One Pink Muscle to Go
IGNORANCE IS BLISS
something wrong with the world. It is the people in it, or, at
least most of them. The only absolute is that we primates are
savage and terrible animals, regardless an individual’s queerness
or lack thereof, for engaging in the collective’s fetish for
religion. It is an unforgiving planet, there are a lot of
motherfuckers on it. If you are not careful, and even if you are,
you can be reduced to a bone or two left on the side of a lonely
stretch of road.
Reality is a subjective quantity; it is what
you make of it. People though usually select a prepackaged idea of
what life should be. It is easier that way. It is safer that way.
There is little thought involved… No understanding or
appreciation… No chance for an authentic experience or anything
that could be considered a life worth living in the end.
We are a fauna that spends an inordinate amount
of time insulating ourselves from the most basic realities of life
and death. We are the monkeys that want to live forever. The world
is a distortion and it stands as a monument to the grotesque
beliefs of the faithful. Reality slips by, largely unnoticed, as
the masses await a better afterlife. The joke is on all of us,
them of course, for wasting their fucking lives and us for
allowing them to inflict so much of their horrors on the rest of
Religion is a false path of course, as these
things tend to be. Religion is something mankind has contrived to
conceal the fact that we are nothing special and are prone to die
and remain dead forever. It’s a great gig for hustlers. But all
good things must come to an end. You live; you die. There is
nothing else, life is short death is long… next stop oblivion.
Today’s religions are tomorrow’s mythologies and so it goes. We
rob ourselves when we dabble in myths and magic. We reduce
ourselves more when we attempt to conjure an all-powerful cosmic
friend, who is imaginary, to intervene on our behalf. It is a
fool’s logic to take this life for granted while preparing for the
“real life” after we die. Life has nothing to do with life after
death, it is all about fitting as much life in before death comes
calling for you.
In the big and small of it, believers and their
beliefs win out over practitioners of reason and rational thought.
The godless are feared and despised by the majority, we are
outcastes even in the immoral realm of politics. Reality is rotten
from the top down. Ignorance spreads, like an infectious disease.
Caught up in the middle of this or that, we are too close to see
it for what it really is, no clue means no chance and there is no
cure for that Jack. Delusion leads to a never-ending game of tag
you can’t escape, that game of circle jerk in which you can’t get
off to get out. No nirvana for you!
Most of us are just too wrapped up in covering
our own ass while trying to pay the bills. Who in the fuck has the
time or the means to break the chains and run for freedom?
Besides, examining one’s life is not as obvious or as easy as one
would think. Introspection for many people is a distasteful,
painful, heavy-lift that is hardly worth the effort. Therefore, we
don’t fuck with it. We don’t look in that dark unexamined place.
This is reality for most of us up until we die.
More often than not, we are victims of our own
ignorance; casualties of our own inabilities in surviving the
learning curve. The truth is most people don’t learn from their
mistakes and life goes on for whatever it is worth. Upon
reflection, we are overwhelmed with the fact that life… no matter
how hard we try, just doesn’t work out the way we thought it
Into life we go, all mixed up, anxious,
unhappy, unresponsive, needy, greedy and forever on the look out
for that next thing coming down the pike that may make us or break
us. It’s easier to immerse one’s self in a mind-numbing
combination of something or other. It’s safer to pass the time, to
fit in by selecting a ready-made reality from a prevailing
distributor. It’s tough not to surrender to those so certain their
way is the correct way, the only way; the high and mighty that
define what happiness and success should look like. They are the
dealers of actualities, manufactured per your request or so they
will have you believe. There is only the problem of swapping one
bullshit reality out for another of equal or more value.
I ran headlong into the law of diminishing
returns while immersed in that trendy reality of pursuing what was
left of the American Dream. The hideous discovery was stunning,
like running up on a mangled and dying beast in its final throes.
Things were bad, everyone had been saying so for years. It was the
economy and all that accompanied the downfall of such things. The
economic situation was the worst since the Great Depression and
there was no sign of improvement. We had experienced a “lost
decade” and were well into the next when Mouse and I departed
southern West Virginia for Stillwell, “the land of milk and
honey,” in the northern part of the state.
There wasn’t much in either hope or opportunity
to be scratched out in McDowell County. It just wasn’t in the
cards. Some things are not meant to be. The allure of the state’s
biggest college town offered more than just hope and opportunity,
it was a return home to that place where a happy childhood had
been lived until events overtook it. Perhaps as important, it was
something new, something different from the dreary years and that
unhappy place we were determined to leave daily until we finally
Stillwell, West Virginia, the once small
university town next to the Monongahela River, was growing like a
demonic strain of Kudzu despite the tough financial times. The
town’s student population ballooned from fifteen thousand to
nearly thirty thousand in under a decade and plans were to add as
many paying students as the area could house. Stillwell University
was simultaneously the redeeming feature and damnation of the
Greater Stillwell Area. Good were the jobs it provided. Damning
was the many times the university lowered its standards to admit
the more academically challenged. Student housing expansion
throughout the county led to higher property values. Rents,
mortgages and property taxes skyrocketed, screwing many locals out
of affordable housing.
Stillwell buzzed with activity and cash while
the rest of the state languished. It was a beacon, a rare economic
success story in an otherwise bleak landscape. Some folks say I
missed the town at its best by two decades. Others said it was
just as likely there was nothing to be missed in the first place.
The one thing everyone could agree on was that more money than
ever was being pumped into the town and adjacent villages. The
money had changed everything and there was no turning back now.
It is of course, always about the money, that’s
what attracts so many to stripping. You can make a lot of cash if
you have what it takes. What it takes is enough ego and
indifference not to give a fuck what people think. Girls lacking
or incapable of developing the requisite ego and indifference are
destined to attempt something else when they can’t warm to the
show. Most girls in this line of work, as a rule, are not driven
to it as a result of a lifelong dream but by a series of
nightmarish experiences that leaves them for dead and dancing in
the doom and gloom of a poorly lit establishment.
Driven by demons: abuse, addiction,
self-loathing, overdue bills or whatever reason that brought so
many girls to the trade, there we were. For the younger girls,
once we were away from home there was a feeling of independence
and power from being gone from that unbearable desolation. It was
good to be free from the terrible heaviness, all the while quite
unaware or uncaring of the consequences of our decisions.
All kinds of girls gravitate to the adult
entertainment industry; the manipulators; the hardboiled; the
clueless; those wrecked beyond human recognition or repair; those
devoid of emotion and sensation; girls addicted to something or
other. There are hatchet people in every line of work with some
professions attracting more than others. Many women dabbled as
exhibitionists while making the real money dealing drugs or
prostituting or both. Some… many, are instinctual beings… wild
things. There are those beyond learning, help or hope; they are
just there until they aren’t anymore. I’ve seen girls fade away
until they were no longer there, a result of whatever consumed
them. Others just disappeared outright. Life, reality, is like
that, you’re here today and then you’re gone tomorrow. Maybe, you
Not all dancers are of the lowest common
denominator, soulless cunts on the race to the bottom. Far from
it. There were of course the timid; the intellectual; even the
girl next door… hard-working girls looking for better than what
the usual grind had to offer. There I was, just like the rest,
stumbling from one illusion to the next and not knowing this to be
true. For me, it was more about possessions that seemed to be a
measure of the good life. I had been in Stillwell for only a few
days before I found my way to a strip club across the river in the
little burgh known as Rivertown. It was all about getting those
many things that one must go without in an impoverished life and
then some. That was my reality.
Reality is a tough nut to get. For most people,
life is that ongoing mystery that stares them in the face while
kicking them in the ass. The mockery is for not understanding the
simplicity of it all. If you’re lucky or properly trained, you can
catch glimpses of the beautiful and horrific event that is life.
We were living life, as it were, by the second
hand; we hit it with full force and achieved maximum velocity.
Unbiased, untreated, eyes wide open … the real thing, an authentic
experience. That one moment you can connect in a way that is
electric. Time becomes weighty as it reaches its full potential…
it then decelerates and pulls to the side of the road to slip into
its favorite watering hole.
Most of the customers were just looking for a
good time; it’s where their dicks led them. There were those in
search of replenishing their dope supply or obtaining sexual
favors. Others ran from the empty quiet, so reminiscent of death,
to a place where there was music and life. Some of the more
misguided even came looking for love. Business was good.
It is what it is. I have few regrets and that’s
better than most can say. Life, reality goes on. Nothing else
matters. Perceive that reality! That’s my thoughts on it all. Just
remember though, as an old friend advised: “We believe what we are
able to perceive and baby, that’s reality.” Thus, spoke the
hermit, and he was almost always right.