10:30 at night and I walked to Divas, now called The Hot Body Club. It was a nice walk in the dark and my brain travelled several paths of thought. I’ve often thought that if I ever get a car I should make myself walk distances of over ten blocks (at least) on a regular basis because of the depth and diversity of thoughts that come to me while walking.
Sunday night and I expected Divas to be dead and Phil to not be present. However the parking lot was full and I saw his car. I stopped and considered turning around and going home. But I shrugged my shoulders and went inside. Inside looked great, some recent additions to the club have changed the atomosphere completely. I made it five feet into the door before I was mugged by girls. One after another came and gave me a hug. I in turn gave them the “eddie hug”. I give good hugs! After the initial rush a guy came up to me and asked if I worked there because he’s never seen all the girls rush up to a guy like that before. I told him that I used to but I quit in September.
I made further rounds and said hello to all the former co-workers and current friends. It was their Christmas party and lots of people were there. Phil was there and I was very cordial, even shaking his hand though it bothered me to do so. Kevin was there and I gave him a hug. A former Divas dancer and current Bush Company dancer came in. I hadn’t seen her at the Bush club yet, and we’ve had a bad relationship in the past. She is a nice girl but when she drinks she gets out of line and her paranoia and insecurities mix with her anger and aggression. She can be very hard to handle. She didn’t say hi to me and I didn’t say hi to her. But I pulled aside another girl, a mutual friend, and asked her what was up, telling her that I wanted to start from scratch with her, have a good relationship regardless of the past. She recommended I talk to her, so I saw her outside and I did. She was very wary of me, but I told her that I wanted to start from scratch. She told me that she doesn’t drink anymore. I’m going to give it a shot.
I got one of the nicest compliments tonight. Actually two of them. The first was when I was talking with Julie, a cocktail waitress. She said that she was doing something one day and another cocktail waitress, another sweet girl (who wasn’t at the party) told her that what Julie was doing reminded her of Eddie, that a lot of the things she does remind her of Eddie. Julie said that was a huge compliment to her. My eyes watered up, I was deeply touched. For someone to think that of me says a lot about how they feel about me. It was the best thing anyone has said to me in a long time (aside Gin’s, Spikey, Rose, and Jupes wonderful encouragement) Another compliment was when I was talking with Malia. She was quite drunk and being her usual self, having fun and being ornery, bless her heart. She said “you fucker! I hate you. We still do your stupid rules and you’re not even here! The other day somebody did something and we told them to fix it because Eddie would get pissed, and you aren’t even here!”. I know what she meant and it made me feel wonderful to think that I had that sort of impact on people. Julie told me that she is still working four nights a week from six to close, primo shifts, and that it was all because of me and she knows that and thanks. I told her that it wasn’t because of me, but because she was such a good worker and that it was because of her. Then another girl came up to me and asked a question about a procedure the bartender just did and what should she do about it. I coached her on why the bartender’s actions was bad (health violation) and how she could approach Rico to fix it without causing a fuss. I’ve been gone for three and a half months and I’m asked my opinion still. HA! I was begged to come back by several girls, and when some of them found out where I was they’d say that they would come over.
Faith was there, up from Medford. This woman is sexy as hell. She’s on “the list” at the Playboy mansion. She is also an angel with a heart of gold. She came up and gave me a hug and my hand was on her skin, so smooth and delightful to touch. Oh what a flutter in my heart. But she is very sweet and I’d never try anything with her. But I cannot lie and say that some of the things she does on stage are not extremely arousing. Another girl will always be Savannah to me. She’s changed her stage name, but she’ll always be my Savannah. She is 20 and is likewise very sexy. I remember the day she came in and auditioned. She was a natural and very very very sexy. I had heard a rumor that she thought I was cute but I never followed up on it. The whole co-worker rule thing which I let slip a bit when I kinda fell for Kelsey (that was a nightmare). So I do not date co-workers, especially in a strip club, especially when I am in a management position. But now I am not a co-worker any more and if she had told me to meet her after work I would have jumped at the chance without a bat of an eye. But I also found out she had a boyfriend for six months, so I can’t try for it. She hasn’t asked for anything, but I wont either now that I know she has a boyfriend. She is intelligent and is a real person. She told me that “this is not who I am” (referring to stripping). I understand completely, for I am not a bartender. She told me of her plans to start a business, timeline in three months, and her continuing to go to college and how she makes straight A’s. Brains and beauty… what a deadly combination. I snuck her shot of alcohol and told her that I thought she was sexy. I told her that she can call me for coffee or whatever and I’d be happy to do it, that I’d still think she was damn sexy, but that I’d not make an advance onto her because she has a boyfriend. But, aside from my lust toward her, I do have a very real appreciation for the woman within the body. Yes I want to make out with her (and more) on a large bed, over and over, but I can control that aspect. For the real person within the body I can be a friend to, I can listen, I can talk with, I can proof read a paper, I can have coffee with. But I tell you, what she was telling me about her thoughts toward me when she first saw me has me riled up to go to the gym! I’m going to have one hell of a workout tomorrow, you bet you! How many 32 (I turn 32 technially in about a month) are told by a very sexy 20 year old with a perfect body that he is hot? I don’t feel hot, but I’m going to go workout tomorrow and try to keep those years at bay. I still feel young, but I’ve got the feeling of middle age creeping over the horizon. It feels odd.
I was told that there is a rumor going around that Phil is going to leave Hot Body Club and that Kevin is going to take over the Eugene location, and then the case was made that I should come back to the club. I said that the club looked great, that I loved a lot of the people there, but that there was one major problem. My loyalty is with Darrell right now. He’s asked me to come aboard and he trusts me. Therefore I will not simply abandon him should the opportunity come up. Besides, rumors in strip clubs muliply faster and odder than mutant rabbits in a genetics lab.
The first impression upon entering Hot Body Club (I still want to call it Divas) is “oh shit”. The inside is much nicer, the stages better, the sound system better, the lights better. It can be easy to think that nobody can compete with them. But I will not believe it. Just as a big guy can be beaten, so can a club. You see, just because a guy weighs 240 pounds and is 6′ 5 doesn’t mean that his bones are made of steel. He might be heavy to pick up, he might be very strong, but if you are fast and know where and how to hit, bones break the same. Break a nose, a collar bone, and take out a knee. He’ll go down, I promise. When demoltion guys destroy a large building, they can either go at it with hammers and take forever, or some carefully placed charges. It’s all about archetecture and pressure points. The way I look at it, clubs are the same way. We are definitely the David in Eugene, and Divas is the Goliath. But we’ve got lots of rocks and a sling. I watched terrible, absolutely horrible interaction with the service staff and guests (except for one cocktail waitress who was doing great), I watched poor work behaviors, and I watched a couple different people get pissed off at the staff. Rico wasn’t up on it and my judgment is that it isn’t really a concern for him. The music was good, the sound and lights were good, but that was it. It was fun in the club because it was the staff Christmas party and because they were staff (off duty) they were having lots of fun with those who were working, which spilled over onto the general room. But take that element away and the room would not have had the festive feel to it that it did. That is our strong point, our attitude. This thing, above all else, should be our mantra. Even when we remodel, add the addition to the building, raise the ceiling, install poker and liquor, add the new furniture and decorations… even after all of this we’ve got to keep in mind the attitude!
Now I feel like reading Howard Shultz’s book Pour Your Heart Into It, the history of Starbucks. Good book and a must read for anyone in management in any business.
Walking home I felt great. I felt loved, and not only loved, but loved because of who I am, and they’ve seen the good me, the bad me, the anal me, the goofy me, the heartsick me, the pissed off me, and they still love me. That is a wonderful feeling.
Now, I’ll work on my DJ’ing ability (which needs a lot of work), add to my music collection (I bought five CDs for $5 today, Blues Traveller, Bryan Adams and more), continue to work on my leadership ability and work to build this club up. I’m going to get me a 66 Mustang, workout at the gym, read in the library and coffee shops, design research problems in my head for psychology, enter into college and get my degree, continue being the guy that I am. I like who I am. I like who I am becoming. I am always becoming, I’m always arriving.