I recently had a new experience. A strip club experience. Don’t judge me…or the girls. I believe that every man should go to one before they’re called by Dad. And before you say your vows. You’re not a man till you’ve gone to see these damsels. Same way you’re not a man till a lady gives you blue balls.
So my three guys and I arrive at the club at midnight. There’s shindigs everywhere (It’s a Friday night). Mugithii playing from those makuti pubs 50-year old men like. It’s nowhere close to classy by the way. There are ‘girls of the night’ trying to make rent for only 200bob (A tempting offer, I know. But it won’t be that tempting when you’re loins smell like rotten egg). We get in the queue. In front of us are two fellas. Both as old as the Game of Thrones setting. I feel like telling them, “Si you folk are a little too old for this sort of club?” They’ll then turn and punch me in the throat and nobody wants that. Only thing burning my throat tonight is cold Chivas Regal.
“Toeni ID vijana. Kwanza mmefika miaka kweli?” The bouncer growls. None of us speaks back. You never speak back to these beasts (who buy their t-shirts in the kids’ section). They’ll rough you up. Make you look like you don’t belong to this esteemed kingdom called “Men”. Like you never satisfy your woman in bed. Like you text your hommies while you lay on your belly, swinging your legs back and forth. Anyway, we’re allowed in after he hands us back our IDs with a skeptic glance. I’m welcomed by the sight of an au naturel lady dancing on the pole. I can already feel the front part of my khakis tightening (Is this TMI?)
The law of the land down here is simple; an almost naked nymphet approaches you as you find your booth and helps you ‘relax’. She should ask you to buy her a drink as you do whatever to her. The club flourishes in this manner.
Judy is the lady that joins us (I’m not sure if they have a boss that assigns them a group of guys like the way FBI are assigned cases in these procedural cliché TV shows we have nowadays). She’s hot. I’m appalled by her bland name, Judy. On TV, they have prurient names. Names like Sugar, Angel, Crystal and Ginger. Names that make your mind go on overdrive thinking about positions you’ve only seen on your phone; alone in the dark. Hehe.
I take advantage of this Judy girl (Not what you think). I’ve always wanted to talk to people of this ilk. See life from their eyes. Know their political opinions. Know their religious views. Feel what they feel as they do what they do. I really just want to know if they are normal ordinary people that make faces at babies that stare at them for long. And here was my chance. For the sake of religiously staunch readers, I will not write the first thing she whispered deep into my ear (which I dismissed). It’s hard to get her to talk about herself. After all, she’s working. I eventually get a breakthrough after I accidentally touch her arm and she squeals. (At least I made a girl scream last weekend, did you?) She says she was involved in an accident a month ago. She was hit by a matatu at 4am as she crossed the road. “I was as drunk as a fish,” she adds. The doctors put some metal in her to get the arm back in line (This is also where I ask her name). She can’t dance anymore; she’s only good for lap dances (which my friends had already got two of. They’ll get one more each as the night progresses).
“Where were you going at that time of night?” I ask.
“Si home. I come here (the club) after school every Friday to work.”
“Multimedia Uni. I’m doing IT there. I’m in my last year.” She’s really chatty. That chattiness you’d abhor when sober. So I order a drink.
We talk for almost the whole time I’m there. She tells me she lost everything after that accident. Her laptop. Part of her ear. Her boyfriend (she had to tell him about stripping).
“I almost even lost my job.”
“That would be the silver lining to all of these, wouldn’t it?” I thought
She has to pee. My chance to shoki a little before she gets back.
I ask why she does this. This ‘job’ that if her mother knew she did, she’d collapse and probably die (pardon the insensitivity). Her dad would beat her senseless. She says her parents can’t afford fees for her final year. That she didn’t study the three previous years to quit on the final one. She had to do what she does to at least make half of it. (You have to admire her passion). I want to tell her there’s more dignifying ways to make that same amount she’s making. But I fear she’ll think/know I’m judging. And she’ll get mad and cause a scene that will attract the bouncer. He’ll then strip away my dignity (by carrying me four feet into the air…by my balls). I like my dignity. And my balls. I want to keep them. So I reserve those words for this blog and sympathize with her instead. Tell her it will get better and all that other stuff Drake would say in my shoes. She kills the solemn, serene mood we’d created by asking, “Unataka lap dance? It’s only ksh150…for you. It’s usually 200 you know.” I politely reject the discounted offer.
By the end of the night, she’ll end up telling me almost everything. Even her age. (She’s turning 24). Turns out, they’re regular people (she does make funny faces at babies that stare at her IN CHURCH). People like you and me. Only difference is the choices they’ve made. Judging them is inevitable. We’ll do it obliviously. But at the end of the day, they’re just a lost folk.
And haven’t we all been lost time and again?