Dave Newman

Nothing Was Going On

so Louie and I packed it in
and headed for the Strip Club in Smithton

and it was snowing outside
beautiful flakes messing the roads

and the owner said
“I just sent home my best girls”

and one of the three remaining strippers
said “Fuck you, Frank”

and walked towards the stage.
Louie and I handed over 20 bucks

and the owner said “I’ll take $10
because of the weather”

and we each got 10 back
and found chairs around the stage

which was not much of a stage
and the walls were all aluminum

and the floor was muddy
and flecked with road salt

and Louie said “This really is a dump”
and I said “You never noticed that?”

and the women danced a little
which is to stay stripped a little

and I handed over some singles
and Louie handed over some singles

and the blonde stripper—
well, the older blonde stripper—

said “You can beat it
in the back room for 15 dollars”

and I said “Sounds great”
and Louie just sort of sat there.

A couple other women
came from the back room

and they were talking about
how expensive it was to get your nails done.

I got up to head to the back room.
The strippers concerned with their fingernails

started to give the same pitch
to Lou about beating off.

Louie is a more complex person
than I am, and nurturing too

and significantly more masculine
which also adds to his kindheartedness

so there were things for him to consider
like the impact of prostitution on women

ages 38-56 during a snow fall
on a Thursday night in Smithton

whereas I accept that most people
make choices in their own best interests

and jerk-jobbing at a strip club
probably beats working at McDonalds

or sitting in a cubicle somewhere
so I headed for the booth

and paid an extra ten dollars
for the stripper to finger

her ass and pussy at the same time
and she was nice, knew all

the right words and sexy sounds
and when I came she said

“Did you have fun?”
and I said “I did, thanks”

and I went back to the stage
and she did too

and I pulled up a chair
and she sat crossed legged

her robe covering her lap
and she said “Your buddy’s back there

with Sheena and Tina”
and I said “Sheena and Tina?”

and she said “It’s a winter special”
and laughed and I said “Oh”

then Louie appeared
but not Sheena and Tina

and Louie said “Let’s get out of here”
and I said “Sure”

and the stripper said “Thanks
for the extra ten bucks”

and I said “You’re great at what you do”
and she said “I know.”

Outside, I asked Louie
why he wanted two strippers

and he said “I don’t know”
and I said “What’d they do?”

and he said “Giggled”
and I said “What’d you do?”

and he said “Nothing.”
Then he said “I asked them some questions”

and I said “That was a nice thing to do”
and the snow was everywhere now

the flakes bigger than pennies
and the road reflecting white

and Louie said “At least
they’ll have money for manicures”

and I said “At least there’s that.”

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