Immediately after I arrived, my friend Paul was there waiting for me and in short order we fled the station and other tourists through the underground tunnels of the city, into his car and raced away in to the night to his place up on the Plateau where his partner Chris was waiting patiently for me despite a train that was over an hour late. After settling in a bit we hit St. Catherine's Street for a dinner at a very gay restaurant and then it was off to a strip club. At last.
You know, I never thought I'd be all that into being a customer at a strip club but after the Montreal trip, I have a new opinion of it. Oh sure, I tipped the dancers at that bar down in DC but this was completely different. But that came later. My initial experience was, like many things, a little rocky. The club was called Stock and I didn't mind paying a three dollar cover although later when I found out that the dancers/strippers don't get paid other than from what they make with customers doing private dancers, I was a little peeved. But the place was well laid out, like a 1940s nightclub from the movies. We sat down at a little table and it was surprising how many of the guys knew my friends. I found the aggressive-ness of the lap dancers to be a little off-putting and I figeted nervously with my drink trying to be nice to the guys. I knew they were there to make a living but coming up and rubbing themselves against me was kinda weird.
Well, at first anyway.
After about an hour of watching really hot guys do a mediocre strip on stage (really, someone could make a mint teaching them how to make use of their natural stage presence... and yes I know just how old lispy theatre teacher-ish that sounds), I went out in search of my own adventures.
It was kind of nice to hang out with the guys but in these kinds of situations I like knowing that I can get out on my own too. The Midwestern in me used to prevent that when I'd be trolling bars with friends and then silently resent them for keeping me from getting cock.... but now that I'm getting older I guess I'm more apt to understand that they also understand the impulse to fly solo to see what happens.
Last time I was in town I was a fixture at the Black Eagle leather bar and while the street-side patio was filled with a few guys having fun, the inside was dead (but man was the DJ HOT). It's a pity because the layout of the place is fucking great - a couple different levels and a great big screen playing porn.. but somehow it's just fallen out of favor. I kept going back though throughout the weekend to see if it'd picked up and hadn't seem to have done so. Also, the bartender that I had struck up a light friendship with was missing in action but then I'd heard from my friends that they'd pretty much completely changed hands and therefore also staff in recent months...
My next stop was at the end of the strip, le Stud bar, which on my last trip was a rather sad kind of place. But that night, it was hopping beyond belief filled with mostly sexy bear and leather guys groovin to the sounds of a great DJ. I danced for a bit although I have to admit I wasn't feelin the vibe. Maybe my residue train anxiety was emanating from me, who knows?
Anyway, on my way back home I decided to try the other strip club on the street, Campus. This one didn't have a cover at all and so I figured it wasn't any kind of gamble. Well, by this time it was like 2am or so and the place had a few people but it was kind of dead. I immediately got hit on for lap dances by three different but very very hot guys. Again, this aggressiveness (I mean, like the guy flinging his arms around my shoulders and in one case giving me a bear hug) was startling but I was starting to get used to it.
One stripper, who called himself Bobby, sat down all smiling and perky in that way that only kids in their early 20s can do. He was built, dark haired and gorgeous. I couldn't help it but suddenly left client territory and entered daddy territory as I asked what he did outside of this and what kind of aims he had for his life. I kinda hated that when people would do that to me (because really, I'm not sure I'm ready to open up my heart to you when what we're both there for is a financial transaction) but found myself suddenly interested that this guy was getting support in his life, wasn't throwing the money away on stupid shit (like drugs) and was looking beyond the easy money of lap dances in a club in Montreal and on to.. what? I realized I was in danger of being a buzzkill when thankfully Fate stepped in and a customer wanted a lap dance. Bobby disapeered into a back room and I swallowed the last of my beer and high tailed it out of there before becoming Master Therapist. You know you're in trouble when you're becoming your OWN buzzkill.
And with that, I banished all thoughts of unemployment, set to a timer of course to return the day after I returned to New York City. And with that, my first day of vacation was over.
TO BE CONTINUED