by Noah Cicero

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In the bar area of the strip club.

It is a normal strip club.

Not one of those fancy ones that are always shown in movies.

Or one of those creepy ones sometimes showed in movie either.

It has a good sized stage with seats surrounding it.

The clientele are normal men. Most are average working class men.

Dave walks into the bar.

He sits down at the bar.

The bartender comes over. She is an attractive woman. She has short blonde and a kind smile.

“Hey baby, how are you?” Says Dave.

“Good,” says the bartender.

“How come you work here? If you can come home with me right now and I’ll take care of you.”

“Oh yeah.”

“Yeah. I’m an ex-marine. You know ex-marines can take of a woman good. You know that right?”

"I went out with an ex-marine once. He was good looking as hell. But all he wanted to do was check my cell calls and look at my emails. No fucking thank you.”

“I ain’t like that. I’m a good man. I’ll take care of you. I’ll be your man. All you gotta do if you’re with me is sit on the couch all day, watch soaps, and cook dinner.”

“I don’t watch soaps and I don’t know how to cook.. I’ve been working since I was 14. You think I’m just gonna sit down and sit on a couch and wait for your ass to come home every night?”

“Yeah baby. You don’t need to work. It ain’t a woman’s place to work in society. Haven’t you heard, real men are coming back. Women can go back to raising kids and cooking and cleaning. My mom told me that all women are biologically prone to becoming housewives. And I believe my mom.”

“I’m in college for hospitality management. I’m gonna own myself a strip joint one day and probably work 12 hours a day to keep it going. I don’t have time for kids or cooking.”

“No. That is not true. All women want kids. You want kids. And you want to be a housewife.”

“Prove it.”

“Prove what?”

“That all women want to be housewives and have kids.”

“It’s true. I read it in TIME magazine.”

“Time magazine made Hitler, Stalin, Charles De Gaulle, Nixon, Reagan, Bush, and fucking Bono Person of The Year.. A bunch of idiots and murderers. Like anything that comes out of that magazine can be believed.”

“Hmm. Baby you don’t know what you’re missing.”

Frankie walks into the bar.

The bartender tells Dave, “I gotta take care of this customer.”

The bartender walks over to him.

He is sitting down at the bar looking miserable.

“How are you today?” Says the bartender.

“Bored and horny,” says Frankie.

“You’re telling me.”

“Got any good news?”

“There’s a bunch of shit going on in Youngstown. There are cops everywhere. I don’t know what’s going on though.”

“Probably another gang war.”.

“Fucking Youngstown. I’m moving to Hubbard. I gotta get out that bitch.”

“I live in Hubbard. A couple of good cheap Italian places to eat.”

“Yeah. I saw them when looking for an apartment.”

They talk for a while more. About nothing really. Nothing heroic or tragic. Just conversation. Just two people talking about shit that goes on, on planet earth.

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