Yes, I know. It’s been awhile. Two major events currently: my first show premiere-red carpet and everything! And two: I have a new girlfriend. And let me tell you: she’s hot. I went against one of my earlier rules but at least she’s not a stripper, a former stripper, doesn’t dress like a stripper and doesn’t act like a stripper. But she’s still a woman and a handful, as am I, so it should be interesting. Needless to say, both of these things have taken up the majority of my time and energy so I apologize for keeping all of you waiting.
Dating again after almost three years is extremely difficult. I’m full of baggage that feeds my insecurities and my imagination, so I have to constantly remind myself that she is not reminiscent of any of my exes; especially the ones in Atlanta which is where most of my relationship woes have taken place. But even with that said, none of them have treated me quite as badly as ‘Jen’, who along with her friends, dumped me in a parking lot and left me to die. I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll start from the beginning…
You remember Jen, right? If not, refer back to my previous entries. But here are the highlights:
Jen is a petite, hot Asian American who manages the bikini bar across the way from my club, we’ve been out a couple of times, had some encounters in the back room, a backseat, a dressing room. Remember? Good. She’s also the one who picked me up from the scene of a horrible car accident in Orlando where my car was totaled and I was a wreck.
Since the night of the accident, I worked in Tampa for several days, saving for a down payment. My car was totalled out and I did receive some money back from the insurance company. If anyone’s interested, they never caught the guy who caused my car wreck, but suffice it to say that I’m sure karma has caught up to him in some way. I got a rental car for a while thanks to handy-dandy insurance and my bruises were healing nicely. I hated my rental car: no power-steering, hardly picked up any radio stations, no cd player…I’m surprised it had brakes. It was a white hatchback thing that our bouncer jokingly named ‘Odie’ from Garfield. I was very eager for a new car. And I finally bought one-my first brand new car purchased all by myself. Which is why I stupidly paid full sticker price. Mmhm…I’ll repeat that. Full. Sticker. Price. I learned the hard way on that one. Now I know better…a little. I’m just not good at haggling. I hated it when customers did it to me so it didn’t occur to me to haggle with a car salesman! It’s just rude. I’m defending myself valiantly, I know, but I did like my brand spanking new ride, just not the payments of course.
After my purchase, I ran into another dilemma – I bought my new car back home in Orlando but my rental car was picked up in Tampa. Yep, you guessed it…I had to turn it back in to the location in Tampa. You would think with all the world travelers that wouldn’t make any sense. As long as I turned it in to the proper company, that should be enough, right? Wrong. And trust me, I argued until I was blue in the face. But at least they compromised on a location midway between Tampa and Orlando. Mucho thanks to my Tampa friend who graciously met me at the midway drop-off and drove me back to Orlando and then she went back to Tampa. I can’t imagine what the gas would have cost today with that trip. ‘Odie’ was quite the little gas guzzler.
I continued traveling from Orlando to Tampa, working my cute little ass off and proudly riding in style…style being a new Honda. I was a stripper but I was a conscious stripper who at least had the good mind to be sensible. I wasn’t into this scene forever. So it happen one day that Jen invited me out with her and some of her girlfriends. I thought, why not? I deserved a night out and it was cool of her to introduce me to some of her people…those who weren’t men that she’d make out with in front of me. I got ready at home in Orlando. I remember my attire distinctly: I wore a halter pantsuit that had dual slits on either side of my legs. My shoes were silver lace-ups and my hair was freshly blow-dried and straightened, flowing past my shoulders very nicely. I carried a small silver (?) clutch purse as well. All of these details are important, as you’ll realize later. I felt pretty and I looked hot as I drove myself to Tampa, not knowing that in the return trip, I would not be driving my own car home.
I got to Jen’s, met her friends and, of course, they were all stunning. I don’t think Jen had unattractive friends, male or female. She just wouldn’t allow it. I was excited about going out with Jen again. I admit it. She was sexy, pretty popular, knowing so many people throughout town…almost too many. Like I’ve mentioned before, Jen had a reputation and I had been warned by people I knew and even a couple that I didn’t. I reasoned that everyone has a past and shouldn’t be judged on it. I mean, I knew that I wouldn’t be dancing forever and I definitely wouldn’t want my past experience as an exotic dancer to prohibit me from a successful career or relationship. FYI: I believe in everything I just said. However, one must be very selective when revealing a stripping history. Humans are judgmental by nature and for some reason, when someone knows that you used to get naked for a living, they look at you completely differently. And not in a, ‘I wonder what she looks like naked’ kind of way, but in a ‘I wonder how many laps she’s grinded on’ kind of way. It’s especially true in dating. Don’t mention it, especially if they say you look so familiar. If you still reside in the town where you stripped, there is a 50% chance that he has seen you in a strip club. And no, my current girlfriend doesn’t know and I have no intention of telling her. If and when this blog ever turns into a book, I hope that she is so in love with me by that point that she won’t stay mad at me for too long. Here’s to hoping…on both counts.
So I continued to give Jen the benefit of the doubt. It didn’t last long. After all of us hotties piled into Jen’s Lexus, we were on our way to Ybor City…Tampa’s club central. And on the way, Jen shared details about her encounter with some guy (happen to be the same guy she had made out with in front of me the last time we were out). The details included how horrible he was, how little his penis was, etc. I saw my fun night slip away like the early morning memory of a dream. The rumors were true…that fucking slut.
We hit the first club. Had one round of red-headed sluts, stood at the bar commenting on people’s lack of fashion sense…next club, one round of red-headed sluts (yeah, Jen was real original but since she knew every bartender and the drinks were free, we didn’t complain), commented on how no cute guys existed anymore…next club, one round of red-headed sluts, some bitch commented that I needed a better bra, I told her she needed a better plastic surgeon…on to the next club, our final destination. I’d like to make mention that I had no buzz whatsoever and I was not having a good time. Everything was boring: Jen, the guys, the girls, Jen’s girls — it actually sucked and I was looking forward to driving home very soon. Things looked up when Jen introduced me to the manager of this last club. I forget his name but I remember meeting him once before and he seemed like a pretty nice guy. The bonus was – he needed a choreographer. I’m a choreographer. Suddenly, the night was looking up. We discussed what he was looking for, how many dancers he had, the style he was going for. I would be able to hold auditions and perform if I wanted to. He wanted very classy performances. He wanted to buy me a drink.
I said sure. I ordered something that was pretty strong, having had very little during the night. A rum runner. This was the last rum runner I’d ever have in my life. It just brings back too many memories. I think I took a sip of one years later, only to remind myself why I couldn’t drink it. In fact, I gave up sweet drinks entirely. Months later when I was brave enough to drink again, I switched to straight vodka. But I digress. The manager and I continued to chat it up and I was thrilled to have the opportunity for a performing job again. A real one. I was already making plans to move to Tampa. Orlando wasn’t doing it for me and after the accident, the drive was actually nauseating and costly. (I got my very first speeding ticket in my new car on the way to work one night. The officer was kind enough to hand me the clipboard inside the car instead of resting it on the window, ‘don’t wanna scratch up your new car.’ Sweet, very sweet of him.)
So this potential new gig came at the right moment. And so did my need to use the bathroom. BAR RULE #1: LADIES, NEVER LET YOUR DRINK OUT OF YOUR LINE OF VISION. Did I know this rule? I’d heard of it. Did I think that I could possibly be the victim of a drugging? No, not this guy. He’s a nice guy and he’s offering me a job and he’s the manager and he’s a friend of a friend. So why should I have worried. This goes back to my naiveté in the world of clubs, period. Sometimes a lesson learned is a painfully severe one. I used the restroom, leaving my drink on the bar next to the manager. I remember it very clearly, actually, because the entrance to the bathrooms were right there. Upon my return, all I had to do was turn the corner and the bar, the manager and my drink were clearly visible. Something being in my drink was the furthest thing from my mind. Plus, drinking it was the last thing on my mind as well, until he offered to take us to the VIP area. I was leaving the drink there. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t because of the rule, it was because of the sugar. For my system, sugar and alcohol don’t mix if I haven’t eaten very much food and my stomach didn’t care for the rum runner at all. Which is the reason I went to the restroom. Walking away from it, he politely reminded me not to forget my drink. Nice, nice man. I grabbed it to be courteous and show that I was grateful. I didn’t want to ruin my opportunity. I had choreographed shows for nightclubs before and I knew I’d be perfect for this job and I could easily start making a reputation for myself. I did leave with a reputation that night.
I remember the VIP area. It was on the opposite side of the club from where we had been sitting at the bar. It was on a raised platform and there were already some people in it. Guys. They seemed nice enough. Other people started joining us as they recognized Jen and wanted to be in her amazing presence so seats filled up quickly. A nice blonde guy offered me his lap. It was gentlemanly and he didn’t try anything. After that things started happening rather quickly. First, I did finish the drink. I was not having a good time and I still hadn’t exchanged numbers with the manager, who was nowhere to be found. I figured finishing it would ease my nerves because I was ready to go. There was no one here for me. The only person I had been interested in turned out to be the whore everyone said she was so the thrill was gone. Eventually, I figured I’d just call the club or stop by again one evening. Then everything got blurry. Like in a dream. People were blurs and the lights were making weird effects in front of my eyes and I just could not focus on anything. I was able to feel through my purse for my phone, but I couldn’t see the numbers. My one really good friend who lived in Tampa was speed dial #3 and I had to feel through those tiny ass Nokia buttons to press the right one. I got her voicemail. Damn, she was at work and I had no idea what was going on. I left her a message. At least that’s what I thought I was doing. My mouth felt like my tongue had swollen to the size of 2 jumbo marshmallows. I couldn’t talk worth a damn. I repeated my message as slowly as I could until I knew the voicemail cut me off — “Help me, I’m at Inferno with Jen. I can’t see.” I hung up, trying to look around and focus on who was closest to me. I recognized no one. So I got up and just went to each person, trying to get their attention and tell them that something was wrong. People bitched because I stepped on a foot or grabbed a breast but I didn’t really give a shit. I knew something was seriously wrong and I was scared to death.
Finally, I heard Jen’s voice, ‘%$^&*, what’s wrong? Are you okay?’ I shook my head no and promptly hit the floor.
Now, I must interrupt briefly to explain something…I’ve definitely had my fair share of passed out nights from drinking too much, barely remembering anything from the night before. I will be the first to admit it. I went through a horrible 6 month bout with continuous excessive drinking while working in Atlanta which you will definitely read about one day. But this experience was not that. At this point in my life, I was hardly a heavyweight and I knew when to call it quits. Plus, I can count on one hand the number of drinks I had that night. I’ll stand by that to my grave.
When I hit the floor, I wasn’t unconscious. I just had no strength to stand. I was so hot that I felt like I was burning alive. I wanted cold water, but I didn’t have the strength nor ability to ask for it. And I heard everything. People screamed, Jen screamed my name…I even heard the bouncer over all of the music and yelling that Jen needed to get me out of there right now. Jen and her friends couldn’t lift me. The bouncer picked me up and slung me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and carried me through the crowd and outside. I felt everything and I was completely helpless. One thing that I was truly grateful for was the cool air. It was so damn hot! I heard the bouncer ask where the car was and I knew where it was…at the complete other end of Ybor City. We parked at one end and club hopped to the opposite end, where Inferno was located so we were screwed. There was no way those three girls could carry me all the way to the car.
And the journey started. He was nice enough to carry me, but he was none too gentle. I guess I can’t really blame him. Who wants to carry some passed out chick down several blocks from his job through crowds of drunk people. Not fun. But I thank him. If he hadn’t, who knows where I would have ended up or who would have had access to me. He took a break a little ways down and set me on the curb with Jen next to me. She tried to hold me up but I kept slumping onto the ground. I actually rolled myself over to put my face on the cement. The cold ground felt amazing to me because I was burning up so badly. I heard her tell me, ‘not the ground, come on, sit up’, and she tried to hold me up. While she did this, her two friends are yelling at her. “What’s up with your girl? What the fuck? What did she drink?” I wanted to shout at her, “I drank the same thing as you, bitch, except for that last one now shut the fuck up!” I felt really bad for Jen and I know I was trying to say that I was sorry because at this point I’m thinking that it’s completely my fault. I must have drunk the rum runner too fast, or I didn’t eat enough. I had no clue what was going on.
We continued our jaunt down the packed sidewalk. I heard Jen direct him to her car and he put me in the backseat behind Jen, who was driving. And then I got to listen to how I ruined the night and ‘what the fuck’ and ‘what drugs does she do, Jen?’ If I could’ve jerked my head up then, I would’ve. My arms were by my sides as I was slumped over, barely held in by the seatbelt. Thankfully, Jen told them that I didn’t do drugs. ‘Well what do we do with her?” Do with me? How about a hospital you dumb ass? That would’ve been logical. A human being is unconscious and could possibly be dying on the seat next to you. I guess the next moment threw them for a loop: The girl in the backseat with me knew what was happening before I did: my brain was operating a second behind reality at this point. I was throwing up. There was no bodily motion of upchucking, it simply poured out. I was so hot I couldn’t even feel the warmth from my vomit hitting my lap. I only knew because of what I heard: “Ewwwww, oh my God, she’s throwing up! We got to get rid of her! Get her out of here!” More screams erupted…at this point, I could only imagine the escalating panic Jen was going through – she had crazed girls screaming and retreating as far as they could to one side of the car and she had a sick, unconscious one behind her ruining her carpet and leather seats. It could have turned into one hell of a vomit-fest in her luxury automobile. I could almost forgive her. Almost.