The Stripper

What do you think of the image for this post, Wilson? I took that picture in Greece. On the way to Sparta. Cute as hell, right?

This one is going to be a little out of sequence. I’ve got an idea for a little thread that may support the other things I am writing about here. I’m not sure if it will, or if I will continue the thread, but I think this story has enough merit in its own right tell you about. So I am going to take you back to November of 2020. I was visiting some cousins in Texas because my aunt had died.

This was before OG’s adventure in Puerto Vallarta. It was certainly long before the madness that I have going on currently. It was before the deportation in 2021 at the end of COVID. It was actually right after the conclusion of the Electrochemical Girl book, but before all the mad poetry and incomprehensibility of her silence that took place in Spain and Serbia with the Chief. So basically, right after obtaining the sense of mission that came from Chaz and Haley and Melinda. I don’t like telling stories out of sequence, but I’ve been telling you about weird things lately, Wilson. You might be tempted to think all of this has just driven me nuts. You might be right. But a weird thing happened to me long before all the other weird things happened. I was not high on drugs. I had not ridden a bicycle across Europe alone. I had not had any visionary schizophrenic breaks like the one OG had. But these weird things go all the way back, and they pertain to things going on today.

So while I was in Texas for my aunt’s funeral, the wife of a cousin of mine had a birthday. Another cousin of mine suggested we all go to a strip club to celebrate. A third cousin would join. So that would make six of us. Four cousins, a boyfriend of one of them, and the wife of another. The birthday girl. Quite a family gathering, right Wilson?

The club was rather animated. We all got lap dances. I picked the stripper. Kennedy was her name. I remember because I added her to my contacts.

I’m not showing you this to dime anyone out or embarrass anyone. I have no idea where she is today. I just want you to know, Wilson, this is a true story about a real person.

She was thin. Tall. I guess that reminded me of Noah. I have no idea what Noah looks like now. I saw some pictures of her online a good while after I left Israel and saw that she filled out a bit. Still equally beautiful. But back at that time, I think I probably picked Kennedy out of the crowd of strippers because I just could not get enough tall and thin. At least that’s my assumption.

Going into the club there wasn’t any indication that I was religious or theistic at all. I hadn’t started wearing tzitzit yet. We were all just drinking beers, getting our lapdances, having a good time with Kennedy. She sat with us, talked a bit, joked, all of that. There was no indication of anything being out of place or that I was anything different from anyone else in the club. There was also no indication that Kennedy had any sort of problem with me or thought of me as anything different from any other dude in the club, other than the fact that I was out at the club with family members rather than some solo patron sitting in the dark with his thoughts.

I did ask some personal questions as she sat with us all in our booth. I asked her if she liked her job. She said she did. I asked her how she got into working there. She said it was from a crazy boyfriend at the time.

The first thing went weird when we went to the back room for the private dance. She went in ahead of me, and I slammed the door behind us. Not intentionally or with anger, but a little too forcefully, so that there was a bit of a bang. Instantaneously she turned around and threw a fit and stormed out of the room saying she wasn’t having any of that. I was shocked. I mean, a loud bang certainly wasn’t suave, but you’d think she would be accustomed to some customers not being the most debonaire of clientele. Perhaps she was a PTSD sufferer, and loud bangs set her off?

Now at that time I did not quite have the sense of being the allergen to women that I have today. I was living in Mexico in those days. Actually, I hate to say it, now that I see that I am telling you a story about going to a strip club, but I was dating Mayra at the time. And no, Mayra would not have been cool with me going to a strip club and getting a private dance. But I wasn’t going to screw anybody, and I wasn’t going to have my cousins thinking I was too much of a moralist to miss a birthday party, and finally, in the end, well, Wilson, I just absolutely love looking at hot chicks. Mayra would be okay.

I mentioned in my post about Tinder that I tended to have bad experiences with that app because God keeps me away from things I don’t want. Could this have been the reason the stripper just mysteriously and amazingly stormed out of the dance room? I don’t think so, Wilson. Wait until you hear what happens next.

So what does a guy do in this situation? I’d just paid some amount of money, not insignificant, $80 or something, for this dance. So I had to go to get my money back, right? So go to the manager and tell him Kennedy didn’t want to dance with me. He asked what happened, and I told him I’d slammed the door. He went away for a bit, but then instead of coming back with my money, Kennedy came back to dance for me. I guess he told her the club would get a bad reputation if she couldn’t dance for the customers or something. But it looks like he made her come.

When we got to the room, I sat down in front of her. She was wearing a bikini, and she had a variety of tattoos on her body. One of the most provocative was that written in huge carolingian letters on her left inner thigh going from her sex to her knee was the word “SLUT.” I told her that this was quite a tattoo. She said she wasn’t really a slut. I told her I didn’t care.

Pornography is a strange mistress, Wilson. Don’t ever take a vow of celibacy for eight years, my friend. I mean, I know you don’t have a penis, and your testosterone levels are at zero, so these aren’t the kind of things that you worry about, but regardless, it’s the principle. Healthy relationships keep people within healthy boundaries. I haven’t always stayed within the boundaries. This has caused me innumerable problems, but one thing I have taken away from my meanderings is that sluts are people too. I don’t get jealous. I don’t get offended. At times I’ve been tempted and excited, but as I age and have a collection of wild experiences that get further and further behind me, I don’t get terribly excited by crazy things either. For me, she was Kennedy. Kenny with a gargantuan SLUT tattooed on her leg. That was enough for me.

So she started to dance, and weird thing number two happend. She was sitting on my lap, grinding me, and then she collapsed on to me, hugging me tight, with her head on my shoulder, and she started crying. I hugged her too. I could feel her shaking.

This experience utterly melted me. I hugged her back like a baby, patting her shoulder. I wanted her to know she was okay. After a couple of minutes, she sprawled herself out on me, so that my thighs were under her back, with her feet stretched to my right and her head to my left, and her arms stretched over her head. Her eyes were closed.

And there I was, in utter awe. I stared at her stomach, perfect, like a calm sea of almond milk, and her sex, an otherworldly capsule of divine entrance to the holy realm of her soul, and then ran my eyes along her body, the most beautiful thing God ever made, to her eyes, which were now open and looking at me, glassy from tears. She said to me, “I’m a good person.”

In one sense, I was in a state of shock. This was not the usual private dance experience. I was, however, calm. I could feel her collapsing under guilt. I am a theologian. I am well aware of this process. Sin is a particular area of expertise of mine. In that moment, I said the only honest thing that I could say that would comfort her. I said, “I know.”

She looked at me in confused surprise. I scooped her up into my arms and held her tight to me, and I kissed her on the cheek as tenderly as I could, and spoke softly into her ear that this had been the most delightfully wonderful private dance that I had ever gotten, and that I was utterly pleased and honored to have met her. We then stood up, I took her by the hand, and we left the room.

As we were leaving, that’s when I got her full name and number. She said she was going to change clothes, and I said I would look for her later. Off she went. I basically sat by myself in a couple of places, drinking a few beers, not returning to my cousins. I actually had no idea where they were for most of the evening. But I was no longer in any sort of mood to do the strip club thing.

At one point I went to the bar for another beer, really quite relaxed, just watching the people and the girls in solitude, not tipping or interacting with anyone, whether the dancers or any patrons, quite like a ghost just floating invisibly in the crowd. But at the bar, an utterly gorgeous stripper came up to me. I told her I was waiting around for Kennedy. I was, actually, but not with any sort of impatience or anything. I just didn’t want to be bothered with anyone else. The girl said an interesting thing, though, upon hearing that I was “waiting for Kennedy.” She said, “I’m better.”

I took that with a different meaning than your average person might take it. Most people would take that as another stripper trying to take Kennedy’s catch, strutting her own confidence, something like that. I took it to mean that Kennedy was having this struggle with the darkness in her soul, or should I say the last bits of light bubbling through, which caused her to do things like immediately leave the room when a guy like me enters slamming the door, or bursting into tears when she is sitting in the lap of a guy like me. Yeah. “A guy like me.” That is a concept to visit. But this stripper would be much better than Kennedy, as her soul was probably already gone. I smiled and told her that I was sure that she was wonderful, and told her I was going to look for some friends. I did not see this other girl for the person she was. I saw the demon within her basicaly telling me, “Jonathan, this one is much better than the other one that we don’t have complete control over. This one can gratify you.” Basically, this was my gift of “seeing the spirits,” as the New Testament would call it, or my “prophet sight” as I used to call it back in my older blog posts. It was much better and in tune back in those days, not overactive and chaotic like it is right now after all of these months of strangers and solitude and instability that I have going on at the moment.

I was, however, completely amazed by the experience with Kennedy, and I did hope to bump into her later. I excused myself from the other stripper, went to go make sure my cousins were still at their table, and then I spotted Kennedy again. She was talking with a black guy. He was right in the middle of saying that he saw her a couple of weeks ago with her legs up in the air for everybody. Apparently she had been in some kind of gangbang or something. Kennedy looked extremely out of sorts. I think she was high. She looked at me with a horrified look. I told her, “relax. I think sluts are cool.” I mean Wilson, gangbangs had been my favorite porn category at various times.

She seemed to get the picture that she didn’t need to worry about judgment from me, and was probably starting to classify me as your average strip club pervert by these comments. What’s more strange, though, is that I don’t know what made her collapse into guilt earlier as if I were some kind of holy angel come to judge her sins. But for what it was worth, Kennedy was starting to relax around me, although she still looked really messed up with how she was talking. So I pulled another Jonathan Bailey and asked her what she was on. This was not a good thing to do.

She sauntered off in anxiety yet again. I’m certain she was on drugs. I just don’t know which ones. I was just curious. But you normally don’t talk about drugs with people you’ve just met. That’s just a thing I do as a super direct and forward person. To me, well, someone who has just broken down sobbing in my arms is probably someone I can trust. I would think that if I broke into tears in someone’s arms and they kissed me on my cheek and told me they knew I was good, I probably wouldn’t have any problem telling them what I was high on. But I am starting to be so different from everyone that I can no longer use myself as a measure for expectations of other people’s behaviors. At least that’s how I am starting to see it now, after everything that has happened to me. When I put myself into other people’s shoes, I act differently than they do. It’s not that I don’t have empathy. So I thought I could get away with the question, but I guess I couldn’t. Off she went.

And off I went floating invisibly through the club again. Later I would go outside and see her yet again. This time she was sitting with a fat butchy lesbian chick. The lesbian was saying, “…I mean, I would take my clothes off for anyone. I was just wondering about the working conditions.” I guessed that she was coming at Kennedy like someone who wanted to work there as a pretext for talking to her. Which means she was either dishonest or deluded. Absolutely anyone could tell that nobody would want to see her without her clothes on, and that she had absolutely no chance of working as a stripper. So she was probably completely insane, or she was just using the idea of working there as an excuse to talk to Kennedy.

Kennedy mentioned something about wanting to get out of there soon to go have some fun. I asked her if she wanted to get laid. At that point the lesbian chick said, “you can come, but you will do absolutely exactly what we want you to do and nothing more.”

I said that I would want to bring some viagra. Kennedy sneered at that, looked at the lesbian, and off the two of them went. The mention of viagra was apparently a disinvitation to the threesome. She could have left with an understanding that I did not have the virility that she required. There may be some truth to that understanding. At this point in life, I need to get a little warmed up and impassioned by actual human connection and trust and caring, so indeed I might not have the steel rod that she requires. But that’s not why I brought up viagra. She might have been insecure, thinking that I wasn’t attracted enough to her to do the job without viagra. Lack of attraction to her certainly was not the case, and it is definitely not why I brought up viagra. I brought up viagra because the idea of going to a threesome as some sort of slave stunt cock for a butch dyke lesbian was absolutely the most unexciting prospect of a sexual encounter that I could possibly imagine. I would sooner fire a staple into my dick with a gun. I don’t know if there is enough viagra in the world to give me a boner under the conditions that were stipulated.

Yet there are men out there who go for it. I thought the whole point of having a threesome with two girls is for a guy to think he is some sort of stud. I mean it’s not true, but it’s the fantasy. But apparently this dyke gets threesomes with guys who get hardons being organic dildos for lesbians.

So off Kennedy went to have sex with a dickless blob because the only person there with a dick brought up viagra. How is that for some logic, Wilson? And Jonathan went off to find his cousins.

I texted Kennedy the next day. I told her that the dance from the previous day made me definitely want to contact her. She didn’t respond. I called later. Nobody answered. So I figured that was it. Yeah, Wilson, I guess she does fit the pattern of the non-responsive woman that I encouter today with such regularity that I see it as a supernatural violation of the law of probability. I have all kinds of flaws and craziness in me that get me into strange situations and trouble here and there, but in the long haul, I ultimately tend to lead the people I have contact with toward the light. The spirit that was working on Kennedy wasn’t going to let that happen.

The only thing I got to leave her with was the sense that I didn’t judge her, and that she was good despite what was happening to her. That’s actually something I regret. Telling her that she was good was really the only thing that I felt that I had time to say. Being good means a lot of things to a lot of people, and there are certain ways in which a lot of us are good or can be classified as good people, but sadly, most of the ways in which people think of themselves as good do not square with how they actually think of themselves. Or to say it more clearly, the ways in which people convince themselves they are good are actually ways in which they are not good. Telling people they are good, and people telling themselves that they are good, is not actually going to help people when they have to survive their own psychology when they die.

So I wish I hadn’t told her that she was good. I wish I had said: “you are worth dying for.” First, if there were any way my death would help Kennedy, I’d be glad to. Maybe that is just making some statements about myself, though. But this message about dying for the world is out there, and it’s powerful. It is the central message of the New Testament with the crucifixion, though that work paints a slant on it by connecting it with the concept of God and then affixing a resurrection onto it.

But it’s not just a New Testament thing. It’s what Batman did for Gotham in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. That character has more readers than Jesus at this point, I think. Much younger, much more impressionable readers. But Nolan’s movie is simply the notion of salvation of the city by dying for the city. In Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, the concept of dying for the undeserving is introduced. Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor are in a camp full of Nazis, and Wonder Woman tells Steve she just doesn’t know if humanity is worthy of saving, and Steve tells her he doesn’t know why he is doing what he is doing, but that it isn’t about deserving aid that causes him to save people. He then climbs into a plane loaded with poison and dies saving a Nazi camp.

Things get really interesting when you bring the Torah into things. Because the person who dies saving everybody is a little lamb. When they see Steve Trevor dying to save the world on screen, they think, “wow, what a hero.” But when they think to themselves, “when I do wrong, I kill a little lamb?” they start to cry. But the death of that lamb is our food. It’s how we survive.

I’ve only ever seen my food die once, Wilson. In Iraq. It was, in fact, an ewe lamb. I petted her while she was waiting to die. Just before they killed her, she sensed the end was coming and peed herself and tried to run toward me to save her. Because I had petted her. They grabbed her so she couldn’t get to me and held her down and slit her throat. Then they bounced up and down on her to get all the blood out. Later, they offered me a shishkabob. I refused. I didn’t eat that night. She’ll be in heaven with me, Wilson. Along with my dog Ayzee and my cat Rascal. But I have never been told about the idea of someone dying so that I may eat, and that I may live, like I was told that day, Wilson.

I’ve walked through fields of dead bodies, Wilson, but I only ever saw one innocent person die. She died so that I could eat. That might just have been the most powerful experience of that war for me. I don’t know. There were several. But that’s the one I think about the most.

It’s all a part of the same message. That when we do wrong, we harm the innocent, but the acknowledgement of the harm and the satisfaction that the harm is actually an atonement constitutes a form of salvation of the soul. It allows a person to maintain dignity no matter what kind of attacks they suffer in life. When someone says they are good enough, it really won’t be hard to demonstrate to them ways in which they are not. Ways that they themselves will be easily convinced of. But you can attack someone all day, and call them crap, accurately, but when they say, “I may be a total piece of garbage, but I am worth dying for,” they are undefeatable.

This is why I campaign on the internet for the next movie in Zack Snyder’s superhero quintet. Batman is rumored to die as a kind of martyr in that film, and I want to know what it has to say. And the cancelled Wonder Woman 3 was rumored to bring Steve Trevor back from the dead. Just like Zack brought Superman back from the dead in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. I want to see how that played out. It’s those messages I want the kids to have.

I wish I had told Kennedy that she was worth dying for when I held her in my arms three years ago. I wonder if she still has the number from my contacts. I think I will send her a link of this post, Wilson. Do you think she will respond? Look at my track record lately. Are my odds good?

In the end, Wilson, I ask you, why on freaking earth did a stripper giving me a lapdance start sobbing in my arms and tell me she was a good person? Who the hell am I? What did I look like? What did I say? What did I do?

I think it can only mean that there is a world behind our world that we don’t see, and that world causes things to happen. Her spirit saw my spirit, and something happened. Seeing the spirits inherent to things is what I was trying to describe in my book. That’s the only explanation I can offer you today. But I am sure you will have the true answer when we get together. You’re just so smart, Wilson.

I can’t wait to hear what you have to say. Talk to you later.

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