The dance music is pounding, crappy techno like stuff that makes my ears burn and makes me want to hit someone. I keep hoping that they'll play some type of rap that I know, but it never happens.
"I'm going back upstairs, dude," I say.
This is the kind of place where they play hip-hop from 105.1, softer stuff that the girls can shake their asses to. Puffy's Come to Me plays at one point, and it's just like that video- laid back joint, fancy, girls slinking around in sexy skirts, trying to hustle you into buying them a drink.
It was just like this joint.
"Alright, me too," he says.
A friend is dancing like an asshole on the dance floor, looking like a stickbug having a seizure, and I just can't watch it anymore. He'll tell me later that he does it so women assume he's "No threat" and will therefore talk to him.
I make my way back upstairs, look for the two girls I was talking to at the bar before when I was ordering my beer; Erin and Carly. Of course, I think Carly got stood up, so when she came back from the bathroom and saw me BSing her friend it got awkward, and I got caught in the, "My friend is a cunt" trap.
They're gone, but there are wonderously good looking women everywhere. We got here too late, and the beers are $5 a piece, which hurts me on the inside, but I'll pay that much to get into where the dime pieces are, as opposed to the white trash, "I just got out of a Bon Jovi convert" lookers that are normally so attracted to me.
There are candles everywhere, and the walls are a deep shade of maroon. Many of the guys smoke their cigarettes like they're gay, and some jazz band that has enough people to represent the UN is playing "Lady Marmalade" in the back room. There's a lot of 43-year-old guidos around, trying to spike the remaining strands of hair up the way they used to back in the 80's, looking around in vain for their third wife. If there's anything sadder than a guido, it's a past-his-prime guido.
It's getting late, and this place is clearing out. We bounce. But we'll be back. Save your nickels up for this place, but it's worth it.
On the way home, five of us are in the car. I am outvoted. Instead of going up the hill, we are descending.
I look at my buddy. "You motherfucker."
"I love this place," he says.
The buildings are getting worse, delapidated and dark, and the air is threatening. It's raining, so the hood rats aren't out tonight, but when I tell you we're in the worst ghetto in the East Coast, I ain't bullshitting you.
It is dark, very dark, inside, and the girls are still horrendous. Not regular woman ugly, either, but stripper-crack-whore-motherfucker ugly. There are buffet trays out, with some kind of rice and seafood in catering platters, and the chairs look like the ones you get when you're at a party at the American Legion, gold legs and brown seat backs. One guy is getting jerked off at the bar.
One of the black strippers with hazy eyes runs over and rips my dancing buddy's shirt right away, starts kissing his chest, until she gets yelled at by pimpette behind the bar.
The strippers do their thing, begging for money in the way that only those with no way out can. I'm drinking, though, and having enough fun, when the stripper offers to take me in the back. There's no lap dances here, though, and "the back" means "let's sit over there, ten feet away." Grimy.
I smirk. "Sorry honey. No money for that." She keeps trying to kiss me, and I'm bobbing my head and rolling my shoulders so she always misses. I tell her, "I'm going to go get money, I'll be right back."
I'm really going for a cigarette, and have no intention of letting this broad near me again. I smoke outside, crouch down and lean on my knees like I tend to, like the guy from Gladiator does before he fights. I rub my hands through the puddle of rain that's been draining from the skies all night. Grimy ass motherfuckers... you ain't getting near my dick honey, I think to myself. Contrary to popular belief, I do have morals, and flatly refuse to consider paying for any type of sex.
When I walk back in, my stripper shoves her lazy tits together. "You have dollar?"
"I got nothin baby. Sorry."
She gives me a hell of a look, storms off. I probably gave the cunt $15 in an hour for being ugly, more or less. There's nothing worse than a stripper with a sense of entitlement.
The soundtrack for this joint is still hip hop, but of a whole 'nother nature. One of the broads puts on 50's first album, and the tracks are hardened and biting, straight from brutal streets.
"You got the realest and illest killas tied up in a knot..."
My buddy is at the bar, talking to a couple of Hispanic guys. One looks like someone I used to work with, tall and skinny with a shaped up beard, so I join the conversation.
"You mothafuckas are cool, man. I ain't down with that hatin' on white boys shit. I got me a job, a wife, a kid. I work, you know? Some of these mothafuckas down here give you shit just for walkin' through, but I ain't down with that shit. You mothafuckas seem like guys I would work for, you know? Like I'm hanging with my boss or some shit."
I know what he means, cause I've had tons of guys like him work under me, and so has my friend (who owns a construction business). That's why I get along with these guys. I don't pretend to be from the hood, but I know what they're saying, how they act, and how they think. But they can get testy when you're on there turf, and I'm surprised at getting so much respect right off the bat from this guy. It's disarming, and I can tell he's a good guy who gets mixed up in bad things. The cut over his eye that's still healing is blatant, and though he tells me he boxes, it could be from anything.
His boy is cool with us too, but he's far more dangerous. Wide eyed and Peruvian looking, he is short and wearing an oversized black teeshirt with a closely shaved head. He's flipping dollars at one of the hideous strippers who's missing teeth.
We got out for a smoke, three white boys and these two ghetto bangers.
"Motherfucka, I just got out of the county. I aint' never goin back to that motherfucka. But I down with you white boys too, I don't be hatin. When I be in there, motherfuckin white boy came up to me and offered me-" he pauses, counting on his fingers- "six cans of tuna, loaf a bread, three snickers bars, and coffee, jus' outta respect. I said, 'Man you ain't gotta do that shit. I 'preciate it, but you ain't gotta do that.' So I down wit' you white boys. Y'all some cool motherfuckers.'"
"When were you there?" I ask.
"Ahh, 2000, 2001, 2004 I think."
"Who helped you out?"
If there was a white guy in County, the odds are I know him or someone he knows.
"White boy named Paul. Paul the second he call hisself."
I know him. Goddamn. Small world.
As he finishes, a tall Italian kid in a blue Yankees shirt and slicked back hair wobbles outside. The little guy looks at him.
"You a bouncer? We in trouble?"
"Bouncer? SHIT SON, I jus' got out County! Look nigga, no laces!" He holds up his foot, showing off the laceless workboots he's got.
"OOOOHHH shit son. You be gettin' that watered down coffee? That shit SUCKED! An, an, the eggs, fuck, that watered down Gatorade."
Just in case you're curious if someone is lying about going to prison, get them around someone else who's been locked up. The FIRST thing they will talk about is how bad the food is.
Before we leave, a one of the other three with us begins antagonizing the little one, doing small things that piss guys off. He does it intentionally to fuck with people, but he doesn't understand how these guys work.
"Let's go. Now."
On the way home I look at my construction worker buddy, and then the drunken retard in the back who was pissing off our ghetto compatriot.
"He doesn't know you can't do that to those guys," I say.
"I know. You can't do that shit," he says.
"Those fuckin guys... you say somthing little, shit starts, and they're not gonna fight. They're gonna stab you and run. Especially if it's two on five."
"Oh I know."