Kate rubs the liniment into her knees before putting on her jeans. All around her younger women are either getting dressed after work, or undressed for work. Some of them love her, some of them hate her, some of them think nothing at all of her. Most think she is jealous of them, which is silly, since she was young once too. She may not have the perfectly smooth skin of these youngsters, but she still has her moves, and her banter.
She is not deluded. She knows many of these girls, the ones who can actually dance, and who have not been harassed by gravity just yet, make better tips than she does now. Still she’s not in it for the money, not really. She has her own business, and a successful one at that, but the conversation with the customers at her counter is not as fun as the conversation here. Kate loves that she can still get the boys to part with their bills, even though she is well over forty. She will never say how well though, and teasing about that makes her a little more.
No more nose candy or even booze for her. She does not begrudge anyone, but that just is not her scene anymore. Sometimes a girl will ask advice about that sort of thing and she just tells her “sweetie, ya gotta figure that out for yourself.” It was fun, for a while, but it gets in the way, at least for her. If it works for you, Kate has no problem with that.
Occasionally she will let herself feel protective of these girls, especially the ones who feel like they have no other choice. “Dance because you love it” she tells them, “otherwise you won’t make dick, and you’ll hate yourself.” Some even listen. Everyone has their reasons though, and again, she won’t judge.
As she leaves they all wave goodbye like they were best friends forever, even the ones who hate her. She will see most of them next week: the down and out, the up and coming, the high school drop-outs, and the PhD candidates. They all dance for the boys, and some girls, and make their money, or have their fun, and Kate knows it doesn’t matter why.