Man Mountain

A Strip Club Serenade

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Originally posted 08-17-2008, 07:49 PM

Part 1

While I've been somewhat inspired by the posts of certain members who are willing to be a little more open about themselves and put themselves out there on a more personal and emotional level, I've tended to be reluctant to do so. But I've been rather introspective about a few things of late and it's put me in the mood to reflect on a few things. I do remember the cathartic feeling I got from posting a certain rant some time back, so maybe sometimes it's just helpful to vent. That's really all I'll be doing here. If that's not the kind of thing you're interested in reading, then stop now and find a different thread. And I'm warning you: it is a long read.

I can't do what Birdboy does, so I'm not even going to try. I don't have his flare for a poetic turn of phrase and I don't think I ever really found "my voice" as a writer. Like the song says:

"I can't do the talk like the talk on the tv
And I can't do a love song like the way it's meant to be"

So, I guess I'll just free form some thoughts and see where it takes me. (Closer to what maxx and edmontonsubbie used to do around these parts).

It was sometime in late October of 2006 when I first saw her. A buddy called me up to get together and as Mugs and Jugs was as convenient a location for both of us as we could think up, that's where we decided to meet up that afternoon. While we're waiting in between acts, I actually noticed her walk in to the place in her street clothes. Or "civilian" outfit. Whatever you want to call it. She wasn't all dolled up yet for the stage is the point I'm trying to make.

That was enough to capture my attention already. She had the "look." The one that I've always been drawn to. Closest thing I can describe it as to give you an idea of the "look" I'm talking about is kind of like Yasmine Bleeth in her prime. And at this point, with her all bundled up in her civilian clothes, all I'm really seeing is the way her hair framed her lovely face. But there was also a certain bounce to her stride. Something upbeat. Something fun. She strode through the area where we were seated and into the foyer part of the hotel. More than a brief glimpse. Just enough to make me hope that she would be back. I didn't know at this point if she was a dancer or a waitress or even an employee of the hotel. But I was kind of hoping she'd be a dancer. As luck would have it, she was.

When she did eventually hit the stage for her set, there was nothing I didn't like about her. She danced with an energy and a sense of fun that I thoroughly enjoyed. As for her looks, I can pretty much say that she was as close to my physical ideal of beauty as I had ever seen. Again, my ideal is not necessarily someone else's. I will say the curves were all natural and she may have been a lot curvier than the ideal put out there in current media. But in the 50's, girls like this would've been closer to the conventional ideal than they might be today. Slender, toned, athletic legs that led up to a nice full bottom and curvy hips. I'm sure you've seen some of the old pin ups. You get the drift. A certain very feminine softness around the mid section. Even my buddy turned to me and said, "Now that's what a woman is supposed to look like!" And he and I don't always agree on what we find attractive.

I did notice her making her way around the room later and sitting with a guy to chat. But I thought I heard him actually call her over by name, so I assumed that they were friends. Not being a Mugs regular, I wasn't even aware at that time that they did private dances there, so that she might have been "working the room." Even if I had, I was so shy and reserved back then that I never would've said anything to her if she didn't approach me first.

I made a mental note of her stage name that night and decided to keep an eye out on the web sites so that I might be able to catch her act again some time at some of the more conveniently located clubs here in Vancouver. Timelines are getting a little fuzzy in my memory at this point but I did get out to see her around town when the opportunity arose.

I remember catching her act at the Drake on more than one occasion. I had been approached for private dances at the Drake in the past, so I knew they were available there (although most of my experience with private dances were at the 5, so I was reluctant to try them anywhere else -- word was the dances at most of the other clubs were not on par with dances at the 5). This time, I was pretty sure that she was "working the room" for private dances. Anyway, I'm sure that it would come as no great surprise that whenever she walked around the place, my eyes were drawn to her. I remember one particular outfit she used to wear that had these tassles or the like hanging from the waist. And the way they moved when she walked around with that certain bounce in her stride was almost hypnotic. I don't know if she noticed my gaze or if she would've made her way over to me eventually since the Drake wasn't exactly packing in the clientele at that point anymore but eventually, she did make her way over to the booth I was sitting in.

She plopped herself down in the booth next to me and started chatting. Now, at this point, I had more than my fair share of private dances at the 5, so you wouldn't think a woman approaching me would be that big a deal any more. But I have to admit that I had not been that nervous around a girl or woman since I had been in my teens. Between that and the hazy, aging memory, I don't even remember exactly how the conversation went anymore. But I do remember that when she asked if I would be interested in a private dance, I was so nervous that I wasn't sure that I actually wanted to with her. But she was sweet and reassuring and I knew I'd regret not going later if I didn't. So, I sucked up the nerves as best I could and followed her up the stairs. Hands actually shaking as we went.

I do remember this bit though. As we're making our way down the hall, she turns and introduces herself by her stage name. I'm sure that I had nervously explained to her that I had seen her stage act more than a few times back at the booth, so I kind of chuckle and say, "Yeah, I know." To which she proceeds to tell me, "Well, my real name is Julie (not really Julie but I'm changing it for the sake of the story -- and the song )" I don't know if it's really her real name or not but I got the feeling that she did it to try to put me at ease a little.

The dance was strictly non contact but I was totally okay with that because I just enjoyed seeing her up close and it was fun chatting with her the way we did during the song.
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  1. Man Mountain's Avatar
    Part 2

    In the months that followed, I caught her stage act around town a number of times. She would always make a little time to come over and chat with me or acknowledge my presence from the stage in a flirty or friendly manner. She always made it seem like she was genuinely happy to see me even in places where she wasn't able to do a private dance for whatever reason. Looking back on it now, I think I could probably count the number of private dances I actually had with her on one hand. It's certainly not like I was some deep pocketed type that she was keeping interested. I guess what I'm saying is that the friendliness "felt" genuine. If it wasn't, then I was sufficiently fooled and I don't care.

    Finally, sometime in late March of 2007, she was booked at the 5. It was kind of an odd feeling that she would actually be dancing at the one strip club where I was a semi regular. Regular enough that more than a few of the VIP girls knew me even then. It almost felt like two separate parts of my life were coming together. Okay, maybe not quite that dramatic but there was just something that felt kind of off about it. I dragged a friend out with me on the most convenient evening that I'd be able to catch her act there. There was a particular VIP dancer who I saw fairly regularly there. As luck would have it, I noticed her leaving that night around the time my friend and I were grabbing a table. It was just sort of a relief knowing that she wouldn't approach me at an inopportune time. You know, like right during the stage show of the lady I was there to see.

    After a couple of acts, Julie takes the stage and sees me almost immediately and her face lights up and she waves. She goes on with her act but it feels nice being acknowledged like that. At the end of her act this night, something new: she's getting the crowd all riled up by teasing them with posters that she's making like she'll throw out. I'm sitting at a table far enough away that I'm not going to hoot and hollar and draw attention to myself for a poster. I figure just seeing her and knowing that I'd be getting a dance from her later were good enough. Once she's done and dressed, she leaves the stage and comes directly to our table where she gives me a warm hug and hands me a poster quietly. We exchange a few pleasantries and she tells me she has to make her way around to a few of the tippers and that she'll come back to me as soon as she can.

    So, my buddy who almost never goes upstairs for private dances gets approached by this little blonde VIP girl that I've never seen before then (and haven't seen in a long time since now that I think about it). I guess it just takes the right girl to make him indulge because that night he decides to go have a dance with her. That leaves me to hold our table on what was actually a fairly busy Wednesday night and watch our stuff. Sure enough, it's at exactly this time that Julie comes back to see if I'm ready for our dance. I explain the situation and let her know that as soon as my buddy returns, I'll be good to go. As she's starting to walk away, I apologize to her for the situation -- anyone who knows me will tell you that I sometimes apologize too often for things that I don't need to apologize for. I guess it's a bit of a nervous habit.

    On the heels of that apology, Julie turns about and strikes this little playfully coy pose -- head slightly turned over her shoulder in my direction in an almost Betty Boop inspired stance. And in that same typically playful, flirty, fun way of hers, she says to me, "You don't have to be sorry. I love you!"

    Now, I'm not a complete fool. I know she doesn't mean it in any real or passionate sense. I mean, if Forrest Gump is not a smart man but knows what love is, I'm certainly no idiot and I know what isn't love. But damn if it didn't feel good to hear.

    I grew up in a home where it wasn't something that was said. We weren't a touchy, feely kind of family. Not much in the way of hugs or overt displays of affection. I'm not saying it wasn't a loving home but it was something that I guess my parents felt was simply understood between us all.

    So, to this day I can probably count on my two hands how many times in my life someone has actually told me they love me. And even if it wasn't meant in any real, romantic sense, when a vivacious, beautiful young woman said that to me, it felt really good to hear. And it meant something to me when she said it.

    As another odd turn in this overly long winded tale (the length of which I apologize for), I went back to periodically watching the web sites for where she might be dancing next. She appeared on the schedule for the Cecil some time after that and I did try to get down there to catch her show. But after sitting through five acts and none of them her, I asked the DJ when she would be on. Turned out she was on day shift and that just didn't work for me, so I missed her that week, thinking, "Oh well. I guess I'll just catch her next time she's dancing somewhere." But then after quite some time, she didn't seem to show up anywhere locally any more. A guy I know who seems to know a lot of the hardcore strip club patrons and insiders eventually told me that he heard she retired from dancing and moved back to her hometown. So, after telling me she loved me, I never saw her in person again. For a long time, all I had was that poster and when I would see it sitting in the corner of my room, I might sigh and think about how I missed her. Now, even that is under a few other posters that I've been given since then.

    However, no matter what, she will always hold a special place in my memory and just for the sake of ending this on a wistful note, again from that song that I enjoy so much that I've referenced it here a couple of times, "Julie," here's to you, wherever you are!

    All I do is miss you and the way we used to be
    All I do is keep the beat and bad company
    All I do is kiss you through the bars of a rhyme
    Julie, I'd do the stars with you anytime