The Last of Vaudeville

Henry weird, seeing things in slow motion—being pulled haltingly forward into the dark.   

Something pulling him into a void— Native American folk tales telling of roving black holes, dark gaseous clouds on the Montana plains pulling old people, young coyotes and rabbits in, taking them away.      

With allot of effort pulling himself out of the gaseous black hole— then off to nosh at Chaim’s Deli.

Sitting in his booth his waitress (Ruby) getting in his face saying, “For the love of God Henry you look as though you have been to hell and back, what happened? He says, “I spent the afternoon fighting off a gaseous black hole that invaded my living room, the black hole of Indian folklore.” Ruby then says,”Henry you are sicker than I ever imagined, go talk to your shrink at welfare tomorrow, please baby.” 

Ruby a one dimensional thinker, a right-brain thinker,  believing in God while denying the existence of roving black holes in Queens.

Henry munching on some well done fries, dipping them in mayo, drinking a Jack and Coca Cola, dazed, leaving Chaim’s Deli at 10PM. 

Things still weird, walking the dark streets of Queens, it was a strange night, even the bums in the Bowery were laying low.  Henry headed to Times Square looking for signs of life.   

Times Square in front of the New Amsterdam Theater, he sees “Mary Poppins” with Julie Andrews is playing. 

The cowboy junk a fixture under the New Amsterdam Theater marquee ropes Henry in saying, “Henry all the dope in China wouldn’t make this film right, don’t even think of buying a ticket, check out the strippers at the Hi Hat Club.”

Henry paying five bucks at the door of Hi Hat Club, a strip joint that served booze showcasing the creme de la creme of Times Square strippers. He sits down at a small table and orders shots of tequila, feeling at home. 

There was a three piece jazz band in front of the shallow stage, three black dudes from Harlem wearing t-shirts and dress pants— bass, drums and sax, junked up some and nodding, eyes shut allot.    
The strip joint moldy, the red velvet curtains dripping as though they were sweating, the place smelled like cum. 

The first act a classy older gal with dyed red hair, Pussy Wilderness—wearing a bear suit that came apart at the seams, slowly stripping off to the sleaziest jazz riffs ever. Very naked at Henry’s table, close to him with her back against him, gyrating back and forth rubbing her ass on his face, he puts his nose into it spot on, her hole smelling like dime store douche.    

Henry does a few lines of cocaine off a plate and orders more shots. Enter stage left an asian gal calling herself Shanghai Sal, with a Betty page style florescent purple wig on her head. The band doing its best to play Duke Ellington’s “Chinoiserie.” 

Sal had the moves, twisting cobra like, beguiling. Her lose fitting kamikaze embroidered kimono off in a flash revealing a thin white skinned body, wearing black bra and panties. Going from table to table, at Henry’s table sitting on his lap, he lays a few lines of cocaine on a plate and Shanghai Sal snorts em up, her eyeballs rolling up into her head as it falls back. 

It was over before it began at the Hi Hat Club, time flying, it was 3AM. The strip show bonafide kosher, the mildew and cum smell, the junked up three piece band, the strippers interpreting and reinventing strip as they went along, each gal with her own motif, everybody turned on in their way.  

The Hi Hat Club light years away from the film “Mary Poppins,”on a planet of it's own, it was a circus, the last of Vaudeville.   

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