< >New Readers refer back to Tuesday’s post: Mo: Captain Save a Ho
Well, I was in more trouble than I thought. I was fired.I know what you’re thinking. How does a stripper get fired? Polekatz fired girls more often than any other club, but you had to have not shown up for your shifts for a month, fucked a bouncer or done something pretty ratchet; which getting belligerently drunk on a different shift and leaving with a customer, regardless if they are your ride or not, falls into the ratchet category. I was so ashamed of myself. “Who gets fired from a strip club?– You got me fired!” I cried on the phone to Mo. He did not really get me fired. It was my own fault. “You just need to slow down on the drinking.” he said. He was right.
I was at a point in my life where I was depressed with what I was doing, so I was partying and drinking almost every night of the week. I was 24 and considered an independent student. I could have been in school, but I wasn’t because I saw girls who had completed their degrees, quit for 2 months, and come back to the strip club. “Why are you here, I thought you finished school?” I would ask. “Girl, there’s no jobs!” “Girl, I can’t work 8 hour days for bullshit pay.” “Girl, I’m going BACK to school.” Were the common responses I would get from co-workers. It honestly deterred me from going. Why spend all that money and time on school if I was just going to end up back in the club? It scared me. Here’s the tea…
This is when I decided to take my first year break. I needed to figure out what I was going to do. Mo and I eventually got a place together on the north side of Chicago just a few blocks from Wrigley Field. Mo said he would help me financially if I helped him manage his stores. This enabled me to quit dancing and just get a weekend cocktail waitressing job in addition to helping him.
The stores were located in the deep-south side of Chicago in a neighborhood called Roseland. Anyone familiar with this neighborhood knows its pretty rough. We had a doorbell installed if someone wanted to come into the store. If we did not know the person, they had to show I.D. at the door. It was crazy down there.
Mo and I had an okay relationship. The only problem was we both went from zero to a hundred… real quick. We would be having the nicest day ever and it would end with me throwing his favorite chicken and rice dish all over the floor or him getting upset and leaving me at the beach.
I was not making my own money, or as much as I knew I could be making. That was an issue, but I was learning; how to balance a business budget, how to order supplies, what it took to actually run a business.
He was always stressed, but he was a hustler. I would listen to him talk to people and he truthfully could turn a pebble into a profit. I learned a lot about how to deal with people in general from him. He was smart, so it would frustrate me when he would smoke a bunch of weed and not move as fast as me. “Haste makes waste! Always rushing, with nowhere to go.” he would say. It would piss me off. “Why are you so fucking slow?” I’d ask him. “You’re too much! In MY country, women do not act like this. “he would reply. “WELL, WE’RE NOT IN YOUR COUNTRY. WE’RE IN MY COUNTRY!!! WELCOME TO AMERICA” I would say and we would have a full-blown war in our apartment. Who’s customs were better, who’s beliefs were right. I may have thrown a couple jabs and right hooks here and there that eventually led to our demise.
I will be the first one to admit I am a lot to handle, so a man looking for a submissive woman probably shouldn’t even bother with me. After 8 months of living together we were pretty much over it. I wanted to go back to earning my usual income and I couldn’t stand working in the store anymore. That most definitely was not the life path for me.
The final straw was a hot August day. We were at the store and he left to run an errand. He left his brother in charge and I just felt like walking. I was walking down Michigan Ave in “The Wild Hundreds” in jean shorts and a tank top with my headphones on. Mo came whipping around the corner and skuuuuuuuuurted to a stop. “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!” he said enraged. “Uh, walking?! What’s the big deal?” He grabbed me by my arm and threw me in the backseat. “Are you fucking crazy? Do you want to get kidnapped?” Kidnapped? What the hell was he talking about. “If people see you walking on these streets alone you’re gonna get kidnapped, why would you do something so dumb?”
I did not understand that if you own a business or are some type of authority figure in neighborhoods like that people will snatch you up for $5,000-$10,000 ransom because they think you have money. It happens all the time and the cops are never usually involved. I was basically a moving target and did not even know it.
Shocked at how naïve I was to the possible thought of that happening I asked him, “Would you pay the ransom?” He shot me a look in the rear view mirror that said shut the fuck up. I just looked out the window the rest of the way home, thinking to myself do I really want to be hanging out in a neighborhood I could potentially get kidnapped in? What the hell just happened today?
Forty minutes later we were in our parking garage on the north side. He opened the back door for me and said, “They would return you for free, Habibti.”
He moved out a few weeks later, so I was alone in Chicago with a $1300 rent. I had no choice but to go back to dancing, but my mindset was a little different this time. #nowthatsthefuckingtea