or whatever the hell her real name was.
The place didn’t feel so sexy anymore so I left a twenty on the table and
got up to leave. I didn’t care who took it, but I suppose it was really for Candy. The cheap doors creaked as I shut
them behind me. I could still feel the presence of all the bastards and strippers so I walked a little farther away from the
doors. I stuck my hands in my pockets and headed for home. All, I know is, it takes some kind of man to be the person his
mum thinks he is.
I am broken as
The speech of an immigrant
I scramble to where my arms lay
Four feet away
Remember your leg
In the third grade
When I first met you
And signed your cast
No glue, no plaster
Will fill in the cracks
You are older than I expected
I saw you on the street corner
with puckered lips sucking
on a brown cigar
you should really meet my grandmother
I doubt you saw me
but I want you to know
that your eyes look like small
obsidian stones left over
from the volcano