Below is an excerpt from my book — a mostly true story about my days as a strip club bartender in Austin, Texas where I mostly broke shit, drank a ton of booze, sometimes poured drinks, and always hit on my favorite manager.
I had recently discovered Ernie was in high school and I had a lot of mixed feelings about this. The main thing I want to know is why he had so much facial hair if he was only a teenager? I shared this information with Thomas and his initial reaction was the fact that I was selling marijuana to a drive-thru attendant and one who happens to be in high school at that.
“First of all, selling drugs is illegal, Thomas. I don’t sell him cannabis nuggets, I give them to him. There’s a difference,” I explained.
To which he told me to tell that to the cops. Thomas also made it a point to reiterate Ernie’s age.
“He’s a child,” he said.
“Look, Thomas. He’s, like, twelve. He probably doesn’t even know where to find weed. He needs me.”
It appeared as if Thomas was done with this conversation because he said nothing else and sat down and intently stared at his phone screen. I knew he was just pretending to have something he needed to do and he just didn’t want to admit that I am the answer to world peace.
“Thomas, do you think daylight savings was created by the Jews?” I changed the subject.
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
“No, it was invented by a New Zealander!” The biggest creep on the face of the planet jumped in our conversation.
I widened my eyes at Thomas as I slowly turned to look at Otis who had just appeared out of nowhere. He was good at doing that. The club technically wasn’t open for another five minutes and the lights weren’t even turned off yet.
“I wrote a little something for you, Forest.” Otis placed a tattered napkin in front of me and then quickly scurried off to go sit with a dancer at a table near the stage.
“Oh boy,” I took a deep breath.
Draft beer poured
by my bartender lord.
Click-clack bloop beep
the shape of her legs makes me go
or is it brown?
It’s not pretend.
she makes me go mute.
Bartender, pour my beer
and I will always stay near.
for I am not queer.
All I want you to hear
“I love you, dear.”
I looked up from the tattered napkin and threw up in my mouth. What. In the fuck. Did I just read?
Perhaps, I should write back to him.
You’re creepy as fuck.
Nah, I shouldn’t sell myself short when I’m a goddamn literary scholar.
I am not your girlfriend,
not even for pretend.
I don’t know what message you’re trying to send
but I think it should end.
There’s probably dead bodies in your basement,
people who have suffered defacement.
You’re seemingly innocent
but I hope you’re impotent.
You’re the kind of guy
who better have a solid alibi.
You should drive a white fifteen-passenger van
with an abundance of candy in your hand.
Unexpecting children will meet their doom
and join the others in your underground room.
You are terrifying
and I don’t feel like dying.
Roses are red,
violets are blue,
you’re a creep.