It started off with me in a black t-shirt and black silk pants, so I knew it was a dream. I stood in the center of a small black stage that was worn and scuffed with the marks of performers and the desperate scratches of dying dreams. A group of women hollered from the back of the room, while a small assembly of watchers sat greedily eyeing me up and down.
I was there for one thing: to take my clothes off and put on some sort of show. I did what I sometimes do in situations that make me very uncomfortable: I went into show-girl mode and pretended I knew exactly what I was doing. Prowling around the stage, I strutted and posed, lifting my shirt a little and giving a smile/snarl to those who nodded and yelled. In our society, we’ve all seen how to act like a stripper. (Even those of us who have only seen very select bits of ‘Magic Mike’ and the like.)
There was only so much vamping and stalling I could muster, however, and eventually it came time to give them what they wanted, the only reason I was there. I turned my back to the audience and lifted my shirt. Awkwardly, I had to try a few times. Turns out that shit does take some practice to do it without looking like some clumsy virgin. No one seemed to mind, though I was anything but emboldened by the audience’s approval.
I swung my inside-out shirt around like some white flag, but it was black, and the people took it as a call for more cheers. The spotlights were blinding, but I could make out a few faces in the crowd. The group of screaming women had positioned themselves closer to the stage, and I knew it was time. Black silk caressed my body, and I didn’t want to take it off but there are times we do what we least want to do. Turning my back to the crowd one more time, I bent over and pulled my pants down, exposing my naked ass to everyone.
As I stepped awkwardly out of my pants, I turned around and faced all those people. Full-frontal screaming ensued but I looked each of those women in the face with a doleful stare, and one-by-one they stopped smiling and cheering. There was such sadness to my expression that my nudity was no longer sexy or fun, and suddenly it felt like we were all about to cry.
In the silence, I picked up my clothes and walked deliberately off the stage, closing the door of the nearby bathroom behind me and pulling my clothes on as quickly as possible.
Then the dream ended.
I awoke in pajamas and blankets, with my husband quietly snoring beside me.
Maybe some dreams are better left dead.