Excerpt from a blog written by an "exotic dancer" named Grace, in Texas.
Rose was putting lotion on her face when she told me about the abortion. She was brief and matter-of-fact. Maybe I was supposed to ask more questions. The dressing room is not a tearful-hugs-sisterhood rah-rah-girlfriends kind of place. It's a zone of suspended emotion, mostly. It's where you go to get out of the whole chatty, google-eyed gushing sex kitten thing that you do out on the floor all the time. Even the girls on their cellphones breaking up with their boyfriends every day during shift change sound clinical and practiced. The only real raw emotion there is from girls who aren't making money, crouched by their lockers hissing curses into little piles of singles.
Rose and I sat in front of the mirror and put our powder on. It seemed quiet, although it never actually is, with the stage music piped back here and the DJ on the mic hawking five-dollar you-call-em shots. Some people would be saying things right now, because some people show how much they care by saying things. Some people would want to know if she was still with her boyfriend and what does he think and are you OK and where are you getting it done? And maybe those people would be better than me in situations like this. I tend to try to show how much I care by saying as little as possible.
I wish I could let her know just by the quality of the silence that if she needs anything from me it's hers. We're not best friends or anything. Sometimes we sell dances together. Men like to see us entertwined, her slim frame and and spectacular breasts, my pale skin and substantial hips. I love the warmth of her skin and the light gold freckles she's powdering over now so meticulously.
On the floor, she is silly and bewitching, daffy smile and clownish gestures set off against the essential elegance of her — her classical face, that serious lode of smoky black hair. She seduces me again and again, like she seduces everyone. I love Rose. But of course, there is no Rose. I don't really know this girl next to me, the girl who's legal name is in my phone. If I knew her, I would say more.