Read A Day in the Life Online

Authors: Jade Jones

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Urban Life, #United States, #African American, #Urban, #Two Hours or More (65-100 Pages)

A Day in the Life

BOOK: A Day in the Life
4.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

A Day in the Life










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The daylight streaming through the curtains of my tiny 9x9 bedroom woke me from a peaceful slumber. I sat up in my twin size mattress and swung my feet around the edge of the bed. Massaging the nape of my neck, I reminded myself that I had to get a new mattress. An aching sensation resided in the back of my calve muscles. Last night I had made a killing but my body was suffering drastically. Three years of stripping had ultimately taken its toll on my poor body. My knees were going bad from dancing on the hard wooden floors of the strip club's stage. I had to take a muscle relaxer before every fruitful night of working at the Gentlemen's Persuasion.

I padded barefoot into the small kitchen. I lived in Morris Black housing developments, and even though the projects were ghetto and grimy, I tried my best to keep my little unit "roach-free" and as clean as I could. Living here was temporary. I was slowly stacking my paper and I vowed to move out of Cleveland, and maybe even out of Ohio, before the year was over.

After opening the refrigerator and peering inside, I realized I would probably have to stop at the McDonald's on 93rd to get a bite to eat. Truthfully, I despised fast food, but my food stamps wouldn't come until the first.

After taking a quick shower (since the hot water usually turned cold after about four minutes), I threw on some sweatpants, a black tank top and some tennis shoes. I swept my hair up into a lazy ponytail. Usually, my appearance meant everything, but since I planned on going through the drive-thru I was very unenthusiastic about looking good.

"What's up with you?" one of my neighbors asked as I briskly walked past him towards the parking lot.

Normally, I was friendly, but I didn't have anything to say to the men around here. He lived in the projects just like me. What could he offer? Money talked louder than words in my opinion, so a conversation could never exist between the two of us, especially if he wasn't doing anything for me. Sorry, that was just the stripper mentality talking.

"Fuck you then," he spat. Obviously his pride was wounded, but I paid his rudeness no mind as I climbed into my "beater with a heater".

I had been pushing this stick shift 1992 Buick Regal for the past four years, and for the past three years, I had been promising myself that I would get something newer. My back tires knocked as I pulled out the driveway and made a left. I had been meaning to get those struts fixed a while ago.

As expected the line at McDonalds damn near stopped at the entrance. I was here, so I'd just have to wait. I scrolled through my cell phone to play some tunes, since the Buick didn't have a radio. Often times, I found myself humming just to offer some type of melody. I had been meaning to get a CD player from Walmart.

Ten minutes later, I finally made it to the intercom.

"Welcome to McDonalds. You can go ahead with your order," a familiar voice said.

"Let me get a double cheese burger, no onions, and two apple pies."

There was muffled noises in the background before the male voice said, "That'll be two dollars pull to the first window."

I grimaced at the sight of Kevin Hardaway. He was clad in his McDonalds uniform and had the nerve to have his hat pulled sideways.

"Yeah, I knew that was you, Lydia" he said. "You order the same shit every time. Don't worry about it, I got you." I watched as he fished in his pocket, extracted two wrinkly one dollar bills and popped them into the cash register.

"Wow, Kev. Paying for my McDonalds. Seriously?" I teased. "If you want to pay for a meal, take me to Red Lobster."

He chuckled. "Girl you know how long it'll take me to save these punk ass paychecks up to take you to Red Lobster?"

Kevin and I had dated briefly throughout high school, but after we graduated we obviously decided upon different routes. He went on to attend Cleveland State University and was obvious that I had chosen an entirely different path.

Kevin had been unsuccessfully trying to get me to stop dancing ever since he found out. The streets had a big mouth because I hadn't told a soul about me dancing. Occasionally, I would run into a few fellas that I recognized from the hood or high school, and I guess word of mouth had spread like wildfire.              

"Why am I doing it?" had understandably been Kevin's first question.

I can't honestly say I had ever suffered from neglect growing up. Of course, I was raised by a single mother. I had lived in the hood all my life growing up on 119th in Kinsman. She worked two jobs and took damn good care of me and brother, Lamont.

Truthfully, it was just something that I tried once after a male friend had suggested it. He made a comment about my statuesque figure saying: "I could make a killing by hustling my looks." Initially, I laughed the comment off. But eventually, my curiosity got the best of me.

One night in particular, I had went to audition at the Gentlemen's Persuasion—after hearing enough about the strip club to evade temptation—wearing nothing but a swimsuit and pair of pumps. I was eighteen then and knew nothing of the hustle. Since that night, three years ago, I was hooked on the easy money.

The minute my mother found out (heard about it through the streets) she kicked my ass right out to the curb. And that's when I found myself living in the projects, fending for myself, and earning money the best and only way I knew how.

Exploiting my body.

But as I mentioned before, it would only be a matter of time before I upgraded and got the hell out of Cleveland. Honestly, it wasn't anything here and since my relationship with my family was so strained after they found out about me dancing, I felt that I didn't have anything holding me back. Just a few more thousands and I'd disappear and leave this city and life behind.

"Can I come over tonight?" he asked, changing the subject.

Honestly, I didn't know what Kevin saw in me. Even dressed down, he looked at me as though I was the prettiest woman in the world. In my opinion, I felt he deserved better. He needed to date one of those smart girls from college. Someone who wanted something out of life that was willing to work for it. Not someone like me, who auctioned my body every night to the highest bidder. What did he see in me? Obviously, it was something that I did not see in myself.

"Can't. I gotta work tonight," I told him.

"You'd rather put that dingy ass club before me?" he asked.

Kevin and I weren't official...we were...well...honestly, I didn't know what we were doing. I guess we were just going with the flow. I had feelings for him and it was obvious that he had feelings for me, but he admitted he would never settle down with me while I chose to live the life I did.

That was fine with me because I wasn't planning on giving it up for him. When and if I chose to stop stripping it would be for myself, and myself only.

"Are you gonna pay my bills?" I challenged. "Because you just said you couldn't even afford to take me to Red Lobster."

He chuckled nervously. He wouldn't admit it, but I had him there. Suddenly a horn honked behind me. I had been mingling with Kevin longer than I needed to.

I winked. "I guess that's my cue. I'll talk to you later."



When I got back home, I called my girl Diamond over. She, too, lived in Morris Black. I wouldn't exactly clarify her as a friend, but she was definitely a close associate. She was cool and everything but the bitch was always begging. Either she was running low on food, needed money for her light bill when her electricity got cut off, or just needed a ride somewhere.

The minute I told her that I danced she immediately saw dollar signs in her eyes. The woman just assumed that every night I strolled out the strip club, I had twenty thousand dollars in my pocket or some shit. I wanted to tell her don't believe the hype. The money was easy but that didn't mean it came in abundance. Stripping was a hustle. Sometimes you had your good days and sometimes you had your bad days.

If I was balling even remotely similar to how she thought, surely I wouldn't be living in these dirty ass projects. Anyway, I called Diamond up. Even though the girl was worst than Felicia from "Friday" she could do a mean ass sew in. And plus she owed me money, but that fact was anything but new. That woman always owed me money.

"What's up?" she answered.

"You gonna do my hair still, right?"

"Yeah, I'm about to be on my way over there. I got some Rossi at the house. You want me to bring it?" she asked eagerly. Diamond was the epitome of the word alcoholic.

"Damn, you drinking at one in the afternoon?" I asked.

"Bitch, is that a yes or a no?"

"Yeah," I laughed. "And you got a needle? Mine's dull."

"I got you girl, I got you."

Ten minutes after we disconnected the call, she came knocking at the door.

"Who is it?"

"Hoe, open the door!"

I unlatched the lock and allowed Diamond's big mouth ass entrance.

"Girl, that tired ass nigga out there be hollering at any and everyone he see stroll past."

I burst into laughter. "He's still out there 'trollin'?"

"Yes girl." she laughed. "You washed and dried it?"

I ran my fingers through my blow dried hair. "Yep."

She fingered my thick hair. "Girl, I don't know why you be weaving your hair up. All this good ass hair. Come on, sit down. What kind of hair did you get?"

I walked over to the couch and held the pack of hair up. "You already know. Indi Remi."

Diamond cupped a hand around her mouth. "Balling!" she yelled dramatically. "Oh, speaking of balling, you think you could loan me about fifty dollars so I could take the kids school shopping? The child support ain't came yet."

I rolled my eyes. This girl had three kids by three different baby daddies, but if one didn't no any better they'd assume I was this hoe's sponsor or something. "I'll have to see how I make out tonight."

She waved me off. "Oh, girl, hush. You know you break bread."

I shook my head. "Wednesday I made exactly what you're asking for. There are slow nights."

She came over and sat on the couch and I took a seat between her legs. "Well, tonight's Friday. I know you're gonna shut that bitch down!" she laughed.

Three hours later, my hair was popped. I believed myself flawless with the 18 inch wavy human hair, curled and layered to perfection. Diamond and I went to get our nails done (my treat of course) and with only a few hours to spare before I had to be at work, I brought a few cute outfits from a vendor named Tito. He sold everything from exotic dancing attire, to heels, to purses. You name it, Tito had it.

With my hair and nails done, and a few new stunning outfits to wear tonight, I knew I was going to make a killing. I would earn all the money I spent today back and then some. And there was a rumor floating around Gentlemen's Persuasion that a few of the Cavs players were going to stop through tonight, so I had to put my A game on if I wanted to stand out.

With a roster of forty women, the competition was steep and fierce. If you weren't on your game, you'd definitely get lost in the background. There was definitely money to made at the GP, but you had to go out and get it. It wouldn't come to you.

BOOK: A Day in the Life
4.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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