April 12, 2010

Joe Pierre

THEY CAN’T TOUCH YOU

          she says, I got a new job, it’s at this strip joint near the airport, but it’s classy, and he says, you’re kidding, right?
          she says no, she isn’t kidding, it pays $300 a night and the guys can’t even touch you. and the dancing isn’t sleazy, there’s an art to it, you have to have some talent.
          he says, are there poles? and she says, no, but there’s a railing.
          and do you put your panties on the guys’ heads?
          no, she answers, like I said, it’s artistic and besides you come out naked already, so it’s not like there’s any place for them to put tips, well, except, you know, but they can’t touch you.
          they can’t touch you, you mean.
          yeah, she says, and there’s something called table dancing, and that’s when you dance for just one guy in the booth and that pays more.
          I see, and what does he do while you’re dancing?
          nothing, aren’t you listening? he doesn’t do anything, they aren’t allowed to touch you. you’re not even listening, you’re just sitting there judging.
          I’m listening, they can’t touch you. but they can touch themselves. the booths must get pretty sloppy.
          that’s disgusting. it’s a classy joint.
          do the guys wear suits?
          no, she says and he says, uh huh, I see.
          then she says, listen, you’re not going to have a problem with this are you? because that would just be too bad.
          how could there be a problem? listen, he says, tell me where the place is and I’ll stop by sometime. should I bring some dollar bills? no, I know, there’s no tipping, we can’t touch you. that’s good, that we can’t touch you. I don’t think I’d like it if we could all touch you.

from Rattle #22, Winter 2004