May 16, 2013
Last night, John, Jay, and Randy took me to a strip club to surprise me. It must have been Randy’s idea because he hates me. I told them they were fucking stupid because I can’t drink so how am I supposed to go into a strip club. I said I’d wait outside, and I pocketed Jay’s pack of cigarettes and lighter.
He said, “what am I gonna do for smokes?”
“Fend for yourself dipshit.” I was so pissed off.
Anyway, they went in and I just leaned outside the club and smoked. They’re lucky it stopped raining. At some point I had to take a piss, so I went out back behind the building. As I was pissing I saw this girl come out of the back exit. This big guy followed her out, shouting at her but I didn’t hear what he was saying. I stopped pissing then, my bladder kind of froze up, so I did up my pants and tried to hear what that guy was saying. I couldn’t tell. The acoustics out back made it all muffled and echoey.
She tried to walk away but he grabbed her arm roughly, pulled her then slammed her against the wall. He put his hand on her throat and started shouting and pointing in her face with his other hand. I decided to get involved. They didn’t see me there and this guy was well deserving of a hard sucker punch to the kidneys, so that’s exactly what I did. Especially since as I approached with Grimm-like stealth (which is very stealthy) I saw him retrieving a switchblade from his inside coat pocket. So I punched him hard in the kidney and he doubled over long enough for me to punch the fucker in the head. That brought him down to his hands and knees. Now I’m not one to kick a man when he’s down, but I did it, because I could tell he was dangerous, and I was protecting that girl. So I kicked him in the same kidney and he fell over sideways.
He leaned up but was partly on his back and held the knife out in front of him. I reached out to the girl who came over and stood behind me. I said to him that we were going to walk away and does he have a problem with that. I said if he did then we’d solve the problem right then and there but he probably wouldn’t be satisfied with the ending.
There was a pause and I suspected that he was going to jump up at me but the girl said, “We’re going. Come on let’s go.”
She started to walk towards the front of the building but I was a little apprehensive about turning my back on that guy. He nodded at me then started to stand. He said, “Get the fuck out of here. This ain’t your business.”
That girl walked fast so I had to catch up with her, turning back a few times to see the guy standing up slowly and brushing himself off, peering at her as she continued on without looking back. I said to her, “Are you ok?” She said, “Yeah.” Then she stopped, looked at me and it looked like she was going to cry and said, “Thank you.” Then she continued walking.
“Do you need any help?”
“I need something to drink. Come with me to get something to drink?”
“I don’t drink. …anymore.”
She laughed. “I mean coffee. Or something. I’m thirsty, tired. I want coffee.”
She told me her name was Vanilla K. When I said my name was Grimm, she said we were like Yin and Yang. We went into Dunkin’ Donuts. I bought her a water, a juice, and a coffee. Got myself a decaf. It’s hard to drink caffeine now unless it’s morning because I don’t sleep well anymore. I don’t take any shit to help me sleep. I even avoid Tylenol PM just to stay away from the potential of an emerging cycle. Decaf coffee from most places tastes like shit though because it’s rarely a fresh pot.
We sat and she asked about my nose. I told her about the gangsta, took my tweed cap off to show her the stitches. She said, “I think you like to fight.”
“I don’t mind it. I don’t start it. Most times.” Then I told her I recently got out of detox and that’s where it happened.
She said she had a good feeling about me, as if she could trust me, even though she trusts no one. I said I’ve been known to give people good feelings.
She laughed because she caught the look in my eye which is like a smirk without my changing my facial expression.
I said, “You laugh a lot for a sad person.”
“How do you know I’m sad?”
“How do you know you can trust me?”
“I laugh when things are funny. I try to appreciate the good things when they happen. No matter how simple.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“You don’t laugh much though.”
“How do you know.”
“You’re amused by a lot of things but you seldom laugh. And you’re a hard person to get close to even though you’re friendly.”
“What makes you so keen.”
“I’m a stripper.”
“Ah, you really have to delve deep into human nature and know your clientele if you want to both get the tips and stay safe.”
“So, if I may ask, why are you a stripper?”
“I have no choice.”
“No choice? Like, literally?”
“Can you get out?”
“Not now but I will. I have a daughter with the club owner. She’s seven. It’s complicated. It’ll take some time to get out. There’s a lot I need to do. Things aren’t right there. I need to fix some things. I’m forced to strip.”
“I want to help you.”
“No, I can do it. Better I do it alone.”
“Is your daughter safe?”
“For the time being, yeah.”
I gave her my cell number and told her to call me if she ever needed anything at all. I persisted in offering my help, but she insisted she didn’t need any. She said she’s never told anyone these things before, but it felt good to tell me, like letting the words that were so heavy just slip into a void and drift off into nothingness, so that for a moment she was herself adrift in nothingness, briefly free of all her burdens.
We talked about music, mostly The Clash and Billie Holiday, and she said she was a fan of Maroon 5. I told her about my situation with Paula and she said it sounds like I’m in the sex business too. I was like, “wwhaaat???”
“Sounds like you’re a gigolo.”
“No, no way.”
“You have sex with her and she provides room and board, and gives you spending money, buys you clothes. What does that sound like?”
“Sounds like…I’m a gigolo.” Then I laughed.
“Hey you laughed.”
I laughed more. “See, I’m no gigolo. Gigolos don’t laugh.”
“You made that up.”
“Yeah I did. But it’s true.”
We talked for a couple hours while my stupid friends were getting their rocks off at the club. They came in to get me, figuring I’d be in either a park or a Dunkin’ Donuts. I said a quick goodbye to Vanilla K before my friends could embarrass me, and I took off with them.
I like meeting people who remind me of reality. I go out there and try to find joy in life, and I get distracted by trivial things. Reminders of reality help me to consider my own condition, and appreciate who I am, and regardless of what I’ve done with my life, I’m reminded to appreciate the things I have that are important. Family, friends, a good mind, and I’m a good person.
I thought about Vanilla K for the rest of the night, even as I laid in bed unable to sleep, hoping for her to soon be free of that world and safe and happy with her daughter.
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Vanilla K is loosely based on reality. She is a character by Kira at http://writingsnapshots.com/ For Vanilla’s side of the story, click here: http://vanillak.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/my-night-with-grimm/