The great thing about working day shift in the summer is, it's daylight when you leave! Today I marched out of the club at 8 and straight into a beautiful pre-sunset NYC summer's eve, leaving behind the Summer's Eve vaginal freshness product buffet in the club dressing room. It was nice enough, and early enough, that I figured I'd walk the block to the subway rather than drop my hard-earned cash on an unnecessary cab ride.
But in that one-block walk a very persistent "gypsy" cab driver (what's the non-offensive term for a gypsy cab, by the way?) kept honking and asking me where I wanted to go, he'd give me a good deal.
I thought it over. Here's the thing (we started off friends*) - a big part of me was like, fuck it, take the cab. I had a very, very lucrative Friday at work and the $20s in my bag were burning a hole in it. Also, I had some shitty stuff happen: 1) My regular, generous customer got really sweaty and wet in the lapdance and pushed his dripping, glistening face into my freshly flatironed tresses, turning them into a pile of frizz (and nauseating/disgusting me at the same time!... I know guys tend to think a little sweat on their dancing girl is a turn on -- just FYI, the reverse is NOT true). What could I tell him? He pays my rent! Then, this other customer who is hell-bent on getting me to call him and meet him outside as a date got all teary eyed in lapdance (2nd customer who has cried on me; I think I'm cursed) when I told him I don't go out with customers (or guys I'm not attracted to (I didn't tell him that part.)). And every time I was doing a stage set he would tip me but without looking at me, and instead burying his face in his hands and hanging his head. THEN, the bouncer was telling a bunch of girls that he was pissed at me because I was "doing so well and not tipping him" - (this bouncer is an asshole who has stolen money from girls, the club, and customers on numerous occasions) so I had to abandon my pride and slip him some cash (which he got without having a drop of sweaty guy's perspiration in his fresh coif! imagine!) so that he wouldn't cause any further drama for me.**
Long story not as short as it could have been, I thought I owed it to myself to be spared a subway ride home, so I haggled with the driver for a minute and hopped in. "How are you, M? Same place I dropped you last time?"*** Shit, he KNOWS me? Conversation as follows:
Him: So, you're still working here? Didn't switch over to the other place?
Me: No, still working here.
Him: Is it busy?
Me: I don't think it's busy, but business is fine in general. What about for you, driving-wise?
Him: Slow, slow. But you don't work night time?
Me: No, I do it occasionally, but I hate getting home at 5 a.m. and a lot of times the guys are too drunk and rowdy for me.
Him: So what kind of guys come during the day?
Me: You know, guys who are on their lunch break, or are married, generally a tamer crowd.
Him: You like this job?
Me: Yeah, I like it.
Him: A Pakistani? Indian? Whatever you are? You like this job?
Me: Yes, I like it.
Him: (pulls over the car and stops) You like this job?
Me: Listen, people scrub floors or tell dirty lies in court or pick plaque out from between people's teeth and don't get asked the questions you're asking me now.
Him: Do you go in the private rooms there?
Him: And you still like the job?
Me: Yes. I think I know what you're asking, and no, I don't have sex in the private rooms. Just regular lapdances.
Him: Just dances? You don't do everything?
Me: No, not everything. Can you start driving again?
Him: So, I see. How old were you when you were naturalized?
Him: You parents know what you do?
Him: You know these other two girls I picked up from your club before. Brandy and Licorice, you know, they came out with a customer and had me drop them off at a hotel. Do you do that?
Him: Yeah, one time Brandy even paid me to keep the car waiting for her outside when she was done. But some of the girls are just like you, they go straight home afterward.
Him: So I saw you on the R train last week, kissing somebody.
Me: Oh... (I'm not sure if he really even saw this, or if it even happened, but he caught me off guard so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. He might have just been "testing" me...) What time was it?
Him: 3 a.m. You're married?
Me: No. I'm not a big marriage person.
Him: What are you doing tonight?
Me: Hanging out with friends. You can just let me off right here.
*Excuse the pop music interjection. My life would suck without you.
**In my efforts to not make my job sound like shit, I should mention that not only did I make good money, I also got a visit from my favorite friendstomer who temporarily erased a chunk of my woes and made me laugh.
***Conversation translated from its original Hindi/Punjabi mix.