The lighting is more important than I realized at first. In front where the girls dance the flesh looks like apples, smooth as Barbie. The girls fit their asses against the pole and flip themselves around. They have one song to twist their bodies to. It comes off as, “Hey, I am naked and wiggling. Give me some money.

I move to the back – pool tables, bathrooms…I watch my boyfriend win at pool. His friend jokes with me about fucking one of the dancers. We discuss what he will do with his penis once it rots off.

He says he will make a breakfast sandwich, stack it on an English muffin with an egg and some cheese, which would be better than leaving it to float in a jar.

The girl from the stage comes up and hits on him, smiling into her drink. Her teeth are bad. Her bangs are sprayed stiff into a poofy see-through waterfall. She pauses to pull her shorts up over her G-string.

In the light from the back of the bar I can see her red, blemished face, slightly monkeyish. She smiles at me slyly. She wants my approval. I am the only other woman in the bar who is fully dressed and not for sale. I ignore her, not because she revolts me, but because I think of her like a lost little sister. She stammers. She isn’t wearing any make up. She looks like a 10th grader.

She totters off to the stage again, throws a glance at me and wiggles with a vengeance once she gets there.

This dance is for me, there is no one else looking.

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