someone bumped into me and beer in my tray (from too-full beers that slop over) splashed on to my chest. I went outside to get space for a second and told a girl out there about it as I wiped (ineffectually) at my chest.
“You should go in back and just spray yourself down with a hose,” the squirrelly lookin little fella next to her offered eagerly. You know those nerd-for-life types? not the neck-beard fedora nice guys, but nonetheless a “nice guy”? Him. For weeks, until I finally managed to memorize his face, I would ask him if he wanted drinks and he would thank me profusely and say he was fine. Then, on leaving, he would hunt me down, hold my upper arm, and say “I’m leaving, I just wanted to tell you to have a great night.”
I’d try to shake him off but he’d hold on, clearly expecting some kind of response. The conversation from there went different ways and none of them were what he wanted. He would never let go of my arm. Finally I started telling him that unless he wanted to pay me for conversation, he had to let go because he was wasting my time. The only reason I recognize him at all is cause these encounters were so unspeakably tedious that I learned his face just to avoid it. He would still catch me sometimes but eventually my firm insistence that he was wasting my time offended him into leaving me alone. So that’s this guy. He comes with his own nervous laugh track.
I looked at him, deliberately blank.
“It was a joke,” he explained.
“I know. And if it had been funny, I would have laughed. I’ll still laugh if you pay me,” I offered.
His turn to look blank. The dancer next to him looked deeply uncomfortable. Whatever, new girl. Rule number one to being a dancer: figure out who the time wasters are and don’t fucking let them suck your soul out. Cherish your energy. Coddle it. Don’t fucking laugh at unfunny jokes unless they’re compensating you for the effort.
The customer on her other side, however, started chuckling appreciatively. Encouraged in my bitchiness I kept it up.
“You can even practise on me. I’ll tell you when your jokes start to be funny. And until then I’ll laugh.” I demonstrated with my fake laugh, a girlish giggle men really like. “No? Maybe next time.”
so when one of the minor dancers pulled me aside, “I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but some people are saying you’re a bitch” I knew exactly who she meant.
“Little guy in a blue shirt?”
“He looks kinda gay?”
He doesn’t, but I knew what she meant. ”Yeah I guess.”
“Yeah. He says you’re a bitch.”
But another customer said I was a bad bitch, and he spent a bunch of money and tipped well so who are we really gonna take seriously here.