love, Ruth Nineke

Another night. Another dance.

Post Published: November 2, 2022

Oval-shaped finger nails twisted the elastic band inside the frilled a pair of red-lace, fingerless gloves around a wrist

Another night. Another dance. Another few dollars. 

Cheers and whistles rose over the fading music outside, letting Erica know she was up next. She quit fidgeting with her gloves, and stood, eyeing herself in one of the full length mirrors in the dressing room. 

Erica ignored the chatter and commotion the other girls made around her; changing clothes, primping their hair, and fixing their lipstick. She turned to her side and smiled, satisfied with the curve her panties lent to her hips. Her barely-there two piece left very little to the imagination, and what red lace complimented her skin

She was going to make a killing tonight.

Erica stepped out of the dressing room and crossed the narrow walkway toward the stage. She waited at the curtain for her cue, fingers carefully placed between the dry, old things. 

The instant the first drum beat sounded she flung apart the faded black curtains, strutting through them with her arms stretched out above her head. Erica stepped onto the main stage, dramatically lifting and dropping her feet in red leather pumps to the beat of the drum intro on her song. She slapped her hands onto her hips as she moved toward the center of the platform, she switched her hips and shoulders smoothly in time to the rock and roll guitar, throwing sultry glances to designated spots throughout the venue. 

Erica knew every corner, table, chair, and doorway in the club where there was never any one standing. She was an expert now, sure to never look those howling, whistling pricks in the eye. When she came on they got closer to the stage, hoping for her attention, making it even easier for her to ignore them.  

The lyrics started as she reached the pole. Erica wrapped one hand around the wide metal cylinder, pressed her stomach against it, threw back her head, and played her tongue across her lips. She twirled about the pole, swinging her hips and tossing her hair in turn as the first verse built toward the crowd’s favorite part. Erica sashayed to the edge of the stage and pulled off her gloves one by one to a roar of cheers. She dropped her body, palms flattened, with her legs split on either and accidentally locked into the gaze of a serious looking drinker sitting at the far end of the bar alone.

She’d seen him before. Though she’d made it a habit not to remember their names or faces, this guy stood out from the others. Maybe it was his light hair, parted down the middle, casually feathered on each side. He was good-looking, despite clenched jaw and scowling expression. Even though he hunched over, his shoulders pulled in tight, Erica could tell he was well built. He was new, had probably been coming in every other night or so for a couple of weeks. He always sat right there, in the same section of the bar, directly facing the top of the stage. He stared back at her, almost angrily as he pulled in his lips, his rocks glass dangling from his circled fingertips. 

Erica lowered her head and tossed her hair again before getting back up and finishing her routine. Her fan club went crazy as she continued dancing, slipping off her straps, bending over, spinning, gripping and gliding along the pole. As her song faded out, she began gathering her cash. When she glanced at the bar again, the brooding blond was gone.

 


The walls, stalls, ceiling, sinks, and countertops of the ladies bathroom at Freddy’s Roadhouse were all painted baby pink, and finished off with a luminous pearl coating that gave them a faint blue-green tint. The floor tiles were tiny square inches of cheap, but durable pink linoleum. Inside, five stalls opposed four sinks and two countertops with matching five foot wide vanity mirrors topped with ten round, soft light bulbs. A wall between the countertops stopped where they ended, and had been constructed so that it housed shelving in either side, stocked with an array of different essentials women might need at any given time, on any given night: hairspray, clear nail polish, sanitary napkins, perfume, paper towel singles, tissues, and occasionally condoms. 

The owner, Freddy, had given his wife, Dolly, complete control of the ladies room design and maintenance. He didn’t care and he didn’t want to know what it looked like, what it held, or what went on in there. Except on Saturday nights, when have his staff congregated to put their faces on and talk shit. Freddy wanted it that when the girls came to work they were already ready. He wanted them out on the floor schmoozing money out of their regulars, and pouring alcohol down the men’s throats. Instead, Taylor and her gang spent twenty minutes inside the pink room, bitching and gossiping without shame or remorse, in front of and with regular customers, about the other staff they hated, about each other’s husbands and boyfriends, and about God knows what else. 

Freddy hated it. But what could he do? Taylor had a gift for pulling people in and keeping them coming back. And so what if she’d rallied a girl gang together who were always eyeballing him and his floor manager, his bartenders, and his bouncer? As long as none of it got back to Dolly, and as long as they kept spending money there every weekend they could keep the bathroom for a half hour between seven and eight. Taylor knew she was good for business, and she knew that Freddy knew it too. He hated her guts, and she knew that as well, because he never ever spoke to her unless he absolutely had to and it was always short, and he never made eye contact. 

Freddy wasn’t much on socializing with anyone, but he made it clear who he liked and who he didn’t. You could tell because he would engage. He would look at people, he would touch them. Whether with a handshake or a pat on the shoulder, he had a way of communicating his affections and respect. He loved Gloria, and Genie, and that young blond number, Shaniah. He had to love Genie, they were in-laws some way or another. And Gloria was apparently an old friend, and the first waitress they’d hired something like ten years ago. Taylor didn’t know why Freddy liked Shaniah so much, other than she was also apparently a “family” friend. But it wasn’t a far stretch to think they were fucking. Neither of them ever gave any clues, but the girl was too young and way too hot to some random family friend who conveniently happened to be single the entire year since she’d started. Taylor didn’t buy it for one second. 

“How come Gloria’s never in here, getting ready?” someone asked. 

“Gimme a break,” Taylor brought her face back from the mirror. She’d been leaning forward, applying eyeliner. “Nobody wants to see red lipstick on a fucking corpse.” 

Some of the women laughed. The bathroom was full. Every stall was taken and at least five or six women were at each vanity. 

“I mean, I think she could use all the help she can get,” Taylor eyed her small tits in her blue skin tight tank top. She turned her face to the side and squinted her eyes. “But some people are just past the point of no return, ya know?” 

“She knows it too,” Carol added.

“I’d fuckin hope so,” Taylor chuckled, turning to her best friend. “Come on, let’s get out there. You done?” 

Carol rubbed her lips together, pushed them out and looked in the mirror. She fluffed her bangs a bit on top and nodded. 

“Good to go,” she smiled. 

“All right,” Taylor brushed past Carol, toward the bathroom door. “Time to make some money.” 

 


 

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