HUSTLE* Lunch Box

At the first strip joint I worked at there was a free buffet –a bonus for lunchtime patrons just cheap enough to pay the cover, but not for lunch or to tip the girls. It was not a full-buffet, mind you, but it had fried stuff and wings and shit. Also, hot dogs and sausages rotating on heated metal rods next to the whitest of white pasty buns from the discount bakery down the road. I had to pick up a dozen packages one day before work, so I know where they came from. The manager, Tom, asked me for the favor and, in return, I wouldn’t have to tip out the DJ or the house mom that day. I agreed. And the buffet guys got their precious hot dog buns.

Tom often referred to his male part as Jerry, like the cartoon character. “Jerry’s so sly, he’s a feisty one, more weasel than mouse really,” he’d say, jingling change in his pockets. Tom couldn’t catch him, couldn’t keep track of him –I think you see the point here. We were so repulsed by this thought that my friend and I had to turn it into a joke, otherwise we’d go green with nausea thinking about fat Tom’s pecker. We’d whisper to customers under our breaths, “Have yourself another Jerry, buddy!”   We snickered into cupped hands and turned into little girls. Once Tom heard us, but he just shoved his hands in his pocket and grinned from a very dark place.

Having a buffet or food of any kind near naked girls in heels equals filth, disaster and the Midwest. That is until I went to Las Vegas and saw how things were really done. Their buffets were delicate sushi and spring rolls. They had cloth napkins and wet wipes. They used real plates and not soak-through, flimsy paper ones. They had real silverware and a bathroom guy and ramekins for sauces. It was a classy set-up for sure. The customers ate with chopsticks even. It was a world I had never seen before where men wore belts and not suspenders.

The black box where I worked at was doing its best imitation. I think the name might have been Paradise for the objective was to give men a place where they could lick their fingers clean of chicken wing sauce while getting their cocks sucked. It was gluttony and sodomy, it was Sodom and Gomorrah –but for some it was simple sin without sinning.

For me it was fire and brimstone, adulterers and pedophiles –all lit with moments of greedy bliss.

There was no place he’d rather be, the common man. Rules were not really enforced and sometimes girls got broken or left broke. Women were no more than a thing to be played with like a schnitzel, like a cock. And if a man wanted to play, he’d get his way.

I did my best game by hiding in the corner, holding back gags watching greasy weenies slip into mouth after mouth.

Seeing men shove phallic foods into their mouths while ogling a pair of lady bits –well, it made a young thing like me chuckle. Those wieners must have produced envy in many a men.

Oily fingers fishing for dollar bills to tuck into g-string after g-string, with the occasional titty-grab. Hygiene was wiping down a wet couch with the bartender’s moldy dishrag that soaked in a magic water pot with Clorox. Hygiene was clean hands on week old trousers and using ties as big man bibs.

Oh, how men chopped away at those porky, beefy long links drooling over the meaty bits of nipples. Their mouths and fingers were slippery wet and slimy like slugs, dead baby bird or aborted embryos. As I watched with the eyes of a child, I felt something grow inside me. It conjured pictures of Roman orgies where gender didn’t matter. It made me think of transsexuals and transvestites –of which the club had plenty– and it brought me to Ginger the line cook.

Our titty-bar’s chef was a lovely 6-foot tall–in flats–bottle-blonde hermaphrodite named Ginger. She, she told me she preferred that pronoun, was as raunchy as they got and I loved slipping back to the closet-kitchen to hear her stories. She had the best almost-love stories.

Unfortunately, during one of her romps in the hay, she was whisked away in lust with a miniature Mexican man. She’d chuckle making hamburgers, “This is what he did to my face last night” and she’d pulverize the patty to pieces.

Lifting her frizzed hair from the left eye, I saw the bruise. Then she’d chuckle some more, “This is what I gave him after he beat me,” while she grabbed her genitals with that same meat-covered hand.

“He likes that shit,” she said. Tightening my mouth I said, “You should stop fucking with him, you deserve better.” But she knew and I knew that in this part of middle-America chances were unlikely and slim to none. She felt lucky that someone accepted her franks and beans as she called them. One day she’d go for the operation she swore to herself.

“I won’t have to tuck when I wear my cookie shorts, bitches,” she screamed towards the darkened crowd. And we laughed and munched on celery sticks.

Once she asked me if I wanted to see it, to see down there. I said sure, why not. But just as she was about to show me, Tom popped his head in. He said Jerry’d like a steak sandwich.

“I got your steak sandwich right here, big daddy,” she said as she rolled her tongue around her lips and winked that old classy porno shit of the 70s, “with a side of salchica, papi.”

Ginger was that in real life –a walking, talking blow-up doll, a big haired tramp. Tom snarled and said 20 minutes or else. When he left, she said that Tom liked butt stuff, that’s why he could never keep Jerry on a leash. Jerry had a mind of his own.

“I let him do me once, but Jerry is like the tiniest little creature, honey. I could’ve filled my mouth with a dozen Jerries,” slipping the steak onto the grill she spun around. “Wanna pickle, doll?” she passed me the jar and I gobbled down like three.

WORDS BY:  Jacklyn Janeksela

jacklyn janeksela, MFA is an artist and an energy. Find her work @ art mugre, jota cuadrada, &female filet. Her music with The Velblouds @ band camp.

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