Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sidney Crosby Stanley Cup Slumber Party

I can tell my life is boring when I get crushes on random athletes en masse. This phenomenon happens approximately once a year for a month-long period or so. Another inevitable part of this cycle is the need to watch uplifting sports documentaries and interviews. Based on previous year's sports fixations, it's my informed opinion that the whole thing is a fairly accurate sign that I'm definitely not optimizing my creative potential at present. However, the phase must run its course.

I tell ya, stripping apparently drains the upward mobility and artistic impulses out of me. However, when I re-watch old Joe Calzaghe interviews it's much easier for me to stay inspired. I believe life is worth living when I watch that humble man jogging down Welsh dirt roads and training in a converted shed with his father.

And when I see Sidney Crosby (who still lives in Mario Lemieux's guest house even though he is 21 years old) all snuggled up with the Stanley Cup:

I once again believe in everything that is good and noble and true about mentorship and one generation virtuously succeeding the next. In sports, at least.

Babycakes etc.

"As a Bokonist, of course, I would have agreed gaily to go where anyone suggested. As Bokonon says: "Peculiar travel suggestion are dancing lessons from God."
-- Kurt Vonnegut, "Cat's Cradle"

Yesterday afternoon I decided to make myself as attractive as possible and set out for a little adventure with a friend. I surrendered my own objectives and simply did whatever he wanted to do. It was really fun.

I started by getting my hair washed and set, as I do every week, at a Dominican salon in my neighborhood. I think they overcharge me because I'm white, but I don't really mind. They always do a great job. I passed the time under the hairdryer reading the early short stories of Flannery O'Connor (I've been enjoying O'Connor so much lately I've had a really difficult time putting her books away when it's time to work at the strip club where reading is frowned upon).

I really wanted this purse:

I saw it in a boutique window a couple of doors down from Babycakes, a vegan bakery where I met up with my aforementioned friend. We ate red velvet cupcakes and raspberry jelly rolls made with spelt flour and agave nectar-- the only baked goods I've eaten recently due to my moratorium on white flour and refined sugar. Then we bought surprisingly good books from card tables set up on the street near NYU and rambled around the Village.

Afterward I had a date with a very nervous man I doubt I'll see again. He is smart, but far too ill at ease in his own skin for me.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I need to stop walking down my block during daylight hours on Sunday or else suck it up and go to church more often. Since Sunday services at the nearly next-door Pentecostal church I've often attended last all day, the odds I'll see a fellow congregant I know on the sidewalk are apparently 100& at any given time. Plus, since I'm seemingly the only white person ever known to attend this particular church, my fellow parishioners remember me well.

It always makes me feel guilty.

Today I ran into a deaconess I like a lot while on my way to pick up some fruit.

"You been working hard lately?" she asked, which is a kind way to inquire about my unexplained absence from the church.

"Yeah. Too hard," I responded briefly.

"I'm off all summer. I work for the Board of 'Ed, so I'm free till September." She smiled.

"Lucky lady!" I laughed and shuffled off with a smile and a backward wave, happy to see her but not exactly thrilled to have to dodge her questions in advance about the nature of my work, etc.

Rough stuff. I do it to myself.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Staal Brothers Make Me Dizzy

I have a big crush on all four of the tall, blonde Staal brothers, three of whom already play in the NHL (the youngest is eligible for next season's draft). Yesterday evening I watched an interview with second-eldest Jordan Staal (who probably gets sick of all those questions about his wunderkind Penguins teammate Sidney Crosby) with the sound off while dancing on the bar stage at Tryst. I almost fell all over myself when they showed side-by-side shots of him with his gorgeous brothers. Such an overwhelming dose of masculine beauty is hard to handle while one is trying to stay balanced on 5-inch heels at the end of an 8-hour shift.

PS 2 Reading over my recent posts makes me cringe. I've been such an ungrateful whiner!!!!! No more!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


The cancer lurks secure and spreading where furtiveness hides in rows of decaying brick.
-- HP Lovecraft, "The Horror at Red Hook"

My state of torpor has increased to such a degree that I woke up the past few mornings with an alarm bell going off in my mind-- a loud, urgent reminder that sloth is a sin. I feel like a dying pile of flesh, trapped in a paralyzing cycle of indecision. I have become another lost and morally diseased person in a dirty neighborhood of drug dealers and addicts, though my crisis has to do with total confusion and exhaustion, rather than addiction. I feel trapped bodily in my own home, with no ability to envision an outside world outside wider in scope or possibility than the strip club or occasional church sanctuary. Lack of vision is an imprisoning force-- when paired with almost total surcease of energy, the effect is as disgusting as it is weighty.

When I walk down the block to buy food, I encounter people, some of whom I know and like, yet I can't seem to find connections with others or a regular schedule of work manageable anymore.

"When are you coming back to the church?" a tall young man asked me Sunday as I passed him on the street in front of the Pentecostal church near my home.

"I don't know. I have no excuse for not coming in anymore. I'm just lazy." I said without inflections or emotion, neglecting to add that I also feel tainted with the shame of working in a dishonorable profession.

In short: things are bad.

I've found that people in this world who stop contributing to the greater good and become trapped in their own egoic cycles of misery tend to fall into a rapid state of despair and decay (in that order). I don't want to be one of those people.

I am praying right now for a sign. I hope I am able to find a way to contribute to this world positively, and manage to escape this rut.

PS I am trying to avoid all potentially romantic scenarios, but it seems I haven't tried hard enough. Somehow I've managed to give two men my new phone number this week, and the sound of their various texts popping up on my phone is horrible-- like a recrimination for lack of integrity. I don't want to waste anyone's time, so I don't respond. I should have never let them have my information in the first place... that's what I get for meeting people from craigslist ads and the like-- texts from fast-talking lawyers in New Jersey who want to get me drunk on Grey Goose somewhere and film location scouts trying to tempt me to see "Transformers 2" in IMAX. Really? If those are the interests of people I currently attract, I'll just wish them well and go buy some books instead. Whatever other issues may be arising in my personal life, I really am 100% content being single right now.

PS The animal that best represents my current state of being is the naked mole rat:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


"Cats know how to obtain food without labor, shelter without confinement, and love without penalties."
-- W. L. George

This morning I awoke to a frightening sight. The hale and glossy cat who recently started living on top of the storage shed in my back yard suddenly appeared mangy, dusty and as stiff as roadkill.

For a minute I was sure he was dead.

"Cat!" I cried, hopeful that making noise might incite him to move a bit if indeed he still lived. I was duly rewarded by a cursory--but still very welcome-- twitch of his dark tail in response.

I like seeing him every day. I highly suspect him of being charmingly naughty, but since he's a Bushwick alley cat he probably spends more time trying to keep his little head above water survival-wise than playing kittenish pranks.

I wonder where he goes when it rains?

PS I mentioned the cat to a customer at Tryst the other day.

"A cat on your storage shed?" he asked incredulously. "What, down by the crick? Where do you *live* that you have a *shed*?"

"Bushwick," I laughed.

Ah, me.

PS Why is the lawn furniture overturned? I swear it was right-side-up last week. I don't even want to know.

Highway To Heaven

The dress I'm wearing today (bought in Washington Heights for 12 dollars last summer) has a lovely peacock print that somewhat reminds me of the more Rococo illustrations of Dr. Seuss:


Ever since I was a child of five I've had lingering, sorrowful memories of a particularly compelling "Highway to Heaven" episode featuring a homeless, mentally challenged boy living in a cardboard box. Forced by his tragic circumstances to steal cans of tuna from the mean old man-owned corner store in order to feed his beloved pet cat, he makes a fateful birthday wish (on a stale hamburger bun, in his box in a Skid Row alley, with candles he also shoplifted) for someone to love him, upon which an angel (Michael Landon, duh) shows up to help him make it come true.

Now. Having a few days off and no other pressing interests except painting various picture frames in one of four separate pastel colors (still have to buy new mats at Pearl tomorrow):

I decided to find it on You Tube and see if it affected me as powerfully as of yore. Oh my gosh, I watched it twice in two days and got tears in my eyes both times.

I really enjoyed it. I felt genuinely inspired to be less selfish, and to be grateful more often. Whether one views this sort of religious family drama as cheap emotional pornography or, conversely, as a highly accessible and righteous form of popular culture, if the affect on the viewer is enobling (which it was/is for me), I feel the other issues are essentially moot points. Also, the fact that Michael Landon claimed he conceived (as well as subsequently wrote, directed and starred in) "Highway to Heaven" after he made a solemn pact with God at the hospital bedside of his critically injured daughter to produce television shows that made a genuine difference if she recovered (she did), either makes him the most shameless huckster of his generation or a spiritually as well as commercially enterprising man who was simply doing his best.

The episode is called, "Alone".

Note: the children in "Highway to Heaven" seemed to be on summer vacation 99% of the time. Maybe that's because most of them were runaways, terminally ill types, etc. who never went to school anyway.

PS It looks as though the latter half of the week is going to be clear. I'm so tired of this rain-- such a record-breaking, relentless deluge is terrible for business at the strip club as well as my soul.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Underneath My Tree/Teeth

I bought some adorable little drawings by Jason Sposa of Underneath My Tree (http://www.underneathmytree.com/index.html) at the Renegade Craft Fair a week or two ago. I'm really in love with his work. I think I'll buy another print or two for my mother as a birthday present, and maybe one more for myself while I'm at it.

On a totally unrelated note, I keep having recurring dreams involving tooth loss. According to the articles I've been browsing, such dreams are apparently very common. Unfortunately, not one of the various interpretations I've found regarding dreams about tooth loss is positive.

This web site (http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art10573.asp) says:

"Sometimes tooth loss dreams point to a fear of failure or embarrassment. In waking life, when people lose teeth, they often cover their mouths when talking or smiling. Is there something you want to do but are afraid of undertaking because you fear you'll look foolish if you fail? Or is there something going on in your waking life that you feel you must hide or 'cover up'?"

It seems the burden of my secret life is beginning to poison even my dreams.

I'm not very surprised.

PS I finally bought a new phone. Maybe I'll even get around to telling people I got a new phone number... eventually-ish. It's an iPhone, but this is probably the last time I'll mention that fact. People who talk about their phones or check them obsessively annoy me greatly. Most inexplicable to me is when someone grabs his or her significant other's phone and feels entitled to play with it. I can't imagine being okay with any human being checking my texts. The prospect makes me want to crack skulls, I can't lie.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I really want some new sneakers. I feel like a brown sparrow among birds of paradise every time I cross the Williamsburg Bridge on the JMZ. Sadly, all the most fabulous, rampantly colorful ones seem to be made, at least partially, of leather.


PS My feet hurt so badly from dancing double shifts. I'm going to see if I can find some more comfortable stripper heels around West 4th before I go back to work on Tuesday.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Love Story

Today my landlord (Barry) and 'lady (Barbara), good friends of mine, came over. I baked a crumb-topped blueberry pie, and Barbara told me her plans to write a book about their love story.

She really ought to. Anytime a Peruvian Christian man and an Hasidic Jewish woman get married, the story is worth telling.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Surfing is Legal in Chicago?

They recently legalized surfing in my hill-free hometown of Chicago, where even the waves are flat. I wonder if I'll see boogie boards and the whole nine when I visit this summer?

Time has a good article about it. I wonder why I can't seem to figure out how to do hotlinks or whatever anymore...


Blake/Soulless Seduction

Children of the future age,
Reading this indignant page,
Know that in a former time
Love, sweet love, was thought a crime.
-- William Blake

Once again I have been reading and gazing upon the sometimes beautiful, often hellish but always visionary works of William Blake. This drawing-- "The Night of Enitharmon's Joy" struck a particular chord in me today. Enitharmon is so peaceful, even when surrounded by demons. You can tell she finds blackest night and devilry to be matters-of-course.

Thought: I refuse to stem the the occasional tide of undirected, yet radiant loving energy I feel when I'm at work. This is, perhaps, a mistake? Should I hide my light under a bushel basket even while stripping? Just a thought because:

I felt a lightning bolt of attraction for a customer yesterday evening that shook me up quite a lot. In fact, I believe it's been about a year since I felt such an instant rapport with a man-- we seemed to be on the same wavelength, instantly. Though this customer comes in most weeks, I've never had the opportunity to speak with him before. Another woman always seems to get to him first, and, because he spends most of his time upstairs, he is never on the floor for long. He wears beautiful Italian suits with high, aristocratic collars, has pleasing, symmetrical features, large, hypnotic eyes and a shockingly beautiful body.

After a few minutes of interesting conversation he bought a dance, and I stripped off my dress and ran my hands down his muscular arms, sinking briefly to my knees while looking up at him. As in a fever dream I imagined the two of us alone, and all the delicious things he might do to me as I knelt before him in such a submissive posture. It made me dizzy.

He asked me what else I do with my time, and I actually told him that I write for a feminist publication instead of my usual lie about being a student. We discussed various schools of feminist thought and social mores. In response to his query about my particular brand of feminism, I said that I equate feminism with freedom.

I looked steadily in his eyes. "I'm also very submissive."

"I know," he answered simply, the way a discerning man in a hurry (which he was) sees a watch he likes in a shop window and buys it instantly, and without fanfare.

"I know you know, because you're clearly very dominant." I suddenly found myself wanting to kiss him, which was a first for me regarding a customer.

"Yes I am," he answered with warmth but no fire. I wasn't sure if he was being a gentleman or trying to make me feel I hadn't earned it quite yet.

I smiled but did not laugh, because I could somewhat intuit that he was about to attempt to seduce me. My usual coquetry was strangely absent, as if my genuine attraction for him had stripped me of all my sham sexuality. In spite of myself I suddenly recognized that we were in agreement about something deep I didn't care to analyze. Not that it had to go anywhere, of course.

"I know you're going to say something that really surprises me," I said in the soft voice that passes as a whisper in a loud strip club, as I writhed nearly nude on his lap.

He obliged by asking me to come with him to his friends home in the Hamptons for the weekend. The train was leaving in half an hour. Of course I declined. He tried mightily to convince me, but I'd be a fool to date a customer. Especially one with money who comes in fairly often, and spend hours at a time in the champagne room with girls he likes. Why give anything to him for free?

"Well, we missed a fun opportunity, but you'll see me around again," he added with a smile as our dance and my shift ended simultaneously.

"Was that the royal we?" I asked rhetorically and with playful scorn, suddenly feisty and unwilling to be included against my will in his statement.

He smiled.

"Have a lovely weekend," I said in parting as I added his money to the roll on my ankle garter and bounded downstairs to get dressed in my street clothes. Suddenly I wanted to get away from him and the strip club and blot out the memory of all the other overwhelming propositions and soulless seduction attempts by strange men I'd fielded lately. None of them meant anything for more than five minutes, after all.

I decided everything about Tryst is meant to be forgotten after my work day/night ends, and I mean to be more assiduous in my efforts to do so from now on. Nothing that happens there is going to carry an ounce of weight in my real life anymore. Other nighttime fantasies pale in the morning light, why should not those I create as a stripper follow suit?

(Scary aside-- a super-creepy customer kept trying to convince a dancer from work to go home with him. "No." she said perpetually. When he asked why, she said: "Because you might chop me up in a million pieces and throw me in the East River." He replied, "No-- I'd only chop you up into three pieces.")


PS Afterward at a restaurant some asshole construction worker sat next to me, got absolutely in my face and wouldn't stop hitting on me no matter what I said.

"It's because I'm black, isn't it?" he asked.

I gave him a withering look. He was undeterred.

"You got a boyfriend?" he asked. He was loathsome. I imagined cutting his tongue out with a scalpel and rubbing his fat, ugly face in his own blood.

"Do *YOU* have a boyfriend?" I asked in return, wishing someone would come and shoot him nobly on my behalf. Nobody did, so I left, as he unleashed a loud torrent of profanity and insults so disgusting everyone turned around to look. Awesome.

I'm so full of anger right now. Recounting the experiences make me feel that I was genuinely abused, and that I hate life. At least I can be grateful enough to say this is the first encounter I've had with such an awful stranger since I moved to New York two years ago.

PS2 I still haven't gotten a new phone. I don't care anymore. I don't want to talk to anyone right now.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Random thoughts:

1.) I'm not an exotic dancer. My dancing is extremely conventional-- I just do it semi-nude.

2.) I will not subject anyone to the fascism of my expectations.

3.) I am completely content.

4.) Among the many types of lawyers I have met in the past couple of years, I find I have the most rapport with litigators. They are really ostentatious and usually have a creative streak a mile wide, even if it is generally of the jazz and Miro-loving variety I never do understand.

5.) I want this adorable pomeranian puppy I encountered in a pet store near Union Square. One nearly identical to it will do in absentia.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fattened Tentacle's Grasp

Anthony was glad he wasn't going to work on his book. The notion of
sitting down and conjuring up, not only words in which to clothe
thoughts but thoughts worthy of being clothed--the whole thing was
absurdly beyond his desires.
-- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Beautiful and Damned"

Yesterday I decided to absolutely wallow in indolence in hopes of tiring of it as quickly as possible. I told myself I didn't need to write anything, ever again, hoping that some noble instinct in me would rebel against such wasteful drivel, break through my facade of indifference and spur me to write, after all. I was surprised that such a tactic did indeed, almost immediately (well, say after 7 hours) enable me to wriggle out of sloth's fattened tentacle's grasp and begin a short story. SIGH. Well, finally! My cup runneth over with gratitude.

Tonight I have to work at the strip club from 5-1, and it's raining AGAIN! The amount of rain we've been getting lately is really disheartening for those of us who depend on clear weather to attract customers. I really want to ditch work, but I need to earn some money this week-- Tuesday was awful, and I only worked one day last week, so I can't justify staying home again. I'm beginning to resist going in to work every day now. Well, until I attract a new source of income, I will stick with stripping rather than be unemployed.

Ah, well, I'm so grateful that I began a promising bit of writing that I will try not to let my other occupation get me down. I will make it as fun and profitable for myself as possible, and look forward to finishing my story this weekend.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Last night I had a dream that I had a party, and someone left a small bottle full of LSD one could only use by means of an eyedropper (as actual eyedrops) in my medicine chest as a present.

I shrugged ("I've avoided drugs all this time, and I'm miserable anyway. Oh, why not?" I thought) and saturated an eye with harsh liquid LSD. Very little happened. I kept anxiously waiting for the hallucinations to begin; however, the outlines of a few prosaic domestic objects getting wavy was the only change I noticed. It was a really anticlimactic dream.

Oh, and for posterity it's worth mentioning that I constantly dream of movie theaters. It's been this way for years. Sometimes I just stop by for popcorn. They always let me in to get it. I wonder if it would be like that in the waking world, if I tried?

Lately I have also had quite a few disturbing dreams about my teeth falling out.

PS I really want to have a party. When I tally up all the holidays I was either too ill, depressed or stressed out to celebrate this year (my birthday, Easter, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, New Year's Eve) I can hardly believe it. So pathetic. Maybe I'll have a belated housewarming or tea party/bunch for my estranged girlfriends. Any excuse to bake pretty little treats will do, honestly, especially now that my house is finally fit to show other people. I find the prospect really exciting, especially if I get to buy a new dress and shoes also.


"To the "virtuous" person (by which is meant the person seeking integrity) no value is attached to happiness that involves non-virtuous means. But the solitary by nature of his or her disengagement from the world and society has a very low threshold for non-virtue. Put another way, they have high expectations and standards for what should be considered good and worthy in life."
--Kant on Acedia

Ah, Kant, you sting my sinner's heart with truth.

Acedia, as defined by various dictionaries secular and otherwise I am too indifferent to name specifically, is:

The spiritual paralysis of the powers of the soul.


A state of restlessness and inability either to work or to pray

My sense of equanimity has returned, attended by a listlessness I little thought the happy recession of my misery would occasion. I decided it's probably acedia, really, an amorphous state of spiritual ennui omitted as one of the Seven Deadly Sin after it was apparently judged to be too indistinct to be used as a measuring stick of personal accountability of the same magnitude as the the other watchwords of moral offense that DID make the cut-- sloth, lust, gluttony, etc.

Excellent article about it here: http://www.hermitary.com/solitude/acedia.html

My week off was spent in quiet contemplation, solitude and very pleasant shopping trips that felt a bit like reconnaissance missions until I told myself-- for once-- to stop being so hesitant and buy everything I needed without allowing myself a return trip. My home is finally decorated well enough that its state no longer preys upon my mind. I am satisfied with it for now, FINALLY.

Yesterday I went to the annual Renegade Craft Fair in McCarren Park, and bought my little brother another Squidfire shirt (I have a bunch and buy them for him regularly as well):


I'm going to start laying aside little presents for his visit. I needed this time off to regroup so that I can really work for the next few weeks-- I don't want to do so after he arrives. I'm not sure how to time my plastic surgery yet... guess I'll figure that out when I have the last little bit of money for it saved. No stripping allowed when he is in the picture, that's for sure.

PS Have not checked my voicemail or texts in about 10 days. I'll fax my phone replacement form to the insurance company tomorrow morning and finally get a new phone-- I'm starting to actually miss chatting with people. Well, my brother, anyway.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Should Do the Hunting

The other day at Tryst I had a conversation about love with Rachel, a brunette Russian girl with porcelain skin and lush curves. Her flesh seems as fertile as a newly ploughed and loamy field, and she looks dewy- sweet as a girl her age (20) ought to, although young strippers who actually look youthful are quite rare, drugs, stress etc. being factors.

Our conversation took place at the bar stage in the front of the club, as she shifted listlessly from one foot to the other and gripped the pole in the center for support.

(I swear, I must be one of the only women who even bothers to dance at the bar-- everyone else either stands or does the least energetic little shake imaginable.)

I sat in the plush red chair at the foot of the little stage and nodded up at her as we spoke of her probable move to the West Coast.

"My boyfriend is my equal in everything. But if I move to California, he won't follow me. I would follow him to the ends of the Earth! What is wrong with some men, to let the girl they say they love get away so easily always, not even to trying..."

Her English is expressive, if not always grammatically correct.

"I know exactly what you mean," I said. "If you were my girlfriend I'd camp out on your doorstep if you ever threatened to leave me."

"Thank you! I'd do same for you! But if a girl does it, it just looks silly. Makes me wish I was a boy! I should do the hunting in relationship, but it doesn't pay off," she sighed.

Sometimes it's hard to hold off really going after a man one wants. Fighting back the impulse used to keep me up at night, up until a few years ago when I realized no man likes it a bit, and was ever after able to largely let it go.

PS On the walk to work yesterday I ran into a dj friend I haven't seen in a few years. Although we once knew one another fairly well, he didn't even recognize me at first glance. I can't really blame him-- I've lost 25 lbs, had a nose job, grown out my hair, stopped dying it black and gotten it straightened since last we met. However, *he* looked exactly the same, which is to say handsome, charming, and glowing with health. I used to have quite a crush on him, in fact, although I felt only friendliness toward him this time around. Crush or no, I missed that guy-- he's a genius musician and a true gentleman as well. It was nice to hug him and once again see the way his brown eyes light up the way they always do when he talks about his music. He told me his studio is in my neighborhood...

I've known him since I was practically a kid. I wonder what he would say if I told him I'm stripping?

Who cares, I guess.

"What are you doing over here?" he asked, for few bohemian types of our sort hang out in Tribeca aimlessly (he was going to the bank).

"Walking down the street," I shrugged.

I should have said:

"Eating the fruit of forbidden knowledge. It's my thing right now."

It would have been more honest.

PS 2 Tonight I watched some anime and found myself sighing wistfully at the appealing romantic silliness of it.

dialogue sample:

"All you need to do is shut up and be loved by only one person, me."

I wanna say that to someone someday, but I'm not enough of a sociopath. The only boundaries I don't respect are my own.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It Only Takes One

I'm psyching myself up to get ready for another day shift at the strip club, but it's not easy. Luckily, after today I have arranged to take the rest of the week off. I need seven days of peace and quiet so badly I could scream. I hear the morning rain pattering against my window, which means business will probably be slow. But, as a fellow dancer told me the other day:

"It only takes one."

Which is to say it only takes one man with money to make one's day or week profitable. My ideal sort of customer is interesting as well as generous-- hopefully such a person such will stop in today.

A thought occurred to me just before falling sleep last night:

Service to idealism is a fountain of youth; service to materialism is a sepulcher of death.

I'll spend the next 30 minutes in meditation, then set off to expose myself.