I remember the exact positions a man and dancer were in when he penetrated her in the dressing room. I remember the look on her face … the initial pain of having someone she didn’t want, then the resignation, and finally the numbness.
For my friends who work in the sex industry, please know I’m not saying this is what a dancer feels when she prostitutes herself. I’m simply relaying what I read on the face of the woman in my dream, as she watched me watching her. A writer friend of mine would argue that I have no right — in fact that I can’t — go into the point of view of the stripper’s mind when I’m writing from my POV. But it was my dream, and I’m telling you what I saw and interpreted. And if we’re talking interpretations, and Freudian interpretations at that, I guess I should admit that the prostitute stripper was closer to my age than the cliché stripper, and she was brunette like me.
I recall the man’s grin of satisfaction after completion and that same look in his dark eyes as he looked at me. In my dream, I felt my fear. And I felt my thankfulness as the women surrounded me and eased me away, not so that I wouldn’t see the reality of their industry, but to protect me from him.
Again, for those I know who have worked or presently work in the sex industry, I’m not saying there is or isn’t such camaraderie among strippers. This is just what happened in my dream.
As I left the dressing room and returned to the floor, I ran into my friend Casey Dancer, a former student. She was exhausted from the work, but kept at it. I also ran into my friend Bonnie, a screenwriter and producer. She was there working, too. I suppose researching. Or maybe she was there watching out for me. Bonnie’s like that – she’s always got my back.
When I walked toward the front door to leave, I spotted a friend I’ve known since childhood. We’d gone to church together. We’d gone on church mission trips together. She was at the club having dinner with another family from our church – a woman who’d been our Sunday school teacher, a man who’d been a prominent doctor and church deacon, and their three adult children.
I specifically wrote that they were “at the club” having dinner, because the white linens and the good silver on the table insinuated that they were dining at our old country club. The light, happy looks on their faces indicated that too. But just a few steps behind them was that loud and shadowy strip club.
Again, there are so many obvious Freudian interpretations there. I’m going to leave those to you. Instead, I’m going to answer why this dream, which some people would consider dark and maybe even sinful, awakened me refreshed and happy.
The answer is because I was back in my element. I don’t mean hanging out in strip clubs is my element. I mean working … learning … understanding others who are so different from me. That’s being in my element. That’s what I love about what I do. And that’s what makes me happy. I am one blessed writer.