LAST EDITED ON 07-06-01 AT 12:43 PM (EST)
LAST EDITED ON 07-06-01 AT 12:40 PM (EST)
OK - I don't know how to do a link or anything cool like that, so in the first section of this white-trash fairy tale Destinee left her red neck town to become a stripper.And before anyone tells me how cheesey and over the top this is, I know that - it's supposed to be.
- 2 -
Becoming a stripper made me a much more interesting person. I didn’t think it would happen that way, but it did. It’s like the implants made me smarter. I know that’s not really possible: IQ points and cup size aren’t really related. They aren’t even measured the same way. Still, the minute I got them, people hung on my every word.
And look, I’m not that naive. I know most people are much more interested in – how can I put this – the daily grind of Boobapalooza then in my personal philosophies. That’s OK. Most of the time I kind of enjoy talking about what I do. I don’t even mind talking about how I look. Hell, this body cost me enough – I’m not entirely opposed to showing it off every now and then. But that’s not what my story is all about. My story is about fate. And destiny. And how I managed to make my own.
Still, stripping is a big part of how I became a better person. I’m actually pretty good at it. It’s taken a lot of practice though. At first I was a little stiff. Now, if you’re a customer, stiff is a good thing, but it’s not when you’re a dancer.
The main problem was I just had the one outfit at first: a cheetah-print teddy I bought at a outlet mall outside of Mineral Wells. It wasn’t really made for stripping professionally, so I had to modify it a little. I tried sewing in these little satin ribbons I could untie in the front. But I’d get all nervous, and it always took way too long to get them undone. Most of the guys there don’t want a slow, sexy strip. They just want your ##### out there front and center before the vocals come in.
And that was the other problem: I just had the one song. “Fat Bottomed Girls.” See, I kind of took offense to that when they suggested I use it. I mean, I had invested a lot of money in getting rid of that particular problem. But Terrence, the manager, said it could be my signature song. He said a lot of the customers like a full-bodied booty. Besides, “She’s a Bad Mama-Jama” was already taken. Now I won’t lie: There were some dark days in the beginning. I kept tripping on the heels, and the thong took some getting used to. But I did get better, and the money was sweet.
A lot of people think you can’t make money on the afternoon shift, but that’s just not true. We’ve got this thing called the Businessman Special that we run every weekday from noon-6. You get a lap dance and a T-bone for twenty bucks. Beats the hell out of the All-You-Can-Eat salad bar at the Sizzler. The special was Terrence’s idea. He’s very innovative.
And he’s real good about explaining things so they’re easy to understand. See, we’re not a real fancy club: The lighting is kinda bad and don’t even get me started on the pole. We just don’t attract a high-class clientele. That’s why Terrence says we have to emphasize volume and value, kinda like Denny’s.
The key to making good money is regulars. Sometimes regulars can be kind of scary. They start to think that they love you or that you love them. It’s creepy. Then they want to tell you their problems or ask you about your family or your feelings. That’s just not my thing. I don’t think it’s a good idea to mix business with pleasure; I’m just not that kind of girl.
But you can make money off plain old walk-ins too. Flame, this red-haired girl at the club, once made $3500 in a single shift off a bunch of dotcom dorks. They had just sold some computer game or something for who knows how much. They kept her busy all afternoon, and she didn’t have to do anything – like maybe one lap dance was all. They said she looked like the girl from the game, but they didn’t even talk to her or hit on her or anything. All she did was sit there while they stared at her. I’m sorry, but that is just sad. That kind of money is wasted on those guys. There’s something wrong with a someone who would rather jack off in front of a computer screen than have the real thing dangling at eye level.
Flame said I was just jealous, and I guess she was probably right. That same day, I got stuck with some ceramic tile salesman from Tulsa who said I reminded him of his daughter. How sick is that? Plus, I only made 125 bucks – might as well be a receptionist for that kind of money.
You see all types of people in the club. It’s fun for them, I guess. We’re who they turn to when their wives or girlfriends are pissed off or on the rag. They don’t have to try so hard with us; I imagine that’s probably a relief.
We all know where we stand – the lines are pretty clear. I know they aren’t really interested in me as a person. They’re more interested in the idea of me. Like, they don’t want to know who I voted for. And they aren’t curious about my views on capital punishment or NAFTA. They want me to shut up and shake my #####. Fair enough. It’s not like I’m interested in their stock portfolios or golf handicaps either. I’ll sit there and smile as long as they pay me and not one minute more. It’s just better that way.
Now I’m not gonna lie and say I never hooked up with anybody there. Sometimes things just happen, but it was always a one-time deal. Until Benjy came along.
When I was about ten, I fell off a ladder and slammed flat on my back onto the concrete. All the air went whooshing out of my lungs, and I couldn’t talk. That’s how I felt when when I first saw Benjy: Speechless, shocked and sorta scared.
I wasn’t up on stage when he came in; I was in the the middle of my daily meet-and greet with the regulars. But even my most loyal followers took notice when Benjy walked through the door.He didn’t look anything like most of the guys that come into the club, but he looked like he belonged there. Hell, Benjy looked like he would belong anywhere he wanted to.
His skin was the exact color of coffee with one spoonful of cream, and he was wearing a black silk suit that hung on him like God himself had tailored it. And beautiful jewelry – not pimp daddy jewelry - classy stuff: one gold chain and three rings. His shirt collar was open all the way down his chest and I could see a thick, dark scar trailing down his breast bone.
I work with this New-Agey chick named Willow; she thinks she can see auras and stuff. I don’t really buy into all that. Personally, I think if someone has a green glow around them, they probably live too close to a nuclear waste facility. But if anyone ever really had a glow, it was Benjy.
It was like Moses had parted the Red Sea all over again. People just scattered to make room. He was with about ten guys, and Terrence put them at table right down front. People were coming up to him and shaking his hand, patting him on the back, asking for autographs. Every eye in the place was focused right on Benjy.
It made me feel kind of bad for Amazonia, the girl on stage: no one paid any attention to her. And when a six foot tall blonde is dry humping a pole and no one notices...Well, you know something pretty spectacular must be going on. I’d never seen anything like it before in my life. Not too many guys can be the center of attention at a titty bar.
Heather, my best stripper friend, straddled the chair next to me. (I know that’s not particularly lady-like, but she’s been stripping for awhile, and some things just become second nature.) Anyway, she leaned over all flushed and excited then whispered in my ear, “Can you believe he is in here?”
Heather was smiling so wide her lipstick was cracking. Her hair was damp with sweat and sticking to her neck. “I’m gonna go up there and talk to him, do I look ok?” She fluffed out her bangs and readjusted her bustier then checked her reflection on the mirrored ceiling.
I was feeling a little pissed since all my devotees had wandered off, “What’s the big deal? Who is this guy anyway?”
“Jesus Destinee, did you just fall off the turnup truck? It’s Benjy Haynes. God, you really are stupid.”
Actually, the turnip truck wasn’t that far off the mark, but even I knew the name Benjy Haynes. And I understood why all the men were so excited. If there is anything the men in North Texas love more than a titty bar, it’s the Dallas Cowboys. And Benjy Haynes wasn’t just any Cowboy.
He was retired now, but he’d been a star cornerback. They called him “Heat” Haynes cause he always burned quarterbacks for interceptions. He’d been a legend for years. But two Thanksgivings ago he had collapsed – on national television – right there on the 35-yard-line after a punt return.
After they carried him off the field, Heat’s daddy came out and led all of Texas Stadium in prayer. Granted, people in Dallas will pray at the drop of a hat, but they really light it up when a former Heisman Trophy winner’s life is on the line. It was beautiful. Even the big fat guys with silver stars painted on their bellys were crying.
All the Thanksgiving Day prayers were answered and “Heat” recovered. HThey found out he had some kind of heart defect or something and they wouldn't let him play any more. But he was more popular then ever.
He ran for City Council and opened up a camp for troubled kids; my cousin Tully got sent there twice. He even made lots of speeches and ran some kind of foundation. Anyway, Benjy became a role model for a lot of people. However you want to look at it, Benjy “Heat” Haynes was a hero. And right then, that hero started looking at me.
And because Benjy was looking at me, everyone else started to look at me too. All of a sudden, every eye in Boobapalooza was on me. I know what to do when people are watching me dance, but I didn’t have a clue when people were just looking at me for nothing.
Next thing I know, Benjy cocks his head toward me like he wants me to come over there. Now I’m not the prettiest girl at Boobapalooza, so I figured it must be some kind of joke or something. And honestly, I was getting a little tired of always being somebody's punchline, so I ignored him. But he just kept staring.
Heather was elbowing me in the ribs and smiling. She had a wad of bubblegum in her mouth, and I kept looking at it so I wouldn’t have to look at anybody or anything else. Next thing I knew, Benjy was standing over me.
He held out his hand, and I took it. I walked back over to his table without saying a word. He sat back down and patted his lap, motioning me to sit down.
I sat there fiddling with the strings on my teddy, still not really sure what I was supposed to do. I couldn’t quite believe that someone that everyone wanted to be with wanted to be with me. It just didn’t seem possible.
Finally Benjy spoke, “What’s your name baby?” His voice sounded like Barry White on steroids.
“Not your stripper name angel; your real name. The one God gave you.”
“Destinee is my real name, but God didn’t give it to me. Mama did.”
“Well that’s good baby. That’s real good. A name like Destinee is special. It means something.”
People had always made fun of my name before. Like it was a joke – like I was a joke. But Benjy didn’t see it that way. He heard my name and thought it was something magical. I just sat there and stared at him. I didn’t want to say the wrong thing and make him send me away. I wanted to sit there in his lap forever.
Finally he picked up my hand and held it in his own. His hands were huge but they were as soft as a baby’s. I’d never seen a grown man with hands like that. He turned my chin up and looked right in my eyes. I don’t know what he thought he saw in there, but I knew nothing would ever be the same. “Baby, I knew there was something special about you the minute I saw you. I think your mama named you right. And you know what Destinee? I think you just might end up changing mine.”
edited to fix the formatting.