Behind the dimly lit hallways of a strip club somewhere in town, I stood just inside the main office while the owner frantically looked for a missing thing. I inched my way closer to the door, feeling like I shouldn’t be in there. I wasn’t going to leave, though. I stood there in my dirty clothes and messy hair, angry and increasingly irritated waiting for the owner to find the thing that belonged to me. It was the night of 4th of July, and I could hear the rumble of exploding fireworks over the strip club music inside the office. Strippers don’t go in that office, ever. Not even when filling out paperwork after being hired. It was a pretty standard office though it totally piqued my interest. The club has an infamous history and it made me wonder about the things that may have happened right where I stood. There were two desks cluttered with memos and pictures of family members. There was a blue printed paycheck for $155 sticking out of an inbox. There was also a refrigerator-sized safe with a lock the size of an apple. Several bricks of cash and a bunch of documents were inside it. I felt like it may have been poor etiquette looking over the owner’s shoulder into the safe but, damn it, I wouldn’t have been in the office in the first place if nobody lost anything of mine. I was entitled to my shameless gander. It wasn’t in the safe and the owner closed the large door. I walked back through the club in the same dress I had been wearing the day before. I hadn’t been back home since leaving my house the previous night to go to work at that same club so I never got a chance to change outfits. I noticed there were hardly any customers for a Saturday night, or a weeknight for that matter. That’s how business can be in the summer, I suppose. I was glad I wasn’t working.
Inside the locker room, the house mom was further assisting me in finding my missing car keys. “They have a little dog on them,” I told her, while she gave me a choice of two sets of keys, neither of which had a dog on them. The previous night, while working, I had left my keys with the valet and that was the last time I had seen them. I ran into an old stripper friend from my heavy-drinking era and she introduced me to a customer who was buying shots like he was celebrating a divorce. I have no linear memory of the rest of the evening. I vaguely remember sitting at the bar talking her into a boob job. “Listen to me, get your boobs done. You’re going to love them!” Now she wants them.
Anyway, my very irritated boyfriend picked me up from work that night and returned me to the club the following night to pick up my keys and drive myself home. I should have taken only a minute to get my keys and leave but they were missing with out a trace. The house mom asked everyone on shift from the night before where my keys might be. She even called everyone at home even if it was their day off. I hated to be such a pain in the ass but I was appalled that they would just lose someone’s keys like that.
Finally, the house mom got a hold of the last person who saw me before I left. It was a worker who walked me out. The guy said he gave me my keys as I left and told me specifically “Don’t lose these.” It turns out that they were in my bag the whole time.
In a strip club that employees hundreds of strippers, I believe it is best to stay under the radar. It is hard to remain inconspicuous when you get blacked out drunk, lose your stuff and then accuse the entire staff of being disorganized and careless. I tipped the house mom and weaseled my way out the back door.