CL comes from Orange County, California. Currently serving in the the US Navy.
The Night I Met the Woman Who Ruined Me
I was puking in a strip club bathroom. The club was The Wet Release, and I had been there many times with my boy J. J has a habit for strippers (I use the present tense because I like to believe that the spirit never dies), runs his father’s hunting equipment company, and rolls in a fully-loaded speed yellow ’07 Porsche Cayman. He wears $2,000 Versace slippers and $10,000 Bulgari watches. Now, what was he doing hanging out with me—an aimless beach bum/poet, a Johnny Rotten with degrees—or as they labeled Tupac Shakur—“an educated nut”? We went back—all the way to freshman year of high school—which made goading each other during our drunken escapades that much more enjoyable.
I didn’t see J after high school graduation—having gone away to college at San Diego State and then finishing my Bachelor’s at U.C. Santa Barbara (the 2nd and 3rd ranked party schools in California, respectively). I was cruising down Main Street in Huntington Beach, shirtless on a hot Labor Day Weekend, six months out of earning my Pre-Law degree (which I would never use) when we met again. There was J getting off a tricked out Ducati, long brown curls and a 3 piece Italian suit, when I rolled up, sun-bleached blonde hair half-way down my back. And that’s where the rest of my 20’s went—with J going to high-end bars and strip clubs and dance clubs (and of course, my solo excursions to coffee shops and open mics).
On that fateful night, deep through a decade of hedonistic rituals, we were drinking hard. Not too much had changed, other than the wisdom of experience. Stolicran for me, with a few shots in between per J’s orders. We were getting loaded at The Cronic in Costa Mesa, filled with a tattooed crowd use to driving big trucks and spending drug and alcohol-excessive weekends at Lake Havasu. The cocktail staff was physically enhanced, double D being the average statistic, and our waitress, a young Croatian-American girl, kept suggestively selling us “Wet Pussy” shots. We were smitten. And we had many Wet Pussies.
But alas, the night had to end, and as with most nights, it ended at our local strip club—The Wet Release—located in an Industrial area/Hispanic Community in Santa Ana. Yes, this was a real strip club.
I was reluctant to be hanging out at our usual perch—two seats set off from the other soft, cushioned red lounge chairs that infested the club, between the doors of the Men’s and Ladies rooms. You got the whiff of piss every time the Men’s door swung wide, and thick cigarette smoke every time the Ladies’ opened (due to the strippers going in to catch a smoke break). Plus I was lit up—drunk off my ass, and didn’t want to deal with bullshit from any of the girls—be they stripper, waitress, or bartender. There was always at least one young, dumb thing with a stick up her ass at these places—and J was always ready to play spin the bottle with it (and I was never ready to deal with the drama that resulted).
Feeling the spins, I knew it was my time; and being a solid puker—one that never complained, that knew the alcohol and stomach acids were screaming to leave, would always manage to find a proper building corner, beaten crapper, or paper bag in which to vomit—calmly got up, went into the stall of the Men’s room, and let out a solid barrage of Wet Pussies (just the drink), Stolicrans, and chips and salsa. Sitting back down in my seat, I played it off, having wiped the tears of a good wretch from my face while inside the bathroom.
Then she walked by: petite, poised with her back straight, shoulders out—damn that immaculate posture. That’s what really won me over. More than her little white sweater with the collar up. More than her thin 5’3” ballet dancer’s body, or her big, thick, lower lip and the small upturned nose.
I found out later, during late night conversations at Denny’s after picking her up from the club, that she had competed in those Jr. Miss pageants—the Jean Bennette Ramsey type of contests, where little girls waltz in bathing suits, smiling and waving at judges and audiences from a stage. She could walk a runway at the age of four.
She walked by us again. J caught her glancing at me, and let out a “Ooohhh, somebody likes CL!”
Shit. This was it. All of a sudden, I wasn’t too eager to leave the club. I turned to J and flat-out told him, “I need to meet her.”
She was now sitting up at the alcohol-free bar (yes, this is California, where all nude means no fun, unless you have a grip of cash and you’re in the back room with one (or two) of the girls). J approached her, did his usual magic, and she came over, sitting in my lap while talking with him. I was fucked up, still. Hard looking and quiet. For some reason that side of me always attracted the hottest, most troubled girls…I could tell you about the Chilean girl at the Peppermint Gazelle in City of Industry, but that’s another mini-epic…
The now ex-girlfriend told me months later she had to talk through J to get to me—since I was removed, just listening, as she and J chatted. Then J paid for a dance…for me. A dance at The Wet Release isn’t a regular dance. Being all nude, you get laid down on your back on a plus-size couch in the dark back room, and the girl straddles over you, arching her back, putting it literally in your face. Her dance wasn’t too different than the handful of others I had gotten there, but as we rose, she stood up on her tip toes and kissed my lips lightly—an unexpected move which threw me off my guard.
Damn this girl.
We walked back out, and I asked for her number. She took mine down on a napkin—technically the girls can’t give their numbers to customers because it’s considered soliciting (from what she told me—she didn’t seem full of shit). Then she swayed behind purple curtains into the back area behind the stage, where the real pre-game is laid out.
We promised we would hang out and watch her stage show, and J noticed her poking her head out at one point to make sure we were still there. She came out, a pin-stripe gangster hat tilted to the side, a cane, and 2 tone shoes like a cabaret dancer, as “Irreplaceable” by Beyonce played—in reflection I can say it was probably an au revoir to her then boyfriend, as she was getting ready to suck me in…
She coiled around the pole and slinked forward and back, arching her spine, gleaning a leg forward in opposite movement of her torso while bending her back almost parallel to the floor. She had a poise unlike the other girls, and she didn’t sit her ass down at the front of the stage and spread wide for the Mexican dishwashers in the front row to stare up her vagina. She held back and kept the crowd looking, peeking, guessing.
J and I took off into the night, satisfied with what we had seen. I got the call at 4 a.m. It went straight to voicemail. She was polite, called to say “hi”, of all things.,,