To close a deal
I have to ask you for a favor before you start reading my words, to take this story as it is: a piece of memory. This is just a private circus: it doesn’t have a purpose and doesn’t presume to teach anything. It’s merely a window opened on a world that is hardly understandable.
I still recall him quite clearly. The first thing I knew about him, even before his name, was when he called the club to let us know he would drop by around midnight. He is a gentleman, I heard my boss saying, with a lot of money in his pockets. At that time I didn’t know anything else about this guy. I saw the other dancers giggling around, excited by the forthcoming opportunity to make, in just one night, a shitload of money. And of course, when he entered the club surrounded by his friends, he didn’t even notice me; he went straight to talk to an other girl with bigger bosom, who unfortunately couldn’t speak English. I guess it was never meant to be a warm-hearted story but every time I think of it, kind of makes me smile.
In his late fifties, Rudy was not just a charming and handsome businessman in his laundry fresh white shirt, impeccable blue-navy custom-tailored suit and reliable Derbies; when he came in the house, he was just a dude, exhausted, searching for fun and distractions after a long busy day. I was dancing on the stage when his gaze first met mine. When my performance ended he came to me asking for my name. As we started to talk I realize how droll it was flirting with a man, who has always had everything in his life.
He has tanned and weathered skin, I think, while checking him out. He’s slowly sipping his drink. His crows feet radiate out from the corner of his blue eyes when he laughs and I kinda like it. He doesn’t talk so much tonight though, I’m sure he doesn’t actually feel so comfortable right now, because he keeps looking over his Rolex to clearly avoid a more direct visual contact with me. If it wasn’t for the fact that he came to the club for the third time in a week, just to see me, I would think he’s annoyed. But that’s not the case: he sits close to me, so close I can feel the raw cotton of his trousers against my bare legs. I’m intrigued. I wonder why a man like him, so used to lead people in a big company, cannot stand looking in the eyes of a girl like me; and I’m not even naked, or at least not yet.
Leaning back a bit more on the couch, I plan my next moves. I’m gonna have my lap dance, that has to be clear, and suddenly I’m ashamed of myself. Rudy is a rich man and my only aim is a cheap lap dance? Seriously, I could have much more from him. But I really do want to dance for his eyes only. I must have been gone crazy, I say to myself, appreciating his white and perfect teeth.
Rudy bites his lips and giddy, I shake my head. Drinking abruptly, I finally put an end to my second bottle of champagne. He laughs, genuinely surprised.
“Oh sugar” I said out loud, “what’s so special about it? Am I a stripper or what?”
He grinds, lights up a cigarette and looks over me like he’s expecting something. Then he checks on his fucking Rolex, again.
I am about to explode. Pissed off, I steal one of his Marlboro.
“You know, I talked about you with my wife today”. Rudy finishes his drink. He caught the attention of the barkeeper to order another bottle of Veuve Clicquot, my favorite.
I do not even breathe. I almost threw up all the champagne I’d so far. Putting myself together, I patiently allowed him to take his time before going forward with his nonsense.
“I’ve been smiley lately, she asked me why” he explained perplexed, “I said, I’ve know a nice person”.
I really don’t know what to say. I’m positively embarrassed.
“I did’t mention you are young, that young” he keeps talking, “neither did I say you work here”.
“So what have you told her?” I asked curiously.
“I gave her your name” sighed Rudy.
He looked as if he was suffering. He reached my face with his hand, giving me goosebumps. Awkward. Thank God the waitress came in interrupting us with a brand new bottle. For me, that was the right time to think about what to say next, without being stupid nor naive. If I reject him he won’t stay all night, I though, lighting up another cigarette.
Rudy kept staring at me.
I have to admit, I was into trouble. I work as a stripper in a nightclub; every shift brings me money and men whom I usually don’t care about. But this one here, this Rudy here, I really enjoyed his company. On one side I was fighting myself to overcome feelings and be the cold money maker machine everybody believes I was, but on the other side I just wanted to be free to spend time with a man I liked. The truth is that I didn’t care about his money. What a shame for a stripper huh?
Trying to be professional, I smiled, again. He poured more champagne in my glass and I wait for him to say something.
“Screw me” he whispered, “I’ve got a daughter of your age”.
I decided I’m not gonna talk, I want to follow the stream of his thoughts and see where it is leading. Or maybe, I could help him a bit. “That’s what bothers you?” I ask gently touching his watch.
He stopped moving when I come closer. I could smell his cologne. My head was spinning around; the music coming from the consolle, all of a sudden seemed pretty loud. I looked him in his eyes while mentally counting how many glasses I had drunk. Two bottles, eight glasses each; but Rudy drinks faster than me. So, four more glasses, maybe, and ten minutes each one. How much money?
The heart of a stripper is as dry as the desert, they said, as dry as the paper of the banknotes that passes every night between her fingers. And yet… Lighting up one more cigarette, I push my man away.
“I want to spend the night with you”
He’s direct, I like it but I’m not telling anything. He already knows that’s not gonna happen. But I want him to think that he is in control.
“But it’s late. I should be already in bed. My wife’s probably worrying” hissed him, letting his arms fall down on his thighs. Rudy weighs his opportunities up while looking at me so intensely that I almost lose the ability to behave. “You are dangerous” he whispered shaking his head again and again while fighting his own inner battle. Can you imagine a faithful married man longing for a stripper?
At that point I was waiting for the usual stupid line; something like: please, don’t judge me, I love my wife but we don’t have sex anymore.
“I can’t believe, you make me feel like an idiot, a school boy!” He said, inflating my ego. “I’ve been dreaming of you”
Oh so apt! Now I am startled. As I realized I am really not in control of my body, I grabbed his hand. “Stay” I say out of the blue.
He smiled showing a bit of his teeth, lights up a Marlboro then pass it to me. “Then tell me what to do”.
I remember my heart driving fast when I left the table directed to the VIP room upstairs. He supported me while climbing up the stairs, by gently holding my waist. Oh well… I won’t share the details, what happens in the VIP room, stays in the VIP room. Whether we had a passionate night together or not, doesn’t actually matter. Rudy left the next morning without saying a word. He din’t ask for a contact, a number, nor did he said goodbye or promised me anything more than what we just had. He kissed me longer and then left. It is useless to say it, but I never saw him again.