Stripper poles stand upright in darkness, tubular bells or an abstract sculptor’s impression of lightning. Turning off the main drag from City Lights and Vesuvio’s, I roll into what I’m told is the oldest stripper club in San Fran, The Condor. The first “bottomless” voyeur’s venue. There’s an historical plaque alongside the place, with a dulled, coppery state bear declaring its significance.
Seeing these girls twirl and plié looks like the innocent fun of our first grade playground when we were all kids. Back then the little girls, Amy, Tracy, et al, wore light trumpety jumpers and shiny shoes. When they attacked the jungle gym you’d see their tiny socks and flashes of their white underpants–the red, curled ribbons in their hair coming undone by naptime.
The whole experience reminds me of my last, heart-breaking love affair. She approached her relationship with me cynically, often declaring that she was just using me “to avoid thinking about death.” And, indeed, she left me high, dry, and hard–a Moonrock reduced to use as a lady’s loofa. But at least she felt bad about it; she always felt bad; she left with a bad conscience and no confession.
“I’m glad you were my first today. You made me laugh and get turned on. You’re alright.” I moved back onto the street, hunching into my coat like somebody’s grungy uncle.