What it’s like to end the night as a showgirl

  1. Finish your show
  2. Drive home buzzed or drunk
  3. Stumble into your shared home, trying to be quiet even though you’re in a ridiculous outfit, carrying an overfilled purse, a giant bag of costumes, your 4″-6″ heels, the remains of some Jack-n-the-Box drivethru and various other crap
  4. Unzip and store your silver glitter thigh-high 6″ heel boots.
  5. Take off eight (8) bracelets. Put them in your jewelry caddy.
  6. Disentangle giant dangly rhinestone earrings from your long hair and remove them. Put them in your jewelry caddy.
  7. Take the novelty sunglasses, giant sequined flower, rhinestone clip and miniature novelty top hat out of your hair. Put them in your jewelry caddy.
  8. Fish around for 8-12 hairpins that are holding your long silky wig or “fall” in place and remove each one, carefully and laboriously. It will be like undoing a puzzle, but with the added joy of pulled hair. Put the pins in a container for reuse.
  9. Pull off your glued-on eyelashes. Put them carefully in a container for re-use (they’re $6-$12 dollars per pair!)
  10. Unzip and remove your 26″ waist silver patent leather corset, being careful to catch the resulting shower of tip money, business cards, flyers and anything else you’ve tucked into it during the night.
  11. Carefully remove your silver sequin panties, taking pains not to catch the tricky and sharp sequins on your flesh-tone fishnets or cut yourself with them.
  12. Remove your fleshtone fishnet stockings and under-panties, carefully to avoid tearing them, and then store them for later use.
  13. You’re naked now. Take a deep breath. Observe the interesting way that your legs are imprinted with the fishnet pattern and your torso is lined with an imprint of the corset’s boning. Think about your place in the universe, and what it all “means”. Think about how fat you’ve allowed yourself to get, how old you’re getting. Remember that you “deserve a cupcake when you want one” and “fuck it, you’ve earned the right to be a few pounds overweight”. Still hate yourself for it.
  14. Un-pin your real hair, brush it (enjoying the sensual feel of running the bristles through to your scalp after a long, hot night of being pinned tightly beneath a wig), and re-pin it up.
  15. Use some tissue to wipe off your ultra-pigmented red lipstick (topped with red lipgloss and applied over red lipliner). It won’t come off in the shower, you have to do this extra step now.
  16. Go take a scalding hot shower. Let the water beat against your face, course down your body, warm and soothing. The universe recedes far away and you are a child again. There are no responsibilities, no disappointments. A handful of dishwashing liquid, or Neutragena Facewash, or cold cream is massaged into your face, and the carefully painted mask dissolves into gook that rushes down the drain into oblivion. The person “they” saw on stage is destroyed, gone, washed away. You are yourself again. You begin to think of your bed .
  17. Lather and wash your entire body. Get rid of all the sweat, makeup, glitter, imprints, cigarette smoke, food smell and fingerprints.
  18. Towel off and slip into your room. It’s quiet, dark, smells of a scented plug-in, perfume and day-old laundry. You slip in between two perfect, crisp white sheets beneath a snowy white comforter stuffed with soft goose’s down. It feels delicious on your skin.
  19. Your feet begin to un-knot from a night spent dancing in high heels. Muscles being to uncoil and lengthen, relaxing. You sigh, take a deep breath, close your eyes against the dark room. You wonder how you can ever go on. You dream of beautiful men, anxious scenes with caricatured family members, profound and dark landscapes populated with monsters, angels and mortal souls. The darkness. The quiet. The empty.

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