It was a bright summer afternoon in Atlanta, GA. Summer time and all was well. My life had taken a turn into overdrive where everything that I ever wanted was coming into existence. I had just published my second bestselling book and the buzz was electric. My first book was still atop every best sellers list and most importantly, I lived my life as I saw fit; with positivity and not punching a clock. Since I made my own schedule, I figured I would call up one of my best friends and meet up with him for lunch near Georgia State University.
This particular area is a mixture of business professionals, college students, artist and hustlers. An interesting mix for sure; homeless people, blue collar people, elderly people and young people playing chess in Woodruff Park; Street vendors selling everything from shades to souvenirs; a musician playing a saxophone on one corner and a guitar player on another, both hoping to be discovered; this in the heart of downtown Atlanta near the “Five Points” area of the city.
Needless to say and from a man’s perspective for sure one is guaranteed to see some of the most beautiful women in the world in this area. Now, I am married, however, I still love to observe the lovely ladies of Atlanta over stir fry vegetables and amaranth, bright sun, cool breeze, a tall glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and jokes with one of my best friends. Yeah, that’s a good lunch!
Marcus met me at our favorite restaurant, “Toast to Life” and as usual we sat on the patio. I met Marcus at Savannah State University where we bumbled and stumbled our way into manhood along with our other partners in “crime,” Rasheen, Jacob, Olutyo, Reggie, Kemoni, Kemon and Fred. The life lessons of college life always are a good basis for the beginning of the rest of your life.
Marcus, a man of 5' 8" in height with an average build, light brown eyes with an H&M meets GQ style of dress was originally from Chicago, Illinois and he was never afraid to brag about “The Chi.” After graduation he moved to Atlanta, GA along with most of the crew, to begin to make his way in the world. He landed a job as an engineer with Georgia Tech University and worked his way up to be one of the most respected leaders in his field. However, make no mistake about it, my boy is humble and down to earth which is refreshing in a world and city of “Big Headed and Big Ego-ed” people.
After our usual banter, we started to get into what was really on our minds and I allowed my brother to have his say first. “Jay, man I just can’t seem to get over the hump. I feel like I am a good brother. I have a great paying job, I am successful, I own my home, I have no debt, I am up for a promotion, I am in the process of starting my own business, so money is not the issue.” But, I just don’t understand,” he said. “Well, what do you mean,” I asked him. He continued, “I feel like I am a good person and I always mean well, but it seems like the ladies take me for granted. I try to treat the ladies with respect and yet they want to try and take advantage of my kindness.
Take Vanessa for example. She asked me after our third month of dating if she could borrow some money. I asked her what it was for and she said she was behind on her mortgage and she needed to get caught up. She gave me some more jazz about this and that and then some…you know and I gave in.” “Well how much money did you give her,” I asked. After a bit of hesitation and a glance around the area, he wiped his forehead, took a deep breath, sighed and said, “$6,000.” “What!” I said as I gave him a look of confusion. “I know, I know but I felt like she was a good person and I felt sorry for her,” He continued, “She is a manager at Macy’s so I figured she was good for paying me back.”
I was looking at him and thinking of the times he was duped by males and females alike in college. We were roommates for two years and we saw each other’s positives and flaws first hand. There was a time when he was cool with this cat from Connecticut named James. This guy was alright but there was just something about him that I just did not trust. James once chauffeur Marcus around Savannah, GA for about a month while his car was being repaired and Marcus had a fondness for comic books even at the age of 21.
So, I remember one Friday afternoon after my classes, coming home and instead of seeing Marcus, I saw James and this chic. I did not see Marcus in the living room with them and so I asked where he was. This dude told me that Marcus was staying in his dorm room on campus for the weekend and he was going to be borrowing Marc’s room in our/my apartment. I have a certain look that I give people that I feel are full of shit and of course I gave James this look. I mean, imagine someone just making themselves comfortable, in your home to the point that they do not care if you walk in and see them. Knowing that they have not cleared anything with you about staying there. Sitting on your living room couch watching T.V. with some unknown female. The nerve of this ba@*#*!…!
Nevertheless, I let the bullshit ride and I decided to see how this was going to play itself out. Well, James and his girl ended up staying in our apartment for about a week! During that time, this fool Marcus would come by the apartment sporadically to grab some fresh clothes with a smile on his face- without a care in the world. On one of his stop byes, I asked him if he was really sure about the arrangement he had made with James. He was positively sure and he was well at ease with reading the latest and back issues of his favorite comic book “Black Avenger,” with the other “comic heads,” on campus, while this chump James was f^$#!!g and busting ooze on his mamas sheets from Chicago in his room. At least that bastard did’nt do it while I was around, especially at night when either I was sleeping, doing homework or with a lady friend of my own. What an idiot! I thought then and now.
So with this confession about Vanessa it was like deja vue. I looked around, just pausing, maybe even waiting for a sign from the universe as to what I should tell him. Finally, I said, “Look, we are both about to be 40 years old and we have known each other for years. So I have no need to bullshit you and just say something to make you feel good.” As I spoke he pulled up his chair to fully grasp the meaning of my words. “So I will get right down to the point,” I said. As I prepared to deliver a verbal chop across his throat, the man looked puzzled and yet anxious to hear what I had to say. “This chick is bad news and I really think you should simply move on,” I confided. “What do you mean move on? I happen to think Vanessa is special.” said Marcus defiantly. Oh boy-my day was going sooo well and yet now I find myself in a position where I have to explain to this grown man, why he should leave this gold digging ho. Yes ho, not whore, but ho with emphasis, excuse my digression.
I collected myself and said “Dude, think about it, if this chic is a manager at Macy’s she is not really making that much money, yet she gets crazy discounts on clothes because she is a manager. “Follow me,” I implored. “She is a very pretty and a fine female, who when it comes down to it, works at the mall.” “Hmm let’s see, teenagers work at the mall, retired people work at the mall, college kids work at the mall. Not to say that college is everything. Yet, I just have to wonder, because there are also a lot of guys at the mall who like pretty women with nice bodies…
“Man get to the point!,” yelled Marcus. “O.k., o.k., I am pretty sure that she is seeing other guys while being with you. As a matter of fact she may have given some of that money to another guy,” I said. His look of befuddlement was priceless. “What the fuck, why would you think that?,” said Marcus, as defiant as before.
I attempted to reason with my friend. “Man, look I am a writer, which is how I make my living. Part of how I am able to do what I do is to be an observer of people. I observe behavior, clothes, facial appearance, hairstyles, body language, posture, mannerisms, and the way words are said. I take note of the background of people. There are times when I may sit in a park or a mall all day and take notes as I observe people. I observed Vanessa. She gave a dude a flier a few weeks ago and I looked at it after it was dropped on the floor. Her picture was on it and she was advertising if you know what I mean.” I completed my verbal chop.
Marcus looked sick as I apparently was about to hit him with another chop. “She is a stripper at Club Ecstasy,” I revealed. “Goddamn,” he yelled, what kind of shit is this!” I showed him the flier to confirm my findings as a few people cut their eyes in our direction. There was silence for what seemed forever, as Marcus gathered his thoughts. I could tell that he was hurt.
Understandably so, since we both are at the maturity level where playing the field is no longer fun and we desire to have a meaningful relationship with a woman and children as well. We made up our minds years ago that we would not make any more time for sexually promiscuous women; hoes or whorish behavior. Women of this type had proven fun for a while, but their unwillingness to use truth when appropriate or reluctance to understand when the fun was over, proved to be too much.
As honest as we always were, there just always seemed to be some type of confusion, which truthfully is just not worth the trouble. Marcus called his job and told them he would not be returning today. He then looked at the flier and started tapping on his cell phone. I just looked at him. Silence was the mood for the last ten minutes and I was not about to break the silence. He looked at the flier and typed. He looked at the flier again squished his eyebrows and typed more, as his head was directed towards the phone on the table.
Suddenly, he turned the face of the phone towards me and said “We are going here tonight!” The man made V.I.P. Reservations on his phone to Club Ecstasy and simultaneously looked up the performance schedule for Vanessa or should I say “Black Cherry,” her stage name. I said, “Well let me call the homies! “No!,” said Marcus, “Only you and I are going and no one else needs to know about this, O.k., just us.” “Wow,” I replied, “You are taking me away from my wife and children to go see “Black Cherry?” “Man, shut up,” Marcus said.
Hours had passed since I left Marc and we made our plans. I had since that time picked up my children from school, made them dinner and greeted my wife at home with a passionate kiss. I love to spend quality time with my family,yet 10pm was approaching and I was supposed to meet Marcus at the Club Ecstasy.
I am a mature 39 years old and once I get comfortable, I am comfortable. My wife and I designed our dream home, making sure that it contained everything we believed a home should have. So the thought of leaving my house to go watch some ass shake really, did not appeal to me. If I was 19 or 29 years old I would be jumping at the chance, but I have matured and developed a spiritual awareness unlike ever before.
So I knew when I saw strippers tonight, I would see more than naked dancers, I would see women in pain, who have serious mental wounds that were being drowned in bass music, money, liqueur, drugs, loud horny men/women and sex. However, me being a Scorpio male I can put my intellectual observations aside and still enjoy looking at fine women and naked ass.
I showered, changed clothes, prepared my thoughts and told my wife I would be back later. Her facial expression showed her disapproval of my destination, yet she understood why I was going. After a kiss goodbye, I hopped into the Porsche Cayenne and made my way to the event for the night.
A showdown in the A town, featuring Marcus from the “Chi” and big booty “Black Cherry” Oh My!! I called him to see if perhaps he may have changed his mind and not only had he not changed his mind, he was sitting in the parking lot.
He jokingly informed me that parking at the club would cost me $30.00. Even in our blessed financial state, that is ridiculous. Well, it is Friday night, so I guess that makes it alright. Neither Marcus nor I like the valet parking phenomena. I have always felt like it was a demeaning profession. I have always believed that, if a person gets a charge out of someone else parking their car and if it makes them feel important, then they need a reality check.
Nevertheless, I paid the parking fee and in true “ME” fashion ,made sure all the valets got $20.00 a piece from me and encouragement to finish college and find another way to make an extra buck. Marcus saw me pull up and was waiting at the door for me. We gave each other dapp and made our way into the club.
It was a pleasant summer night weather wise but, the usual suspects were all the same. You have the “celebrities” sprinkled throughout the crowd both of the local and national variety. Comedians, athletes and actors of somewhat known and well known fame were all around.
After being “greeted” by the front door employees and informing them of the prior arrangements, we made our way to the V.I.P. Section; the very important person section-the very impatient person section-the very imaginative pussy section, I mean take your pick. Several of the strippers told me of how much they enjoy my books. To my surprise, they knew who I was.
Imagine that, strippers read books that are not based on gossip! When we arrived at the roped off area, the young lady at the entrance to the “V.I.P. Section checked for our names and then led us to our table. She asked what we would like to drink and I told her freshly squeezed orange juice. She looked at me as if I just cursed her out. “I have never heard that before,” she said, “Do you want any alcohol with that?” “No thank you,” I said with a smile. Now, she looked at me as if I had two heads.
I felt compelled to tell her that I am a health conscious vegan, but I did not want her to pass out from shock-so I just let it go. “This place is majestic!,” said Marcus as he sounded as if he forgot that he was angry. I had to agree. This place looked like paradise for drooling men everywhere. The place had two levels and the V.I.P. Section had two levels as well. We were seated at the upstairs level of the V.I.P section so that we would be able to observe all of the festivities.
The place had a flair for the futuristic; bold red colors adorned the circular stages downstairs and circular stages exactly above it; an identical hue embellished two beams that closed the distance between the upstairs stage and a sizable lounge on the opposite side of the venue, that was situated above the downstairs bar; Video screens were in every corner of the club on both levels; several of the chairs downstairs were black and like the chairs upstairs, leather; The three stages were meshed together in the shape of a Venn Diagram, with huge mirrors behind them; Of course the poles for the “ladies” were strategically placed on various parts of the upstairs and downstairs stages, with there even being a pole that the dancers could use to slide down from the top stage upstairs to the bottom stage, while UGK’s “Like That” remix was boomin, for true ass watching excitement.
The club was filled to capacity and it never fails that there are a number of well-known and not so well known celebrities nationally and locally who are just outlandish in their commitment to the strip club culture. This culture were “making it rain” can mean tossing the average person’s yearly salary at a bevy of gyrating naked women, within an hour or less time. Needless to say, they have their “yes men” in tow, fully loving the scene and their “ball toting” lifestyle.
Then you have those in the club who wish to emulate the free spending of these entertainment industry misfits, simply because of their desire for “attention”. “Attention” is too proper of a word for such common thinking folk; better yet, they wish to “shine” and carry the appearance of one who is “ballin” or has seemingly, unlimited amounts of cash. They want to drink the same beverages as the celebrities regardless of the fact that the liqueur bottles that the “stars” carry can cost between $100-$500 or more dollars, because similar to the wannabe they crave attention as well. They might as well say “Look at me”!!! Well-they do say that. I just cannot understand all of the backwards thinking.
The sight of perfectly shaped legs, thighs, ass, chiseled stomach, breast and beautiful face to match, made it hard for me to maintain my stern mental critique. “It’s almost twelve o’clock” said Marcus, as he sipped on a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. I barely touched my glass, as I continued to survey the club and a bewildering numbness attempted to take over my essence.
Marcus had a look of calm and anticipation as he waited for the appearance of his opponent “Black Cherry.” I began to wonder, just what is it that he planned to do when he saw her? We were sitting in the upstairs V.I.P section looking at dancers on the stages directly across from us and on the downstairs stage. Would Marcus try to run on the stage to cause a scene? Would I have to save him from a fight from the angry mob, which would surely not appreciate an interruption in the show? For the most part I was calm, yet I had to ask him. “What are you going to do when you see her?” I asked. “Relax man, I’m not going to do anything crazy,” he said, “I just need to see her face and demeanor.” “I also need her to see me and I want to see a response, I need to know if she will respond,” he confessed.
Just as he finished his statement three barley dressed women invited themselves into our space. One sat on my left, another on the right of Marcus and strangely the third girl sat in my lap. The three of them looked like goddesses,.. which brought the feeling of confusion and disappointment to me at the same time as the club DJ played Eightball & MJG’s Space Age Pimpin’ on perfect cue.
I wondered how women so fine could sell themselves out to become strip club dancers? These are the kind of women that most guys would dream of seeing or be highly intimidated to talk to, in an average setting, yet behold…… they make money shakin’ their ass. “Are you enjoying yourselves?” the girl on my lap asked. “Yeah, we are, replied Marcus and I, smoothly and confidently agreed. The girl on my lap was gyrating a little as the music in the club began to get louder. Her gyrating was making my soldier stand at attention and she smelt soooooo good. It was like I was Superman and she was Krpytanite, ohhhhh I had to stay strong.
Why don’t you tell us who you are,” said Marcus. The girl to my left called herself “Caramel” as indeed her skin resembled the shine of caramel. The girl to the right of Marcus called herself “Mahogany” and she was as exotic looking as the name would suggest; she looked as a mixture of black and oriental heritage and extremely enticing . The curvaceous girl on my lap was known as “Cleopatra.”
How ironic, she uses a name of a woman that embodied power, grace, sophistication, intelligence and yet she shakes her ass for money. She, like the others was fine and had an abundance of tattoos on the thighs, legs and arms. The sexiness factor was very much in effect. Marcus looked at me and I looked at him and we have known each other for so long that we can read each other’s mind. The thought that bounced off our brains was,” should we try to sex these fine females? Like I said, “ohh I am trying to stay strong!” This is the kind of club were for a fee, the sex can flow with no strings attached.
Suffice to say, we are very aware of this and of course the ladies are pouring it on for the purpose of financial gain, but no chance. However, any man would love the attention. Meanwhile, we kept getting this mean and frustrating look from a few knuckleheads in the so called VIP section and in my personal opinion “visually impaired person” section.
Ask yourself this question if you will. If you have the financial capacity to be in this area of a “gentleman’s club” then there truly should be absolutely no problems. Every man and woman in this section has more than enough scantily clad women giving them attention, thus attention should not be paid to anyone else but the ladies.
Yet, this one group of people seemed to be in disapproval of my friend and I receiving attention from these fine ladies. While these ladies were working there con game on us, “Cleopatra” happened to notice Marcus looking to his far left and how “Caramel” kept looking to her left. Her highness looked to her left and revealed that the buffoon towards the left of the VIP area was an ex-boyfriend. Wow, these people are really messy! Marcus and I laughed at this information appropriately because of the absurdity of it. Why would this person bring himself to this place at all and then give me an angry look as if to show disapproval? My thoughts were, is he a stalker and will I be forced to defend myself?
My prevailing thought was that this guy and his idiot friends have watched one too many low budget Benie Seigal movies and they need to grow up. I thought “All these fine women in here and you looking at me?” The ladies assured us that we would not have any problems and I believed her. Especially since the security in the club all looked well over 6’4’ and had the appearance of NFL linemen.
At that moment, the DJ made the announcement that Marcus and I had been waiting for. “At this time on the center stage. Bring your real money and leave that lame George Washington on da flo. Come correct and give it up fo sho. You know what time it is, we give you “Black Cherry”, putcha weight on it, putcha weight on it!” As the schedule on the website advertised she appeared exactly at 12am. Marcus got up and immediately began to make his way downstairs. I excused myself from the “ladies” as they looked disappointed and followed.
Several well know rappers apparently had been waiting for this as they had several stacks of 100 dollar bills bundled up in what appeared to be 500 or more one on top of the other. These guys??!!! Vanessa had completely transformed from her Macy’s persona. She wore a white leather bra and matching panties. The outside and inside portions of the bra were joined together with five small silver chains on each side that revealed the nipples of her breast. The look on her face was one of a seductress that was in complete control.
The strip club doubles as a dance club, so when it was announced that “Black Cherry” was coming to the stage all of the 100 or more people who were dancing stopped to face the stage. She pranced along the stage like a panther and suddenly jumped on the pole and seemed to nearly go up its full height. She then twirled around it and made a slow decent down while motioning her legs in somewhat of a slow jogging motion. Her white stilettos seemed as comfortable to her as running shoes. The rappers flung dollar bills at her as she paid them little attention and continued. I watched Marcus and he simply stared and showed no emotion. Cherry took her bra off to the delight of the crowd and continued to perform acrobatic feats on the stage.
This woman was slow grinding and teasing to the slow bass heavy song “Dance for You” by Beyoncé. I was trying not to look too hard, if you know what I mean. The slow base heavy music then switched to upbeat fool music with every curse word, brag, boast, threat and tease one can think of, starting with Future’s “Real Sisters.” Four more dancers joined her onstage as the debauchery reached a fever pitch. The more money the rappers threw on stage the wilder the antics of Cherry and the lost souls got.
Girls where dancing on top of girls, girls were kissing girls, girls were smacking each other on the ass when the rappers were not doing it. That look that Marcus was looking for……that expression of love or remorse or something signifying that she was sorry that Marcus had discovered a side of her that she had held secret……was nowhere to be found. The expression on her face was one of comfort, pleasure and fulfillment.
She smiled and laughed as she continued with the unrestrained indulgence in the lowest of lifestyle, with the lowest of individuals, yet alas she is one with those individuals, because she is one of them. Marcus seemed determined as we stood and watched the show, to see the look that he anticipated. Perhaps he expected her to flee from the stage once she saw him or run to him with tear filled eyes with cries of “I am sorry”, as one might see on the big screen, but no.
This is not the big screen, this is real life and there are people in real life who enjoy filth. These people seek and derive extreme pleasure from going past the limits that most people either do not think of or do not dare to cross. Being limitless is one thing but devaluing oneself is another. She finally gave Marcus a direct look, as the head rapper in charge stood behind her, enjoying her shaking her naked body in front of him, as the stage was covered with money; and what did she do...she laughed at him. I looked at Marcus and I looked at her and I felt as if the madness had gone silent and no one else was in the club and there was absolute silence. It was as if everything in those few seconds was in slow motion.
I felt pain for the brother. He clearly was involved with a sick woman. Marcus looked at me and I looked at him. We looked back upstairs at “Mahogany,” “Caramel” and “Cleopatra” and noticed they were working their magic on the next set of potential suckers. Then we looked each other and looked back to the stage at “Black Cherry” who was collecting the money on stage with the other dancers as the rappers and their “ball totters” waited patiently while telling each other loudly that they were about to “fuck these hoes,” as the girls, the same girls that never got the proper amount of attention as children; who never had the real love and guidance of a father or male figure; who may have experienced molestation; who may just have never learned to love themselves; who may just straight up and down love a ho lifestyle; laughed, smiled and agreed with the rappers plans as the crowd continued to go wild.
Marcus and I looked at each other and said let’s get out of here, this place is draining. We got outside of the club and laughed at the experience in order to release the negative energy that consumed us for three hours. “Man, I refuse to trip on that bullshit” said Marcus. “You shouldn't!” I replied.
Wow, brothers having grown man talk, outside of a place designed for illusion and confusion. We gave each other dapp and after agreeing to meet up tomorrow to play chess, we took the keys to our vehicles, found our vehicles ourselves as we walked past the valets and drove away into the Atlanta night.
COPYWRITE 2016 THE SPIRITUAL SATIRE/JASSIRI NASSOR/THOUGHT ELEVATION OLA