You know when you get so pissed off that you're actually amused by your own pissed-offness? Get this. Your buddy Grace got played last night -- played my honies. Twanged like a little banjo and by none other than the Bard. Remember him?
So he was there again last night, sitting by fourth stage like last time. I noticed him halfway through the set, staring at the wares, which is fine, but then he did the whole thing where he looked away and pretended he didn't see me and then spent the rest of the set sort of staring carefull into space just over my shoulder. Please. Is this middle school? Because if it is, I forgot my lunch.
I didn't particularly want to reacquaint myself with the Bard and his ancient lore after I got off stage, but it the club was S L O W and other prospects were dim. In fact, every other customer in the place was surrounded by one or two or three other girls, like breadcrumbs in a pond of hungry trout. It was sit with the Bard or go back the dressing room and read that old copy of People magazine from right after Brad dumped Jen. (God, it seems so long ago, doesn't it?)
You may recall that on our last encounter the Bard wasted a good twenty minutes of my life telling tales of his awesomeness. I quite literally could not get a word in to ask for a dance, and finally just had to get up and walk away. I guess I had some idea that if I could sell him a dance or two this time, I could recover those losses. In retrospect, I would have better off with Brad and Jen. Because get this. The Bard has brought in a notebook of his poetry and writings, and he wants to read it to me. I let him read on to me out loud. I cannot begin to describe the badness of it. It was a close contender for worst poetry I have ever read, and I have read poetry by adolescent girls. It was Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings bad, and if you get that reference, please marry me. I wish I could remember even one line of it to quote for you, but it was such drivel that it doesn't seem to have stuck in my head. It was all about himself, of course. Apparently, others see him as a Warrior and a Man of Honor but inside he is tormented by demons and whatnot.
So I take Brad K's advice, and pretend to be a very busy librarian. I decide what a very busy librarian would do under these circumstances is pretend to be fascinated with the author while resting her arm casually across the pages of the notebook, so that it is impossible to turn the page. Then I ask if he would like to dance. "Dear Lady," sez he, "I could never refuse you." Alrighty then. So I dance. He's a hands-off dance recipient, which is a perk, but then on the downside he goes ON and ON about how huge his penis is, and how it is probably the biggest penis in the club, but please don't tell anyone that, please, because he would hate for word to get around that he has the biggest penis in the club because then all the girls would want to go home with him and he just can't handle that because he wants to be loved for who he really is, not feared and adored for his enormous penis. Three songs is all I can do of this, so I ask him if he'd like to take a break. He says yes, and I put all my clothes back on and perch on the edge of the chair, waiting for him to reach for his wallet. He doesn't. "You know, I don't normally pay for dances," he says.
Uh huh. And? But? I wait for him to go on, but that seems to be all he has to say.
I blink. "So, uh, you'd rather pay me for my time, then?"
"Dear Lady," says the Bard, only he probably would spell it Ladye. "To pay for what has passed between us would be demean what is to me..."
I can't imagine what my face looks like, but it must be scary, because he stops right there. "I don't pay for dances. I didn't even bring any money with me," he says. "Why should I pay a woman for what she enjoys?"
There have to literally thousands of great come-backs to a line like this. I know, because they've been coming to me all morning. But at that moment, I was rendered absolutely speechless. I just stared at him for a little while, praying that my eyeballs would turn into lasers. A waitress wandered by and I broke contact to grab her by the arm. "This man needs to charge three dances to his credit card."
She trots off and we sit in silence. He looks uncomfortable. Good.I'm glad. Waitress comes back with his card, which has been denied. "How embarrassing," he says, but he can't hide the little moment of triumph.
"Wait there," I say. I go to look for a manager, because if I can't get my money, I want to see this man's ass get kicked. But the manager is elusive. When I finally track him down at the poker table, he's sympathetic, but the Bard is gone, of course.
I'm pissed, at least as much at myself as anything. I could have done so many things. I should have taken his credit card from the waitress and held it ransom. I should have taken his wallet and rifled through it. I should have SHAKEN THAT ASSHOLE DOWN. I got rolled, and I am ashamed. I'm never really prepared for people to be that shitty, you know?
I almost called it a day after that, but I stuck it out to til closing, and I'm glad I did. In the end, I made pretty decent money. A large chunk of it from some high-rolling white guy who was there to see another girl, but tipped me multiple bennies "just for looking good." Another large chunk from the Gambler, a tiny man with a fierce mustache who, if he were one foot shorter, I would pick up and toss in the air. The rest here and there -- diesel mechanics, insurance salesmen, dudes in Hawaiian shirts. You know, the usual.