Remember Me. by Nathaniel Sverlow

I was sitting alone
at a strip club,
bored
listless
losing
my buzz

Worse yet
I was becoming
depressed
watching the girls
dance
on the stages
and on the floor
as they made
the rounds

their bodies
were like lumps
of clay,
stretched and pulled,
shaped and reshaped,
with no time
left
and their eyes
were distant
empty
like rain gutters
at the end
of some
forgotten
street

One
in particular
had my eye
She was
about my age
brown hair
slim figure
wearing
a bikini top
with silver shorts
that hugged the ass

She had no wiggle
walking over
only purpose
as though
she had been
waiting for me
all night

“Hey,” she said.

“Hey,” I said.

“Don’t I know you?”

“Doubtful.”

“Wait a minute...
Did you go
to Vaca High?”

“I did.”

“I think
we had homeroom
together.”

“Like hell, baby...”

“...Christina.”

“Apologies, Christina.
You wouldn’t
happen to know
where I could
get a drink
in this godforsaken place,
would ya?”

“There’s nothing here
but water
and lemonade.”

“Well, shit.”

“You really don’t
remember me?”

“Nothing personal, baby.
I traded
my memories
for the bottle
years ago.”

She leaned in
showing cleavage

“I think
we may
have a few memories
out back.”
she said, smiling.
“What do ya say?”

I shrugged
“Let’s make it
a good one,
huh? No
hand-me-downs”

Then she took
my hand
pulled me up
and led me
past the main stage
to the back door

a heap of muscle
stood guard
his bald, sweaty head
glistening
like a disco ball
to the deep bass
music

“TWENTY DOLLARS!”
he said

“C’mon, Johnny!
He’s an old friend.”
she said.

“TWENTY DOLLARS!”

“Well, shit...”

“I’ve got it.” I said,
digging
into my wallet

We entered
into in a dark room
fog machine fumes
in the air
with blacklight beauties
in two dozen stalls
writhing
over wide-eyed men

She found
an open stall
sat me down
on a plastic bench
and started swaying
to the music

“I can’t believe
you don’t remember
me.” she said.
“We had some
good times.”

She pressed
against me
moving
slowly
sensually
riding my thighs
eventually
pulling her top
down
then her bottoms
as she continued
rocking
back and forth
back and forth

She faced me
mounted me
touched my face
ran fingers
through my hair
kissed my neck
softly
and I began
to think
maybe I did
recognize her
Yes!
there was
a brunette
who sat
in the front row
in homeroom
she was quiet
studious
with thick glasses
and baggy,
unflattering
clothes

Our lips met
but only
just so

“I do remember
you, come
to think of it.”

“It’s about time.”
smiling,
once again

I moved in
for another
kiss
but she
pulled away
spun around
and arched forward
giving me
a clear view
of her
she began grinding
against me
grinding
harder
and
harder
pressing
down
into the fabric
of my jeans

“You like it, baby?
You like it?”
“I think
I love you, baby.”

“...Christina.”

“Yes, Chrsitina,
of course!
What are
the chances
that you
and I
should meet
again?”

Suddenly
she stopped
straightened up
turned
and looked
at me
she brought a hand
to her forehead

“What?”

“You don’t
like it,
do you?”

“What do you mean?”

“Aw, come on!
There’s not
so much as
a wiggle
down there.”

She was right

“Oh that?
It’s just the booze,
I swear.”

“Sure, honey,”
she said,
picking her clothes up
off the ground
then getting dressed
“My shift
is just
about over
anyways.”

I stood
watching her

“Can I call
you
sometime?”

She hesitated
reached
into her shorts
and pulled out
a card
she handed it
to me

“Thank you.”
I said.
“And, here...”

I found
my wallet
and gave her
what was left
about $50

“...for the dance,
and for the memories.”
I said.
“Thank you for
remembering me.”

She put the money
away quickly
smiled again
hugged me
kissed me
but only
just so

“How could I
forget you?”
she said.

“I’ll call you.”
“Okay.”

Then she
pulled away
hurried off
out a different door
I went out
the same door

Pushing out
into the cold dawn
I realized
I had given away
my cab fair
All that was left
in my wallet
was her card
I took it out
at it carefully,
it said
Centerfolds
with an address
and number
in blood red
I checked the back
but it was
blank

As I stood
there
wondering
how
to get home
two young men
in suit jackets
stumbled
outside
and lit up

“I’m telling you...”
one said
to the other.
“She was working
ya.”

the other
took a drag,
let it go
“Yeah?
You think?”

“I don’t think.
I know!
Half our
graduating class
was in there
tonight!”

“Sure, sure,”
he said,
taking another
long drag

I tossed
the card
to the ground
with hundreds
like it
and walked
towards
the rising sun

“Go Bulldogs...”
I said
as I passed
the two
young men

“For sure,”
one said,
flicking his cigarette
and lighting
another


Nathaniel Sverlow is a freelance

writer of poetry and prose.

He was born in 1983 in San Diego, California and has since spent most of his time hunched over a laptop randomly pressing keys. He currently resides in the Sacramento area with three cats, one incredibly supportive wife, and a newborn son. His previous publishing credits include
Typehouse Literary Magazine, Map Literary, Marathon Literary Review, Defenestration, and Black Fox Literary Magazine.