It’s gotten to that point of the night already. He’s asking me what I do.
“I’m a stripper,” I say. “I strip for a living.”
His wife, taller than him, holds onto his arm and my words.
“No!” she says. “Not really?”
“Yes,” I say. “Really.”
She gives me a look up and down, assesses my body briefly. The husband merely nods and says, “I see. Like wallpaper? You strip wallpaper, paint, that sort of thing?”
“Sure,” I say, smiling. “I strip wallpaper.” His wife looks a little disappointed, but she glances back as they move away.
I take a canape and walk over to the bar. “How about another scotch?” I say.
“Of course,” says the bartender. “Here you go.”
I lean against the bar and check out the crowd. I don’t know why Linda keeps inviting me to these art gigs of hers.
Is it to make me uncomfortable, or them? I finish my drink and hand the glass back to the bartender.
“You want to see something fun?” I say.
“I’m always game,” he says. “These parties are so dull.”
“Not tonight, my friend.”
I walk over to where Linda is standing with a group of buyer types. She looks up at me and I can tell — she already knows what I’m up to. I take centre stage, whip off my belt and start doing the Frisky Fireman routine. As the crowd gathers round and I really warm up, I know someone’s uncomfortable tonight and it’s not me.