The Black Orchid [M]

A vignette from my stint as doorman/bouncer at a strip club called 'The Black Orchid'

She told me, “Behave…”


She smiled… and I’d felt it before… her smile stirred me more than the naked woman on the stage who cupped her breasts, teased nipples erect, and offered them to the crowd.

Denise tended bar… she wasn’t one of the dancers. But there was something about her that drew men and women. I often had to watch the bar as closely as the stage and floor to keep men from crossing that boundary trying to touch her. But it was partly her fault. Denise would tease and taunt… she was maddening in that way.

When you pull a guy off or away from a girl or prevent him from getting out of hand, afterward the girls don’t give you any adoring ‘my hero… my defender’ bullshit. I got a nod… a tired, jaded, smile… and sometimes a bill or two from their tips and maybe a caress at closing. But it’s mostly business, for them and you. Few drunks fight well, but those that can… can hurt you. It’s hard to judge what the fuck they’ll do. Anger. Embarrassment (if they’re with someone they think they have to put on a good show for… you know, of being a man in front of their friends or girl). Those make them dangerous and alcohol makes them braver. What you hope for is that it makes them stupid for a moment. So you can get inside and put them down before someone gets hurt. And you will usually get dinged up in doing that. Contrary to what you see in some movies, bar fights, at least all but one I’ve been involved in (Bermuda, resulting in being kicked out of the country), are quick. It’s not a dance and paw at each other kind of thing. It’s not one of rules either. You put the other guy down any way you can… as fast as you can.

“Behave…” and she pointed at B5 on the jukebox.

“Lola… The Kinks?”

“Yes…” She mouthed and god what a mouth… “Bee Five… Beehave… Play it for me.”

She leaned close, breasts pressed against my right shoulder, and whispered in my ear, “Give me a minute and then play it.”

I felt the warm satin touch of her lips linger on the lobe of my ear and with a last brush of my cheek, she turned and walked to the left-hand steps up to the stage.

That’s not right.

Denise didn’t just walk. She flowed. Her hips swayed–not exaggerated or forced–with natural grace. Her ass was a perfect inverted heart shape and watching her simply walking away aroused me. I’ve met few since that moved like her.

This was the first time I saw her dance. And I think she did it for me because I had asked if she’d ever been one… a dancer. That had been the night before. I had noticed her watching me since I started at the club but hadn’t talked with her at length until the third night. Her eyes, onyx that glittered and gleamed in the bar lights, had depth and mesmerized… I felt pinprick tingles across my skin every time I looked into them.

She moved languidly at first and picked up the pace to match the song. Our eyes met, and she held the look as her back arched and lips curled, a grin of public pleasure. For you, was the promise in her eyes. She danced clothed except for one moment when she unzipped her jeans and turning her back to the crowd, inch by inch, peeled them down to reveal the perfect, God-graced, pantie-less curve of her ass. She then, achingly with a taut shudder and shallow breaths, pulled the jeans up… slowly.

In the after-song quiet, she settled at the end with a deep sigh that carried through the room. Standing quietly for a beat, breathing deeply, chest rising and falling, the buttons of her white shirt straining to free from the buttonholes, she faced the lights. A sweep of her hand through long dark hair cleared it from her face, and with a last look at me she stepped down and returned to the bar.

Every night that followed, at 9 pm, she’d come from behind the bar and whisper “Behave…”

And I’d play her song.

As she danced, I never so badly in my life wanted to… ‘misbehave.’

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