a ticket out of here

A small empty Evian bottle falls over and a young rather agile man dips and grabs it, placing it upright in the same spot on the stage. A second girl in a white ra-ra skirt, ankle warmers and a white boob tube, shimmies forward, her legs spread a good metre and a half apart, her feet edging her towards the audience. She is a huge smile, white teeth, big brown eyes and shiny cheeks. Long, large dark brown hair forms a thick fizzy frame around her face and shoulders. Her arms spread wide, raising the audience, taking us with her as she starts lowering her hips rhythmically down to the plastic bottle. As she drops lower and lower, men at the back push up on to their tip-toes, necks craning, beer glasses tipping, desperate to witness the climax – when her sex touches the top of the bottle, knocking it to the floor, to roll away for the next round.
‘Those girls aren’t even wearing knickers! And the trouble is they think we’re all like that. I can feel them staring at me. I try to look the other way and when I do, there’s another one staring at me. And so I look the other way, and there’s another one. All the clubs here are like this. Full of white men looking for women to sleep with. That’s why you have to go out in a group here. You have to. These men are everywhere.’
‘I feel sorry for their wives.’
‘What about us? It’s us I worry about, not their wives! Yuck. They’re horrible. But the girls go with them because they’re all looking for a ticket out of here. It comes down to socio-economics. They’re all looking to get out. And so the men end up thinking we all are. If you want to dance to the salsa you have to get up there quick to get a good one, otherwise you get left with those white guys. We should be sitting closer or we won’t get a good one to dance with.’

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