For Christmas I get some screenwriting software, a dead bird and a bag of loose Marlboro red cigarettes. In that order.
I spend the day in my pretty pink apron cooking at my boyfriend's house while he plays on the computer. I make parmesan mashed potatoes, green beans almandine, turkey and gravy from scratch. I turn his beautiful kitchen into an apocalypse of dirty pots, pans and stacks of dishes. It looks like a flour bomb exploded in there. I clean up and join him in the living room.
Around 8 p.m. I'm rolling around on his floor procrastinating about work. I go home to find a trail of little fluffy gray feathers leading to a dead bird in the closet of the spare bedroom. I pick it up, and it's still limp like rigor mortis hasn't set in. Merry Christmas to me. My cat is violent and thoughtful.
I pull into the strip club parking lot just after 1 a.m. that night. It feels like I'm punishing myself at the end of a beautiful day. I haven't worked at this club in over a year, and I'm not sure what to expect. They need to update my paperwork when I check in. At this point it has been a few days short of a year since my business license, a required stripper document, has expired. I told myself I'd have quit by now, but there I am with my big bag of bikinis, high heels and expired paperwork about to begin another shift of work. I also once told myself never to work holidays, but there I am. They let my unlicensed situation slide. “We ain’t trippin’,” the house mom assures me.
I get ready very quickly. I'm not wearing much makeup. No fake eyelashes or eyeliner. Just mascara and lip gloss. My hair isn't even really done. Clearly, I care a lot.
I rush onto the floor, because my friend is waiting for me. He calls himself the Jewish Jabber, since he's been involved in boxing training. And because he’s Jewish. He says we’ll honeymoon in Switzerland if we ever get married. He says I’m his favorite lady besides his mother.
We’re sitting at the bar, and Santa Claus walks in—only he's wearing biker gear. Black T-shirt. Black leather. Big round belly and a long full white beard. It's a guy who works as Santa Claus during the holidays. He looks like he walked straight out of a greeting card and then joined a motorcycle gang. "Santa worked hard and is ready for his ho-ho-hos now," I tell Jabber.
I sit on Santa's lap and ask him if he likes naughty girls. Affirmative. And off goes my top. He invites me to hang out in his hot tub at his house. I bet Mrs. Claus wouldn't approve, and honestly, I don't have the right clothes with me to go to the North Pole.
I run into my old dogsitter. She recently got out of prison and is working at the strip club again. She puts a bunch of cigarettes into a glittery Christmas gift bag and hands them to me. I love smoking, but I'm not a smoker. I officially quit a few months ago, but I accept. I'm buzzed, it's Christmas and I'm at work. I could use a cigarette or 12.