Personal, Writing

Gold Lounge Lunch

“Fifteen minutes ’til we’re out,” my boss said. I chuckled and pulled out my wallet, checking to see if I had any singles on me. I knew that they’d be needed soon. Ten minutes later, I got up from my chair and walked with him to the office door. He kept going towards the elevator but I waited for the remaining three coming along: a girl with long curly black hair and a valley girl accent, a middle-aged lifer that had been in the company longer that most of the executives, and the new guy sporting industrial earrings.

My boss jumped onto a closing elevator. The rest of us waited for another, giving us time to laugh at how ridiculous it was to be eating lunch at a strip club at one in the afternoon. When we reached the lobby, I could see el jefe out on the sidewalk texting. We met up with him and walked south on 4th St to meet up with the final member of our party, the resident gambler on our team, puffing away at a cigarette.

“So how many singles do you have in your wallet?” my boss asked the gambler.

“Uh, y’know, enough for the buffet an makin’ it rain.” he said as we all walked down Howard.

We continued down a few city blocks until I saw a blue carpet leading to a wall of a man in a black suit standing next to a door with the word Gold Lounge written on a royal blue awning.  After the card check and paying the five-dollar cover to a disaffected cashier in a tight black dress, I stepped into the darkness and blue glow of the main floor of the club. The music geek in me immediately noticed the song playing, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Like in most strip clubs, you can tell a good deal about the girl on stage by their theme song before you even see her, so I assumed she was pale, skinny with absolutely no curves, and covered in tattoos. I looked over for confirmation and, lo and behold, I was right. I would have checked to see if there was any image of Cobain on her skin, but I was very hungry, so I made a beeline to the buffet line.

Continue reading


Hey, I’m an Epileptic. Here’s My Story.

My father picked me up in the winter of 2004 from the office where I worked as a telemarketer during my senior year at high school. My boss found me sitting down unconscious against the wall of the bathroom — my last memory was of washing my hands and face.

My mother told me a story about something that happened to me back in the old house in Lima. My late uncle Paco found me standing up behind the couch in the living room, catatonic and ice-cold. He called my mother over, who immediately wrapped me in blankets and rubbed me down. ” In that hour you were staring off into space,”  she said, “I’ve always wondered where your mind was going.” I was two when this occurred, so I don’t remember any of this. I didn’t think there was any relationship  between  the Lima event and  the office one. I know better now. The kink in the right hemisphere of my brain might have made my brain go haywire when I was a toddler. It just took nineteen years to show me what really happened that night in Lima.

Continue reading