A story by Derek Henkel

A story by Derek Henkel
From Vol. 2 No. 3, 2002

It’s an hour past my bedtime on a Thursday night and I’m sitting on the outer ledge that surrounds the dance floor of this club downtown. The first of three bands is playing. They are a surf/punk band from Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I don’t know how much surfing one actually gets to do in Indiana, my guess is not very much, but they are a decent band.
The key to any group is a solid rhythm core. Bass and drums. This outfit not only has an outstanding drummer, but a very tight bassist. The front person is the guitar player, a stout, mini-skirted girl, with short dyed-blonde hair. She’s a very good guitar player, but I’m watching her legs. I’m specifically noticing the inside of her thighs. They look creamy smooth.
The dance floor is circled by day-glow neon portraits of a Christ-like woman with exposed breasts. At the rear of the dance floor is the booth where the person running the sound boards is sitting. A young black woman is running the boards tonight. She comes bolting out of her area through the crowd to reposition the bassist’s mike stand to stop the microphone from feeding back. I thought it sounded good. It reminded me of someone doing bird calls.
Before the surf/punk band from Indiana began their set, there were two lovely large ladies dancing on the bar. I chose the place I’m sitting so I could watch the lovelier of the two ladies. She was also a young black woman. She wore a long black wig and leather short-shorts. Most of the time she seemed bored, merely swaying to the music. I even caught her looking at her watch. But a few times she seemed to be enjoying the attention, and her dancing showed that as she stretched her arms over her head and grinded with a grin.
The first band just finished their last song and the DJ is announcing that there will be a peep show at the rear of the club. It costs a dollar. I get in line with the others and make small talk with the dwarf who was photographing the surf/punk band from Indiana. He says his flash wasn’t working. He doubts that the photos will come out, which is a shame because I would have given him my name so he could send me photos of the guitar player’s thighs.
A large lady with heavy makeup and a leopard skin jacket takes my dollar, and I follow everyone into the back room. It’s kinda small and once everyone is inside it’s a tight squeeze. The interior is red velvet. A fake yellow man introduces two geishas. They are slightly chubby white girls in their early twenties. They are all geishaed up and circle the audience collecting dollar bills in their bosoms. Both girls are quite cute.
After they circle they go onto the stage and one steps into a bucket and acts like she’s smashing whatever it is one smashes to make sake while one kneels before the bucket. The fake yellow man orders people to pay a dollar for a cup of the freshly-made sake. A few men go to the front, pay the dollar, and the girl kneeling scoops out sake from the bucket and gives it to the men, who down it.
One of the men tells me it’s actually grape juice, while I try to ignore the horribly cute music playing in the background. The fake yellow man is angry that more people aren’t buying the sake and the lady who took our door charge tells us to pay up or the show’s over. People begin leaving and the lady announces that we can get a Polaroid with the geishas for three dollars. People keep leaving and I feel bad for the girls. If people had bought more sake, who knows what would have happened. Me and this other guy stick around and each get a Polaroid.
I have the photo if any of you want to see it sometime.