The nights of Ol’ Pussy Cat Cabaret on Greenwich

It all started with Pussy Cat. My real dancing debut started at 40-something bump-and grind, landmark joint, Pussy Cat bar and cabaret on Greenwich street, thanks to advice from a dear friend. It wasn’t a transition to a different life. It was a surprisingly short walk to the wild side. A refreshing few blocks from Fulton street, to Maidan Lane, then on Wall Street then to Broadway, and a few blocks down Trinity Place and to Greenwich street, where a Cat woman sign holding a glass of martini  was hovering above thick golden door in a building that had been around for a hundred years, showing off wrinkles and signs of deterioration. Inside was a comfortably half lit, small lounge; a wooden stage stretched along the bar and a long mirror amplified the sizlandmarkpussycate of the place. Up on the stage 3 girls were shaking their booties reluctantly leaving bootie prints on the mirror. I was full of resolute to undress a little and learn a few moves, and shake my great asset as long as it helped me to pay my bills. There was no pole which made me sigh with a great relief. The prospect of sustaining a pole injury was beyond embarrassing. I mean I survived three scuba diving accidents in the Red Sea in Egypt. That’s something to be proud about and brag about – a dive with professional divers off the boat in Ros Mohammd Island, we all dive in and we all get lost because of the strong current. That shit is real and bad ass and hard core. But climbing up the pole top less and twisting something, shortly after successfully failing the NY bar exam is a totally different story. Anyway, all I had to do to audition was to go on stage in my thong and top, shake for a few seconds and take my top off. The idea of taking my top off seemed petrifying at that time. It’s not that I thought that something bad would happen but the idea gave me an unpleasant anxiety and discomfort, just like my two big phobias – the fear of height and fear of public humiliation during a math class. I’d loathed math since I’d started school at 6. I’d developed a theory that my brain was not wired for math because I’d fallen from the tall wave slide at a children’s playground when i was four. It was a minor head concussion but it wasn’t just a single incident. My mom told me that once when I was a toddler my uncle had picked me up from a cradle to comfort me while i was crying and threw me up in the air. My head hit the ceiling. My mom says it’s all nonsense. Either that or just I’m an exception in my family where everyone is a pretty good mathematician. What’s more frustrating about my math phobia that it went chasing me throughout my teenage hood and well into my adulthood. One of my repeating nightmares in high school was a nightmare involving a math tutor who was also a class teacher. Once in a while she, wicked, old and dark  would buzz on a door during a night. She wouldn’t just buzz once, she’d buzz continuously until I started shivering knowing that someone would have to let her in. I never knew the end of the dream because I’d wake up startled my heart pounding like windshield wipers. After college, I’m a liberal arts person majoring in international relations and law landed my first real job at PWC, a major international accounting firm. And my math spell went on and on. Even when I came to New York to do my master’s in law, I almost failed corporate law class because of an accounting part. My first NYC job experience turned out to be in a hedge fund where as a compliance associate I had to reconcile some numbers once in a while. I had to befriend many good looking finance guys to help me with my duties.
Anyway, taking off my bra wasn’t such a terrible thing, after all. I don’t think the whole audition lasted a full song. There were a few people sitting by the bar. I shook my behind rigorously trying to imitate moves of dancers tweaking next to me. I knew i was a debutant.
“Alright, you can get off now,” said Ron, a black tall manager and bouncer Ron.
“That’s it?”, I asked sheepishly
“Yea, do you want to start tonight, or tomorrow?”
“To-morrow,” I replied excitedly.
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