Bandana’s dark brown hair hangs past her ass. She’s no more than five feet tall. Her temperament opposes her stature; the woman fumes at the smallest slight.
The bartender cuts her off. The bouncer sends her home.
“Fuck you,” she says.
She stomps back to the dressing room. Her black heels dig into the carpet.
Only one other woman sees her in the dressing room. Bandana lifts up her black dress.
“Say shit and die, bitch,” she says to the other stripper who applies more lipstick as she looks at Bandana through the mirror.
Bandana spreads her legs and sways as warm yellow liquid gushes out of her as she stands. The waves of pee slosh against her stilettos. Her laughter fills the room.
The other dancer leaves. The bouncer enters. He picks her up out of the piss puddle and carries her through the club and out the front door.
Dickforbrains sits at the rack but refuses to tip.
“Don’t waste your money on these sluts,” he says to every dude who approaches the stage.
I walk over to the bartender, only clad in a black thong and black eight-inch heels.
“Can you get this jerk out of here,” I say.
“He’s fine, get back on stage.”
No amount of rationale or explanation can sway the equally douche-y bartender.
I walk back to the stage. Dickforbrains still won’t bounce.
I climb the 20-foot pole and survey the club. Mr. Jagoff Bartender slings drinks for some blonde, and none of the customers are paying attention after the stage being cleared moments prior.
The brass pole chills my bare skin. All of my weight balances in my thighs. I pull myself in front of the pole, my arms arched behind me, my ankles wrapped around the brass. I slide down like the curve of Cupid’s bow and stare down Dickforbrains.
I dance over to him, because I’m a professional. I smile. He laughs with all of his gut.
“Let me see your pussy,” he says.
“Dude, you haven’t tipped for the last two songs. You don’t get to see shit,” I say.
“Stupid fucking bitch,” he says.
I pick up the ashtray next to him. Without thinking, I chuck it across the room and it shatters against the wall of mirrors. Shards fly through the air. A single piece slashes Dickforbrains two inches above his eye. He screams.
The bartender runs over. I laugh.
“Get dressed and get the hell out of here,” he says to me.
I go downstairs, put on my jeans, and pack my bag and leave, with zero fucks given.
A payphone stands alone against a fenced lot about a block away from the club. I dial the owner’s phone number. I leave a voice mail and explain the injustice with Dickforbrains and Mr. Jagoff Bartender.
I hang up, tears of frustration in my eyes. I turn around and he’s sitting in his black Jaguar.
“Get in,” he says.
“I’m sorry,” I say.
“I’ll fix it. You know you’re my favorite. But Mr. Jagoff Bartender wants you 86’d. Just take a week off.”
He hands me an envelope and drives me home.
Desperateforfriends throws cash at the black hole in his life where the need for companionship swells like a boil on a teenager’s back. It festers. Throbs. Stings. He feeds it here, under the black lights, projects it onto me as I hang upside down from the brass pole like some postmodern mystic. A fiver and 10 ones line the rack in front of him. I still have my thong on. I leave the stage. He stops me. I hold the crumbled bills in one hand and my hot pink tube dress in the other.
“I heard you’re a rapper. I want to make a bet,” he says.
I raise my eyebrows. Stash the cash in my tiny purse.
“Let’s battle. You can go first.” He pulls out $40. “If you win, I’ll give you this,” he holds up the two twenties, “And I’ll walk out the door.”
“Janet. Judge this rap battle,” I say to my near-by co-worker.
The three of us walk over to a loveseat in the table dance area. I put down my dress and stand topless in heels.
I clear my throat. I spit:
“Yo, I already said what you wanted to hear
Are you just wasting my time?
Or are you gonna buy me a beer?
Or maybe a table dance?
We’ll fake the romance
I look down & I can see your dick in your pants
And it ain’t that big
Under these black lights
There’s a stain on your leg
And you wear those goofy ass glasses to look intelligent”
Desperateforfriends looks down at his pants, then looks up at me with—real talk—tears in his bloodshot eyes.
He hands me the two twenties, shakes his head and walks toward the exit in silence.
These flash fiction stories originally appeared in Exotic Magazine, March 2017.