One day you get to a certain age and realize your birthday just doesn't have the same old gusto that it did when you were young. I woke up on my birthday this year feeling tired and vaguely unnerved. It was hot and sticky like I was covered in flytraps.
That's the one thing I remember from my birthdays of the past. It was always such a hot, humid, hazy summer day. Today was no different. A 'Triple Threat' as the Star called it. While we're on the topic of headlines I must note the Sun's brilliant monosyllabic summation of the G20 protests--'THUGS!". Almost as good as 'BASTARDS' after 9/11. But back to me...I'm so glad that my birthday is tucked nicely into summer because I wouldn't be caught dead with a toque in any of those photos thank you very much. I have a small little pea sized head and though my hair is slowly but surely jettisoning itself in a suicide pact against my beauty I still look dumber in a toque. Go figure.
So on the day of the old B-day I got up and brushed my teeth and decided what the hell I was going to do with my birthday and by extension, my life. Just fucking get it over with man make a decision and get on with it. Yeah yeah yeah I say to myself it'll happen just be patient. You know you're getting older when you just don't care about having fun anymore. Shit. You wake up and haven't got a good goddamn thing to do on your birthday. A tragedy really.
I resolved to have a few drinks at a couples place. After all, I didn't need the pageantry of a big parade just the intimacy of a couple good friends. We sat around deciding what to do with the night and then since our female companion had never seen the enirons of a strip club the two boys thought what the hell, she at least has to see what she's missing. Truth be told she was probably more excited about going than me. I don't care much for strip clubs and I've only been a handful of times in my legal aged life. I approach these establishments with an indifference; there's no romance in here! Absolutely no chance of meeting my future ex-wife in here. Or is there? I'd rather go to a shitty bar and shoot the shit.
I can't clearly remember if we went to The House of Lancaster or Club Paradise. They're both just a few steps away on Bloor St. Once inside I it doesn't matter much which place you're in though. I always hated the atmosphere in strip clubs and there's only two types of people roaming the floor...strippers looking to make a buck and crusty perverts. My sexual instincts took hold of me, eyes scanning the scantily clad ladies for a slice of heaven. Out of the strippers half were probably crack-head babies; half were normal. Who was I to know the difference? Isn't it like that at every job?
I laid eyes on this beautiful girl sitting aimlessly on a barstool staring out into the nauseating view of the club. It could be a vista of Hollywood, or a shot of some lions grazing in the Serengeti. But it wasn't. I boosted the courage to go and talk to this beauty--blond, petite with a cute face. Kind of like the singer Jewel. I assure you I could see my unborn babies in her eyes.
'Could I trouble you for a dance?' I said non chalantly.
I was led to the private dancing area. A series of three sided black boxes where the empty space of the fourth wall had live action dancing human flesh. I liked what the decorator had done with place. Even though by this point I was nearly seeing double Gia (I had my doubts but she insisted it was her real name)--was being seen in high def believe me.
I was too drunk to get an erection but that didn't stop my wallet from ejaculating all over the place. I kept paying for song after song. We got to talking and she filled me up with fake stripper charm. But you know what? I was pretty lonely and fully loaded; plus fake charm feels better than no charm at all. Gosh, at some points I was staring into her eyes and professing my need to take her out for dinner atop the 360 restaurant at the CN Tower. We'd revolve over and above the entire city and marvel at the endless human madness. I get so bloody emotional after a few too many don't I?
I told her to slap me lightly and talk dirty. She served them both up to perfection. I just couldn't pry myself from this sensuous encounter. It was like she had an instant spell on me.
After $140 I decided finally that enough was enough so I went to the bank machine to get her the money and swiped my card about 7-8 times because I was too drunk to get the damn thing to work. Jesus fucking Christ I'm swiping the thing backward forward, slow then fast then flipping it upside down then using my other hand and reversing it. It's still not working!
Finally I get to the prompt where I enter my password. Shit. What's that again?
I recovered my wits and out spewed the money. We proceeded to sit down and have a couple drinks. We were talking and having quite a good time. I got her to agree to a date. Hell I don't get these strippers, these women that straddle the line between upstanding girl and downright prostitute. She's giving me her attention and her phone number. What is this game she's playing? I know strippers are paid to be nice and make you feel special but she was letting me touch her breasts and spank her and kiss her neck. And yes it was really her phone number because I didn't believe it and called her when we were standing together towards the end of the night.
Then it was her turn to dance.
'As soon as I'm done I'm going to come back and hang out with you, okay?'
'Yeah I hope so.'
I was starting to think leaving and going back to my friends house was the best idea.
I'm sitting there alone at some B- strip club on my birthday but at least I've fallen in love with a stripper. Can you spell sucker? What ever shall I do? I'm just going to sit here and text my friend and vaguely watch her dance out of the corner of my eye. Grab the odd peak at those sweet flanks. I felt oddly powerful sitting there looking about the crowd thinking, however deluded, 'Go ahead boys, get an eyeful she's coming home with me.'
Sure enough she sat down with me after her dance. The erotic dance, which by the way, is hilarious. First of all the girls slowly levitate up out of the undergound on a rising circular disco platform. Then they go to the pole and do their dance for the hungry masses. 'Could I live with this as a boyfriend? The answer came swift and abrupt: 'Yes, if she looked like her,' I thought as I watched and texted my friend to come back to the club and have a nightcap.
We had some more drinks and some more dances, maybe $60 worth for a grand total of $200. That's a lot in my world but really how can you put a price tag on love?
The final cue came; the lights in the club were turned up, the universal sign of closing time. I worried about how my thinning hair would look in this bright intense light. Shit, nowhere to hide. She didn't seem to mind and I left with the promise to call Gia on Monday which was an agonizing 2 days away.
I woke up much more hungover than the day of my birthday and couldn't stop thinking about Gia's body and calling her the next day. How to slice up 24 hours into neatly tolerable intervals? Buy an Iced Cap and read the paper, fuck me 22.5 hours left. Slowly but inevitably the next day came and I still I couldn't get her out of my mind, the little freckles about her nose, the thighs which were smooth as butter. She had a white trash tattoo of a lurching serpent or something or other on her back. I was too drunk to remember anything worth remembing of it.
I never did get the courage to actually call but in the spirit of the times I texted her twice, once at 11:30 and once at 4:30 and she never got back to me. I employed the 5 hour text rule.
Being sober from the allure of the situation I find it so difficult to actually call her. I feel like a different person now. What is a boy to do? I simply go on like a cork bobbing on the surface of another day.