Well, Misty Hoyt,” Sergei grinned. “Why don’t you go up there on the stage and strut your stuff? I’d like to see you pole dance.”
“Oh, pole dance,” I mumbled, slurping back saliva. I figured I would hardly be able to stand up, let alone pole dance. I had never pole danced in my whole life though Misty Hoyt had pole danced and had admitted as much at the bar to Andrei, but I hadn’t had time to catch up with all of Misty’s skills. This was definitely a hole in the planning of my backstory – giving me experience, as a pole dancer, I would not be able to fake. I would look utterly grotesque too, tattooed as I was; the vanity of self-consciousness never dies – I shuddered at the thought of me tattooed and pierced among those buff, golden, perfectly beautiful girls.
Whatever! I had to do it.
“Okay,” I said, “You are the boss, Mister Sergei.” I managed somehow to stand up, wobble, and then make my way, through tables and guests, and get over to the runway, and climb up onto it. It seemed very high. I weaved, tottered this way and that, and then somehow, I pulled myself together.
I pole danced with one of the pole dancers – me weaving around one pole, and she around the other. She was the petite, fine-featured golden Vietnamese girl I had noticed before. I’d seen movies of pole dancing, so I managed to fake it; and then I was the tattooed pierced clown, a freakish waif, I didn’t really have to be very good.
Then – I’m foggy about actually when – the golden Vietnamese girl and I were ordered to make love on the runway in the bright lights. The strobe lights had stopped. The other pole dancers had disappeared into the crowd. And now, except for the spotlights on the two of us, the whole place was subdued in dull amber light, a sort of nightclub twilight. The music went down, and it was quiet. I thought maybe I was hallucinating the silence. But no, it was real.