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This Writer is a Stripper

by W.H. Michael 7 months ago in Short Story
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Let me take my clothes off for you

This Writer is a Stripper
Photo by JEFERSON GOMES on Unsplash

Let me take my clothes off for you.

For your accolades, I will tell you what I love. Pay attention to me, and I will reveal my darkest fears. Shove your dollars down my pants, and I will offer my soul for examination.

I am a modern day burgeoning writer and so I am a stripper, here in this room of hope. Dancing with many other strippers. Honing my craft with my little dances, waiting for my day of discovery. The day I will deny my past and claim my rightful place in the sun, amongst the bona-fide actors.

On that day when the publisher bestows upon me that great seal of credibility, I will no longer bare my nakedness in public. I will make my money through feigned revelations, cleverly disguised as my soul's truth.

At least that is what I tell myself, as I slip closer to another stripper.

"Might I tempt you to read but a few of my pages? Mere musings of my childhood trauma. I assure you the scars are real… awfully traumatic, and deep."

She is quite attractive. I like how she reveals herself in layers. Slowly tempting me closer, for what I hope to be a glimpse at what truly excites her to the point of trembling.

From the posture of her body, it is clear to me she is more interested in the overweight, ironically hairy yet balding man, currently stripping on center stage.

He strips for our pleasure, and he promises to help each of us reach his level of proficiency, one day.

The lady stripper I was talking to rises, paying no more attention to me. She approaches the main stage and slips her dollar into his G-string.

He's polished. He's good. He holds our attention with his many years of experience. He's pole dancing in ways I admire and so, I slip my dollar into his G-string as well.

My secret hope is that by publicly acknowledging his talent, the other strippers gathered will recognize mine as well.

So I make my move… slowly flipping my pages, giving glimpses of my exposed inner self while I linger near his stage. Hoping to be noticed in my innocent attempt to steal but a small portion of his spotlight.

He has more than enough attention, I reason. It would be selfish for him not to share.

The fat man is gracious. He only continues his dance. His man boobs expertly twirl silken tassels.

No one in the room even sees me. I try to gain the attention of the woman as she puts her fetish filled desires into her dance. I stand before her, revealing a clever tattoo on my right hip. I explain to her the hidden sci-tech fantasy meaning.

"Perhaps, I might interest you in my childhood science fiction fantasies? I used them to escape the reality of my formative years." I whisper lustily, leaning closer to her ear.

She's not interested.

She only politely glances at my tattoo before walking around me to the stage, where she shares the hairy man's spotlight in ways I only wish I could.

Their dance is a thing of beauty one might imagine would take years of rehearsal, and yet there they are; spontaneously receiving everything I want for my own.

The other strippers in the room are giving them their accolades, their attention, and their money.

"What the fuck! You can't just walk onto the stage like that! Get down from there… get down now!"

My anger fills the room. All eyes are on me and I must justify myself.

"You can not simply walk onto center stage, and expect to be successful."

I offer the woman my hand to help her down, but she refuses.

"Why not?" She says defiantly. "I don't see any rules that say I can't"

"Well. It's implied. It's obvious."

I look about the room of strippers with not a customer insight. It's been this way since the club opened. All of us hope that one day the customers will come. And when they do, we will be ready.

"You must first watch the successful strippers. The ones who have been successful in the real world. You can't just get up there and expect to be successful without watching first."

"And for how long do I have to watch?" She asks, arms crossed with a pout on her lips that makes her look so cold yet inviting. The perfect balance. Damn she's good.

"Until you've practiced and memorized every move. Until you can strip away your clothes in a million different ways--in your sleep even."

"That sounds like a long time. No thank you. I'm good." She says with a flip of her hair, turning her back to me.

"Wait!" I cried and address the older experienced, overweight dancer.

"Tell her how you watched the experienced strippers for years before you ever considered approaching center stage."

But he is slow to respond and I soon realize I am being ignored, so I turn to the other strippers for support.

"It makes no sense for a stripper to walk on to the main stage, without first watching and paying their dues. They have no idea what they're doing. No point of reference. They will be aimless and their dances will make no sense. How can they expect to tell their story if they've not watched all the master strip first? Am I right?"

Many in the room openly agreed with me. No one should be allowed to tell their story with their own body, without first being properly trained and waiting their turn.

"In fact, we should all be watching each other strip. We should help each other perfect our craft. Watching each other strip should be a requirement, before any of us should expect to dance on center stage. Am I right?"

Many of the other strippers nodded their heads in agreement.

"We should give each other dollars too! And anyone who doesn't participate, isn't a real stripper!"

Feeling as though most of the other strippers were with me, I seized the woman by her hair. I was going to drag her from the stage. I would preserve the sanctity of our work single handedly, if necessary.

When and if the customers ever appear, we will be ready. We will be polished strippers.

We will not be a bunch of wild assed dancers, taking off our clothes willy nilly, without any comprehensible reference to the art form.

"This woman represents an irreverence. The likes for which, we will not stand."

I shouted. I pulled her down to me, my fingers entwined deeply into her hair. I would not let her go.

That's when she kicked me, in my unprotected nether region, sitting me down--alone with my thoughts.

I am a modern writer. I am a stripper in a room full of other strippers, convinced we must take our clothes off to be successful.

I am scared to go beyond this club--out into the real world. Scared the world may not appreciate my naked body.

So I strip for my fellow strippers.

I will continue to bare my soul, until I feel sufficiently brave to face the real world.

This place should be one, where I feel safe to expose my story without fear, and so I should not cause fear, when I see another of my fellow stripper's flawed nakedness.

You don't have to watch my dance, or give me dollars. You don't have to agree with what I say. I will be happy, simply to enjoy the company of my fellow dancers.

I now see that in this room, we're all just hoping to make it to our own main stage, in our own way, and in our own time.

Short Story

About the author

W.H. Michael

Father of three awesome kids, writer of speculative and contemporary fiction.

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