The sound of a motorcycles engine revving takes over the speaker system as the song girls, girls, girls, by Motley Crew starts. This is the anthem to introduce the stripper special. A two for one deal. It happens every hour, on the hour, and most all of us hate it.
Unless a girl has been rented in the VIP room and is otherwise occupied for an hour. She’s required to be on the main floor, to present herself. The song plays and the girl’s file onto the stage. They wave, giggle, and eye fuck the crowd. Planting seeds in the minds of the man sea, to seal a deal, that is her.
A man gestures to come to him, so I head down the stairs, and onto the floor. He grabs my hand and heads toward a table and says…
“I want to buy a dance for my friend, Geoffrey.”
A sigh of relief. Because, it doesn’t matter. I’m usually busy during these things, but on the odd occasion, I’ll get stuck in a two for one undercurrent…
This nonsense is inevitably boring, or gross, or both. The kinds of men that get excited about the two for one specials, are the same kinds of men that go on cruises, or use coupons at the car wash. The same men that wear Speedo’s on the beach, or short shorts without underwear at the pool. The ones with their leg up, exposing a testicle, and “reading”. They’re usually sleazy, cheap sleazy. They only do deals, shop bargains, and buy in bulk. They’re the bare minimum crowd. They will also nurse a drink for 2 hours, and try to finger you when you sit down. They live at the table dance section, where all dances are ten dollars. They’re shrapnel, garnish, and bottom feeders.
So, it doesn’t matter…
We get to the table and I am introduced to Geoffrey. A tiny man on crutches. A tiny man who has about three teeth, total, and he smells like urine. I walk beside Geoffrey as he waddles and we head into the VIP room.
He falls into the vinyl booth and looks up at me with a huge smile on his face. I help him get his crutches sorted, then take a seat beside him.
It takes a moment for the room to get settled, and all the dancers to find their positions. So, little Geoffrey and I make chitchat while we wait. He’s very sweet. Soft spoken, and shy. He is a little overwhelmed by my being there, and by my actually looking at him. He also has a stench coming out of his mouth that could kill a large dog. A large, healthy dog. It’s disgusting, gut wrenching, and palpable. You can taste it, and I am angry with him because of it.
The sound of his voice disappears, and I can only hear myself, furious, trying to make sense of it all…
“How in the holy fuck does he not smell that? It’s unimaginable. There’s no way he can’t smell that. It’s like death, and mold, and shame. If shame had a smell, this would be it. For fuck sake Geoffrey. Of course, your name’s Geoffrey. Wasn’t the guy in psycho’s name Geoffrey? No, that was Norman. If you put Geoffrey in a locked bedroom to read a book out loud, the wall paint will peel off. Oh my God, it keeps getting into my mouth somehow, and I’m not even talking. It’s getting in through my nose...”
My head keeps cocking to the side slightly, like a confused dog, or a boxer trying to dodge an incoming punch. Or in this case, the Geoffrey vapor. And just when I think I can’t take it anymore, the DJ announces the first song, and I’m up, assuming the position.
I lean over him, avoiding his face, and put one of my legs in between his. I’m being careful to hold my breath, but should I choose to inhale, I take the air path of least resistance. And the one furthest away from Geoffrey.
While I smile at him, and he smiles at me, I continue my internal conversation of anger, and frustration. Filing through words like mouthwash, and, Colgate, thinking about flavors and color choices.
“It can’t be that he hates the taste of mint. And if he does, there’s flavorless options.”
I calculate the time it takes, versus the end result. I’m also wondering why nobody has told him. A stench like this doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process. He only has three teeth. Did the others run from the stench also?
I wink at him, then quickly turn around and bend over. I can’t bear to look at him anymore. I’m scared I will say something. I’m like a Skunk turning my tail to him in disgust.
The sound of the fake giggles and hands slapping bare ass cheeks interrupt me. And I put my hands down onto Geoffrey’s knees, for a deeper bend, and the world slows down…
Under my left hand, under Geoffrey’s pants, is a knee. But not a fleshy knee, it’s a plastic one. Little wobbly, foul mouthed Geoffrey, has a prosthetic leg.
Confusion sets in…
Is this for real? He has a prosthetic leg, on top of the mouth sauce situation? This is fucked up. And Twenty dollars feels like rape at this point.
Now what do I do? I turn to get away from the face, and now I have a limb problem.
Do I sit, or don’t I sit? If I do sit, will I pop his leg off? And if I did, then what? Would I feel compelled to reach down and reattach it? Would that be my responsibility, or his? And, how do they attach? I thought they just slipped on, like a sock. But does that mean they just slip off? How much pressure can they take? Can I lean on it? He has crutches, in addition to the leg. What does that mean? Isn’t it usually one or the other? I mean, isn’t the prosthetic leg supposed to be a working leg, just, prosthetic? Is this off the rack? Do they even sell them like that? I thought they needed to be sized, like shoes. Maybe it’s a prototype? Perhaps he was part of a clinical trial, a bad one, and this is the leg he ended up with? Maybe it’s an older model, and he can’t afford a new one. He can’t afford teeth, or mouthwash, so what makes me think he can afford the latest model leg? Does it even work that way? Are legs like cars, each year they come out with a new model?
I look down at him, feeling a little dizzy. I’ve been holding my breath for a few minutes now, talking to myself. Geoffrey of course is oblivious to my internal banter, and just stares up at me, grinning.
Six minutes seems like days at this point. And I am again, spinning in my head. I lean in so my belly is close to his face, but then imagine a horror film where he takes a bite out of me, and I can see him open mouthed, chewing.
I also have a voice in my head that feels terrible for being so disgusted with him. He’s smiling, three teeth wide, and quietly having a great time. He’s polite, he’s being a good boy and keeping his hands to himself. And you can tell that he’s genuinely kind, simple, and respectful. He just reeks of piss and rotting flesh is all. Even if he did brush all three of his teeth, I’m not sure the mint would be enough.
The second song finally ends, and I return to Geoffrey’s stare. I take a deep breath and lean in to give him a kiss on the cheek. He turns his head slightly and rubs my nose with his nose, like we are seven and sneaking an eskimo kiss behind the lunch truck. Then he whispers…
“Thank you so much Jaime, you are so nice.”
I can feel his breath on my face, and I want to scream. But I give him a huge smile instead.
“You are so sweet Geoffrey, it was a pleasure to meet you.”
He reaches for his crutches and heads out. I walk to the back of the house, to go and wash my hands, and google prosthetic legs