That Time I Tried to Be a Stripper…But Pepper-Sprayed Myself in the Face
I thought I was going to make big bucks as a sexy and empowered nude dancer. I didn’t even make it to the audition.
Illustration by Tom Eichacker
The air was stifling as I rattled my truck into the parking lot. Brad was sitting on his lawn chair in front of his apartment, which was directly under mine, surrounded by his cats. They lay stretched out in the Texas heat, grooming their patchy clumps of fur. The latest in the collection, a burly black scrapper, stared at me with his one good eye. Brad grinned at me from behind his greasy hair. He wore his usual tight cutoffs and nothing else. In his mid thirties, his belly rounded over the shorts he probably purchased as jeans a decade ago. He smoked a cigarette and sat with his legs wide apart. I tried not to look. I knew those shorts had a rip in an unfortunate place. “Hi Brad,” I said as I bounded up the stairs. I had an audition scheduled for that night. I was going to be a stripper.
A few days earlier, I’d been sitting on my milk-crate furniture, eating my cheese and mustard sandwich. It was either that or fried potatoes, but it was too hot for potat…
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