Season 1: Episode 7
Queen-of-mean. as Samantha King
Tylerisbold as Nathan Woodward
Welsh_Witch as Ellen Fray
John2_el_mejor as Emilio
Queen-of-mean. as Samantha King
Tylerisbold as Nathan Woodward
Welsh_Witch as Ellen Fray
John2_el_mejor as Emilio
It was the longest drive home Samantha ever had to endure. Refusing to cry, she sucked back tears and focused on getting back home before noon. Time was cutting it close and when she drove up the dirt road to her house, she saw it was fifteen after. Cursing under her breath, Samantha grabbed her stuff and walked into the house. She could hear talking in the living room.
Samantha: Ma? Jay, I’m home. (She shut the front door)
Ellen: Honey, come into the living room for a minute. Baby, we got company.
Samantha sighed. The last thing she wanted right now was to be manhandled by her mother’s Mary Kay friends. Smiling, she entered the living room to face a bunch of other middle-aged women sitting around the coffee table playing with their makeup kits. Samantha made her way around the room, hugging each woman out of respect. Her mother glowed with pride. It almost made Samantha gag. It was amazing how sweet and caring Ellen could be in the company of others, and how absolutely darling and wonderful her daughter had grown to be. It made Sam secretly angry.
Ellen: Isn’t she a work of art? Ballerina now. It only took thirteen years but she did it. Sammie, show the girls some moves!
Samantha: (Smiled uneasily) Mom, I have to talk to you....
Ellen: Whatever you have to say, you can say in front of the girls. They’re like your third and fourth mothers.
Samantha: Okay well....umm...I... I got a job last night. It’s a dancing job, actually.
Ellen: Teacher at the Academy?
Samantha: Well, not exactly Ma. More like a go-go dancer.
The room went silent. Her mother’s jaw dropped.
Ellen: (Her mother's jaw dropped) Absolutely Not!! Have you lost your mind??
Samantha: Ma, you don’t understand. It’s fifteen dollars an hour!
Ellen: I don’t care! You are not going to be a goddamn go-go dancer!
Samantha: It’s dancing Ma! I’m not a stripper or anything. We wear mini dresses and white platform boots! It’s not like I’m dancing naked. Please, just consider it!
Lady: Go on Ellen. Let the girl dance! My Janet did it.
The other ladies nodded in agreement. Ellen looked from them to her daughter and then to the floor. Sam knew Ellen felt ganged up on. Not wanting to be the bad guy, Ellen gave in a little.
Ellen: I'll...I’ll talk to James when he gets home.
Samantha: I have to be there by eight tonight. If you want, come watch me and I’ll prove to you that it’s alright!
Ellen: No, I rather not. Fifteen dollars is a lot. You save that money for college. What time will you be home? (Trying to control her temper)
Samantha: I don’t know. Probably around two or three.
Ellen: (Put her tired hands over her eyes) Alright. We’ll see how this works out. If you get into any kind of trouble, it’s over. No more dancing at all. You hear me?
Samantha nodded, walked out of the living room and back into her bedroom. She locked the door as usual and plopped down on her bed. Life was moving too fast for her to relax. Just a mere forty-eight hours ago, Samantha would have given anything to have some sort of obstacle or struggle in her life, just enough to light a fire that had been put out a long time ago. Now, she wished for exactly the opposite. Nonetheless, her recklessness took over and she felt exhilarated to be doing something edgy, uncalled for, and potentially dangerous.
At eight o’clock, Samantha pulled up to the club with one goal in mind: to impress Emilio. Some of the other dancers were standing around the bar chatting when Samantha walked up to join them. Immediately, Samantha recognized the difference between these dancers and herself. These women were beautiful but their beauty looked exhausted. They were the type of women who worked their beauty so much it was more to keep their job than to enjoy. Samantha also saw that they were not at all wearing mini dresses and boots. Instead, these ladies paraded around in provocatively designed lingerie that revealed their magnificently shaped backsides and plunging bust lines. Their makeup was sparkly and some of them wore wigs. Samantha looked them over and realized they did the same to her. She stood a little taller and straighter. One dancer, a young redhead whom greatly resembled Nathan’s wife, stepped forward and spoke first.
Dancer: The new kid on the block has arrived. Welcome to our club. My name’s Candies. What’s your name?
Candies: (Laughed) Your stage name, doll. What do the boys call you?
Samantha: I don’t have one. This is my first time.
Candies: A virgin! Girls, we’re going to have fun with this one! (She shouted around the bar)
The other dancers on approached Sam, sneering and talking excitedly. It took ten minutes for everyone to introduce herself. Samantha made a mental note of something different for each girl to remember her names. Candies was the redhead and Bambi was the black one. Lola had an Australian accent while Ginger had a thick Scottish one. Finally, Rose was the girl with the large butterfly tattoo on her back and Daphne was the shortest of the whole group. By the time Emilio entered the bar, Samantha knew everyone by name and was christened “Mindy”.
Emilio: Alright, back to work ladies. (Shooed everyone away)
Samantha watched them scurry away, each girl to a different section of the club. Emilio grabbed Sam by the arm and led her to a room at the back. Inside, there were different assortments of brilliantly colored lingerie lying all over the place.
Emilio: This is the dressing room. Get here by eight, dress up, and then I want you in your cage practicing until the doors open at nine. We’ve only got two rules here, okay? Number one, always be on time. Simple, right? Number two, no one touches you. If you’re giving a private dance its hands off.
Samantha: Wait, private dances? I’m not a stripper.
Emilio: No, you are not. None of these girls are strippers. Can I tell you a little secret?
Emilio: Great. Well here, you keep what you make. Tips are your quick cash. Cage dancers don’t make many tips. Usually. But private dancers do.
Samantha: Do I have a choice? Can I keep my clothes on?
Emilio: Do whatever the hell you want. Most girls do whatever will get them the most money. Some customers drop a hundred bucks a dance. Do you really think they’re wearing clothes? (He laughed)
Samantha: I understand. So, what now?
Emilio: (Pointed to the pile of clothes) You’re welcome to whatever is here. Come out fully clothed. If you make a mistake, I’ll send you back in to change. Why don’t you try on the purple outfit? Looks like your size. (Winked as he left her to her business)
Samantha: (Leaned against the door and sighed) Don’t let this bother you. It’s just dancing.
Once she was fully dressed, she felt both ashamed and exposed. Her large breasts popped out of the skimpy top way more than it should. She didn’t like the fact that her butt cheeks hung out of her little sequenced shorts. Her platform heels were dangerous to wear and she didn’t think she’d have the courage to actually walk outside. Knowing it was getting late she took a deep breath and opened the door. When she exited the dressing room, the bartenders and Emilio stopped talking to look at her. Uncomfortable, Samantha wrapped her arms around her body.
Emilio: Stop hiding baby. Let me take a look at you. (Pulled her by the arm out into the light so that the whole club could look at her)
Samantha:(Forced herself to smile)
Emilio: Turn around.
Samantha did so, embarrassed when the whistling and jeering continued. She didn’t speak unless she was asked a question. Saying more than she needed would only cause her to become afraid. Emilio nodded in approval and pointed to the cage nearest the bar.
Emilio: That’s home sweet home, baby. Why don’t you take a climb up there?
Samantha: (Approached the stage and looked for the stairs. When she couldn’t find them, she turned around) Where’s the stairs?
Emilio: Lie on your stomach and pull yourself up. Make it sexy when you do.
Samantha blushed and faced the stage. Without much effort, she hoisted herself up and turned back around. When she did so, she pointed her legs in the air as though they were crisscrossed. The smile on her face, though false as it was, gleamed brilliantly. She stood up gracefully and opened the cage door. She stepped inside and situated herself between the pole in the middle and the closed door. Emilio shouted from below asking for a quick dance. Samantha nodded and twirled around in the cage. She danced as intensely sexy as possible, moving the way she thought they’d find erotic. It was humiliating being tossed into a steel cage and made to shake your bare ass in front of rich playboys but Samantha did it anyway to prove to herself and Nathan and the rest of the world that she was in fact just dancing. She continued dancing all while focusing on what she was instructed to do. The whole time, her mind raced as she thought of how embarrassed she was to be here. The thrill in life she was seeking was definitely not going to be found here.
Emilio left her when people began to file into the club. Within minutes, men started to crowd around the bars. A few stood below her cage and watched. The night she had come to the club with Nathan, she hadn’t noticed how many more men than women there were. Samantha moved up and down, grinding the pole. She danced around it in circles, flipping her hair and waving her arms over her head. She tried to look like she was enjoying herself. One older man shouted things up at her. Samantha wasn’t sure if she was supposed to answer or not.
Man: What’s the matter hot stuff? Shy? (He shouted, laughing)
Samantha: My mother told me never to talk to strangers. What’s your name?
Samantha: Well Melvin, my name’s Mindy. I’m new here. Why not give me a little welcome on my first night?
Melvin: Why don’t you come a little closer? I’ve got something you can stick in those purple panties of yours. (Waving a five-dollar bill)
Samantha: (Rolled her hips down until she was within reach of him) Be nice, Melvin.
Melvin: (Stuck the bill in her pants and smacked her bottom. The man laughed as he walked over to the bar)
Samantha: (Shocked of what just happened she stood back up and took the bill out of her panties and carefully replaced it in her bra)
It continued like this for several hours. Samantha would dance, occasionally talk to her onlookers, take their money when they offered it, and do so in a manner of complete and total self-confidence. It wasn’t until a quarter to midnight when someone asked for her first private dance. Samantha was dancing in her cage, more comfortable with her performance now that she was making cash, when one of the bartenders approached her.
Bartender: Mindy! Got a customer interested in a private dance. Asked for you specifically. You free?
Samantha: (She felt very dizzy) Um…yeah. Alright.
She opened the door to the cage and stepped out. Frightened so badly that she began to shake, Samantha slid off the stage, totally negligent of her audience. The bartender took her hand and escorted her down towards the dressing room. Instead of entering the familiar room, he pointed to the door to her left. Samantha stopped him before he walked away by grabbing hold of him around the arm. She whimpered, scared to death of what waited her. The bartender patted her on the back.
Bartender: Min, calm down. You’ll be fine. You look amazing. Just chill babe.
The bartender nodded and walked away. Samantha mustered up all her courage and grabbed hold of the doorknob. In one sweeping motion, she opened the door and stepped inside the dimly lit room.
It was like time had slowed down. Samantha entered the dark room. There were mirrors along the wall and it seemed like everything glittered. A black light gave off an eerie fluorescent shade of purple and the floor was black as slate. Her customer was sitting casually in a velvety cushioned love-seat yet looking very grim as he did so. Samantha had to suppress the urge to scream and cry at the same time.
Samantha: Nathan, what are you doing here? (She whispered, all too aware that he was looking at her with disapproval)
Nathan: (Made his way over to her and put his jacket around her nearly naked body)
Samantha: Stop it. I can be fired if you touch me!
Nathan: If I touch you? Samantha, this is wrong. Have you looked in the mirror?
Samantha: Please leave.
Nathan: I can’t leave you here.
Samantha: I’m not going anywhere so just forget it!
Nathan: Well me neither!
Samantha: Fine, sit down and I’ll give you your goddamn lap dance. (Shoving him in the chest)
Nathan: What is the matter with you? Why are you doing this?
Samantha: Stop yelling. I can’t be fired my first night.
Nathan: You are a goddamn mess! Your ass is hanging out your pants and your goddamn tits are sticking out of that little bra thing. What the hell is wrong with you?
Samantha: (Put her head in her hands and sobbed) I-I’m so embarrassed!
Nathan: (Held her tight. Picking her up off her feet, he rushed her out the door)
Samantha: (Pointed towards the dressing room) I have to get my purse and clothes.
Nathan stood outside the door as she quickly dressed. She left the costume on the floor of the dressing room and hurried back out to him, still wearing his coat. Nathan grabbed her hand and kept her close to his side as he led her back out into the club. Not looking at anyone, Samantha ignored the calls for Mindy to return to her cage. On her way out the door, she heard Emilio calling her back into the club. Samantha gripped Nathan tighter and he put his arm around her. They walked toward the parking lot when Emilio burst through the exit after them.
Emilio: Claire! (He shouted)
Nathan: (Turned around and headed towards him) Listen! She’s done here!!
Both men were standing a foot apart, yelling in eachother’s faces. Samantha ran over to them to keep Nathan from slugging him. Emilio looked at Samantha's tear-streaked face and cringed.
Emilio: Suck it up and get your ass back inside! You still owe another hour!
Samantha: No, I quit!
Emilio: So, you’ll dance for a few hours, take my money, and run? I don’t think so Miss Thing! Give me your tips now!
Samantha: I danced for those tips!
Emilio got in her face and shouted incomprehensibly in a mixture of English and Spanish. Finally, sick of all the fighting, Samantha took the money out of her pocket and threw it at Emilio. He gathered his money and thrust it into his pocket.
Emilio: Now get the hell out of my parking lot.
Nathan: (Shoved him in the chest) Speak to her like that again and I’ll crack your fucking skull!!
Emilio backed up and spit on the ground before walking back into the club. Samantha and Nathan walked back toward his apartment.