After an hour of stormy, topless pole dance, the young blonde shed her last bit of clothes and walked past the three Japanese youngsters who had showered the air thick with ten-dollar bills. Nude as a spoon, she walked past two gawking Arabs without much of a notice.
Then, before I could take my gaze away from her and dive into my pint of Bud, she stopped on me, raising an eyebrow, fixing me somewhere on the wall behind with a twisted smile.
“Do you like what you see?”
“Erm….sure. Nice. Terrific, actually.”
“Thank my parents,” the smile lingered. “These are from my Italian mom. And this….my German dad. Tough, very tough.”
“Lucky dog. The Japs really paid for this show, didn’t they,” she winked and glided out, the smile still sprayed in the room like a trail of mist.
Melbourne’s swish nightclub Goldfingers does not see many blushes. Mine must not have gone unnoticed. I thought I saw the Arabs giggle behind their drinks, and the rich Japanese kids bolted at what I had done or paid to deserve this passing attention.
Even after I had stepped out in the midnight chill and started walking towards my hotel near Flinders Street station, I could hear my blood thumping gently, warmly at my ears in embarrassment.
And mild shock. Before that night, I had not seen a woman with that sort of confidence.
I had seen stereotypes of the confident woman: smooth women bosses, busy single mothers, foul-mouthed whores…
I had never before met a woman—stark naked in a space controlled by unknown men — who spoke kindly and scathingly at the same time, smiled indulgently, cracked a ribald joke and walked out with a kind of poise that makes one feel silly.
I do not know what gave that nightclub stripper such power and grace; perhaps practised ease. Or may be it is the power Jiddu Krishnamurti says a blade of grass enjoys —the power of supreme and absolute vulnerability.