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Barbara Rosenthal*




One day Rocket went to the Go-Go agency to pick up last week’s check and book next week’s club engagements. The club she usually danced in had been booked by another topless dancer, and her agent asked if she’d fill a vacancy at Club A—. “OK.” (After all, it was only for one afternoon.)

Club A— had two stages and four topless dancers alternating sets. One stage was really the bar, and she danced on the bar for the men sitting below her. The other stage was a table in the back with a fake tree growing out of the center, in keeping with the club’s decor. It was very smoky at the back table and Rocket’s eyes burned from her contact lenses.

Rocket danced and drank champagne all afternoon. While she drank with a young Jewish customer, she watched the dancer near the tree wrap a sheer cloth around her waist and drop her G-string on the table. The dancer moved from standing to kneeling to lying on her back in time to the music. Only the man nearest her at the table could clearly see what she was doing, and she was dancing for only him. He was piling bills on the table under the tree. The girl squatted in front of him and opened her cloth, her knees spread for him to look at her open sex. He bent forward and inhaled her deeply, but he didn’t touch her. He piled more money on the table.

Rocket had never danced in such a lewd club before. She and the Jewish man were both very aroused. He gave her twenty-five dollars when it was time for her set and asked for a danced like the one they’d just watched. Rocket danced for him, and she was slow and sensual and hot and deliberate. But she never went back to Club A—.



Week after week, J— came into the topless club to see Rocket. J— was a young Irish Catholic virgin-boy who recently had left a monastery. After every set, Rocket drank champagne with him and they became good bar-friends. One night he asked her out to lunch for the next day and she accepted. They had a lot to drink and a big spinach salad. The next week they went for a walk in the Botanical Gardens and held hands. The week after that they took sandwiches to the Zoo.

One night Rocket was dancing at the club and J— was there. Rocket told him her husband had called from work to say he’d be out of town. “Come home with me?” she asked. J— was very nervous, but very pleased and thrilled. At 4 a.m. they walked three miles together, giggling through the city.

When they reached her place she asked him, “Please wait here in the hall while I make sure my husband’s really not home.” J— waited, but when Rocket unlocked the door, her husband was waiting for her in bed.



*2009 WOOD COIN: A Scratch and Dent Sale Issue: Rosenthal, “ROCKET”