If he tries to talk me up when I go back to work tomorrow I know I’m going to fume. The last time I was at the office I thought he was at least a decent person, but he has persuaded me. Not an hour after I told them I had mono was he asking Faye for my home address so he could send me a card. He was texting me all week to talk about work-related things almost none of which actually needed to be said, and also just to ask how I was doing, so along with being sick I had to find the energy to pretend to be happy to hear from this guy. It is exhausting even when I’m well.
There was a man in the club who called me Emily even though that is not my stage name. He kept asking me what I really wanted from life, and he was asking me over and over again and at first I thought it was because he was drunk. Later I realized it was because he didn’t like my answer.
I know I’m going to go off tomorrow, at least on the inside, if I get forced into another one of these interactions for the twentieth fucking time since I got sick. I know I will want to run out of the office and go back to stripping even though it could damage my internal organs to dance too soon before I recover. This is why I strip, even if it pays the same (or worse) than data entry. What does it feel like when your spleen is about to rupture?
Don’t act like he’s being nice because he is not. He knows that I am diagnosed with a virus and that I can’t deny it or pretend to have started feeling better when he decides to check up on me. He knows he has me caught and I have to be nice and give him my attention. I’ve made it clear that I am not available and still he is doing things to make me feel obligated toward him; I’m not a cheat. I went to office happy-hour for a bunch of weak reasons having nothing to do with this guy and at the last second he grabbed the waitress’ attention and said he was paying for me. I wasn’t going to have that stupid back-and-forth argument just so he could push me farther into letting him do things for me–buying my dinner is a stronger act after I’ve asked you three times not to and three times you’ve declared out loud that you will. Faye said that once she gives him my address she is removing herself from this “repartee.” Why is she saying that to me? I didn’t agree to be part of it either.
Whenever they say it’s about me, it’s not even just that you can be sure they mean the opposite, but that the situations that are about me are the best situations for them to take advantage of. So in a way it really is about me and my feelings, as long as my feelings are exactly what they want my feelings to be, and if they aren’t they will ask me again and again until I tell them that what I truly want is to leave the man I’m seeing now, or to leave the club with a guy who thinks I’m librarian-cute which happens to be his favorite type and who is very sure that I am the smartest girl in there, and is so into me that he didn’t even give me a dollar while I was sitting with him and that if I were as smart as he thinks I am, I would realize that what I truly want is to forfeit all my money for the night and go home with him right then for free; in the club-universe, and really, with all male-to-female heterosexual sex, reaching my personal existential fulfillment is very earnestly the same thing as having no personal desires at all.
Ten thinks the customer who bit me is the one who gave me mono. Ten does not have mono and I haven’t come into contact with anyone else. I wouldn’t even mind that these people make it all about them if they paid me for letting them do it, but I’ve decided I charge twenty dollars for being bitten and when he didn’t pay me I had him thrown out. Maybe it’s better that instead of breaking skin he gave me a month-long injury, so I don’t have to worry about his waiting for me out on Connecticut Ave after closing the next time he comes to town for his every-third-week on business.