Have you ever strolled down a street and wondered what goes on behind the net curtains and closed doors of the resident’s houses?
Well we invite you to join us as we glimpse inside this fictional street, with its back to back houses and secret entries, and introduce you to the ordinary and extraordinary people who live there.
I had another loose dog shit posted through the door again last night.
I almost trod in it when I snuck downstairs for a sneaky muffin. Oh, I know who it is. It’s those teenagers off the estate again. They’ve got nothing better to do with their time; haven’t given me any peace since they found out about me being a dancer at Diamond Lil’s.
I’ve had all sorts sprayed on my fence: slag, slut, tart, and someone even carved ‘dolly-mop’ into the front door. I had to look it up. I can only assume that the culprit was either an extra on ‘Ripper Street’ or the ghost of that Victorian police inspector, Frederick Abberline, has taken up joinery.
I wouldn’t mind but I’m none of those things. Yeah, I shake my arse around a bit and slide up and down a greased pole in a thong and tassels but I don’t let anyone get too close.
I take my art-form very seriously; I always take time to choose a theme for my performances.
I do a smashing, ‘I’ve come to polish your ornaments,’ act where I start off in a frilly tutu and pinny and finish off with a ‘Dance of the Seven Veils’, using some specially dyed jay-cloths and a belt fashioned out of gold-sprayed curtain rings.
And I’ve won prizes for my, ‘Sorry Mr Mechanic but my Mini has broken down and I can’t afford to pay for the repairs’, routine where I shed my overalls and dangle upside down in steel-toed boots and a thong fashioned out of woven jump-leads.
To be honest, I like to believe that I’m much more than just an exotic dancer, I see myself as an ‘artiste’, like ‘Faith Bacon’ or ‘Tempest Storm’ plus I reckon I offer a reasonable counselling session to my regulars as a side-line.
Take old Willy from the assisted flats. He comes in every Tuesday after he’s picked up his pension, for a ‘Bishop’s Finger’ and a private showing.
He’s always saying what a considerate listener I am, especially when his wife had her stroke – said he didn’t know how he’d have coped without me. He’s got a whiff of piss and radishes about him, but he’s a good sort.
Mind you, I always ask him to leave his cap on, cus the light casts a shadow over his face, which means I can’t see the crusts of dribble on his chin. I find it a bit off-putting when I’m gyrating over his knees and trying not to sit on his flannels. I’ve never been good with dubious stains, they’ve been known to make me ‘heave’ in mid performance.
Oh, we get some odd balls too. There’s a regular who comes in who we all try to avoid. He wears one of those deer stalker hats and a leather jerkin. Smells like a rusting door hinge and always tries to cop a feel as we walk past. I think he does those American Civil War re-enactments down on the common. And I only know this because I had a bit of a ‘run-in’ with him. I was boogying to a bit of Gloria Gaynor and he started fiddling about underneath a holdall he had on his lap. He was making me feel a bit uncomfortable, so I enquired what he was up to and the cheeky bugger asked me if I’d be willing to polish his Springfield Musket.
As you can imagine, I gave him ‘what for’ and the bouncers came running over cus they could see there was a commotion. I expected him to get thrown out, there and then, but turns out it’s his gun, and he’s got a bit of a thing about watching the girls shine it up with a piece of silicone cloth. Luckily, you get so you can spot the strange ones.
Course, I hadn’t planned to work in a place like this. I mean I’m professionally trained you know – went to the Royal Ballet School. Well, I did for a year until they kicked me out when they found the stash of donuts and bottle of Absinthe in my locker. They were pedantic about diet there; expected you to survive on a lettuce leaf and a gob-stopper, and alcohol was treated like the eighth deadly sin.
I suppose, when I got chucked out, I should have headed for the cruise ships or back up north to Wigan, but the honest truth was I couldn’t face the disappointment on my family’s face. So, I found myself here and as I said, it’s not that bad, not really. I’d even go so far as to say I enjoy it. I’ve got so that I can just close my eyes and let myself succumb to the rhythms of the music. I forget about everyone else and go into a world of my own. You just have to make sure you put Vaseline on your inner thighs though, cus those steel poles have a tendency to chafe.
They’re a lovely bunch of girls backstage, and I’m lucky cus I get on really well with the big boss; granted he struts around the place giving it all the, ‘Charlie Big Potatoes’ but he looks after his girls and has a heart of gold.
He’d be off like a shot, sorting out those teenagers on the estate, if I told him what they were up to. It’s tempting but I guess I’ll just have a word with their dads, you know, next time they come into the club.
Jules Garvey-Welch for Pf Magazine
The copyright for these monologues belongs to Jules Garvey Welch. They must not be performed or published in any way without the permission of the author.