The short route to the subway after work means walking down an alley where I have the pleasure of passing not one, but two strip clubs. One is classier (better sign, spiffier bouncer), but then that’s like comparing two used car salesmen. Classiness hardly matters after a certain point.
I see the occasional woman going to work in thigh-high boots shouldering a duffel bag as she passes the two side-by-side bouncers ready to fend off any rowdy 5 p.m. boozers. Then there are the customers. I derive some pleasure in glaring at the skeevy guys who head into the club with nary a bashful look. Have fun objectifying women! I’d like to yell. Have a drink for me, sleazebag!
But I see one patron this week who surprises me more than any guy in a cheap three-piece suit masquerading as an upstanding citizen: a man strolling into the club with his guide dog.
In other words, a blind man walks into a strip club . . .
Seriously, he nearly saunters in to the club, grinning German Shepherd leading the way. Of course, everyone is entitled to a spin in the den of iniquity, but it seems to me the a strip club is a visual experience. Something tells me the smell of sweat on the stripper pole just doesn’t offer the same excitement. And I’m pretty sure you’re not allowed to touch. Is the music that good?
Now, I work in the field of disability services and education, advocating for fair treatment, so I’m no stranger to equality. He has as much right to be there as anyone, so I treat him as I treat other guys chatting up the bouncers: with a combination eye roll and glare.
My first instinct is to ask if he needs directions, but then, I imagine he knows he’s walking into a strip club. In fact, it probably took some effort to get here, if it’s not on his usual list of navigable stops. Or maybe it is on his usual list of stops. Ew. Anyway, I don’t want to offend him by pointing out the fact that he’s heading into the less classier of the two clubs, and yet I don’t want to discriminate against him either because blind or not, he may be just another sleazebag; I glare at him again for good measure.
Still, the Why? gnaws at me. I’m dying to ask him and imagine how he might explain his choice of entertainment. In our fictional conversation he tells me, “It’s for the dog.”