The Teenage Dream
The night my lover, Jake, told me about his first sexual experience still resonates in my mind when I’m feeling sensual. It’s been the background for many adventures over the years, and no man has ever complained.
As I settled in next to him on the bed, Jake started talking about his first real relationship. Stroking my arm softly he began, “I never tell this to anyone. It’s embarrassing. But shit. When I was about fifteen, I mowed lawns in the summertime for spending money. My dad was old school about money. You wanted something you had to work for it. An allowance? Pfft. What was that?” He laughed.
“So, you mowed lawns- and?”
“My ma was friends with a lady in town who asked her if I could do her lawn for her. Her husband was out of town a lot and she didn’t think she could handle it.”
“What did this lady look like?” I teased.
“I was fifteen and horny.” He joked, “It didn’t matter- No. But, seriously, she was hot- well, hot for an old lady.”
“How old was old?”
“I think she was late thirties or something. But man. She’d come out to bring me iced tea in these tight shorts whenever I was there mowing.”
I interrupted him. “You drank iced tea out of her shorts? That is pretty hot.”
“You’re a smart-ass, you know that?” Anyway, he continued. “I hated iced tea, but I always drank the whole thing down so I had an excuse to check her out while she waited to take my glass inside.”
“Very clever.” I mimed applause.
“One day her car wasn’t there when I started mowing. By the time I got to the backyard, she’d gotten home and asked me to help her bring in some stuff from the car.”
“Of course, you said, ‘No, ma’am. I don’t want to go inside because you might seduce me.’ Right?” I joked.
“Not likely. By that time, I’d done it with her in my head about a thousand times. If there was a chance, I was going for it.” Rolling lazily to his side, he leaned on his elbow and continued his tale. “I’m hauling bags of shit into the kitchen for her, and she starts making a big deal out of a run in her stocking. Next thing I know I’m getting a free show of her thighs as she hikes her skirt up high enough for me to see the tops of her stockings. She says to me, ‘Come over here and look at this run in my stocking.’ So, being a helpful guy, I did. Then,” he continued, “she pulls her skirt up a little higher and she wasn’t wearing underpants. I mean. I was there staring at everything and not knowing where to look.”
“ I’ll bet you didn’t know where to look.”
“Man. There she was in her stockings and heels, her dress hiked up, and she whispered to me, ‘Do me on the kitchen table.’ Holy shit- a teenager’s dream come true.”
“Did you have to fight her off? Did you finish mowing the lawn?”
“Hell, no. I hopped on that before she could change her mind, and anything I imagined before was nothing like the real thing. She took me to the bedroom and destroyed me. Literally destroyed me.” He reminisced while stroking my thighs and turning me into a hot mess. “I crept back home about ten o’clock that night and Ma was up waiting for me, mad as a wet hen.”
“So, that was it? Did you go over there again?”
“Shit, I practically spent the summer at her house. It was like she never got tired. When school started again in the fall, I’d skip classes to see her.” He said, “Then, one day I skipped Chem class to see her and there was a strange car in the driveway. Every time I tried to see her again that same car was there and that was it. It was over.” He reflected, “I guess she wanted someone with a driver’s license!”
“She was crazy to let you go. Wanna pretend I’m a horny housewife and you’re fifteen again?” It was a good night. A good night, indeed. Just call me Mrs. Robinson- and yes, I did put my silk stockings on for him and let him destroy me.
I put my pants on one leg at a time like everyone else. I brush my teeth with Colgate toothpaste, twice a day. I pick between light and dark roast coffee at Starbucks. I choose what music station to listen to in the car on the way to work. I can't change a tire, but I can belt out every word to Rhianna's "Disturbia."
What I don't tell anyone, or admit to myself, is that in between all these routine moments, I am panicking. Any moment can turn into a downward spiral. All I have to do is think about my existence, my past, my pain.
It's a tic. It's a voice in my head, unconscious - I walk into rooms and look around at the ceiling, thinking about where I could hang a rope. I stare too long at sharp objects. My mind is not my friend.
I come to a personal crossroads every day. Do I choose the path where I destroy myself, or the path where I survive?
I didn't think I'd live this long. I'm stunted. I have limped along to get this far, thinking only in terms of living to the weekend. My younger sibling has since gone to graduate school at a university akin to Harvard, gotten a job that pays almost 100K, has a child with an adoring husband. I'm left wondering, what have I done with my life? I think back to therapy, where I was taught to "turn the mind" - think about positivity in the face of sadness. I have spent fifteen years turning the mind and I am tired.
The terrifying part is it's not black and white. Good brain, bad brain. Pain, happiness. The unconscious and destructive part of my brain that leads me to think negatively often bleeds into the rational, sane part of my brain. Like an addict, I have to sometimes physically remove myself from certain environments lest I be tempted by certain self-destruction. But sometimes it's not that easy.
Think of it as like a person on a diet. They aren't going to wander into an ice cream shop, say. They don't seek out what they are trying to avoid. But then they go to a birthday party - in my world, this is akin to being alone for too long, staying in bed all day. The person on a diet might cave, say, I'll just have one bite of ice cream. But one bite is all it takes. In my world, one "bad" thought and it could lead to hospitalization.
I live very carefully. I think very carefully. I think with other people - I'm going to go ahead and use the word "neurotypical" - they can trust their thoughts. They don't live moment to moment at a crossroads in their own mind. To inflict pain, to not inflict pain. I know I have a disease. I'm addicted to pain, maybe, in love with my own suffering. But that's just it - there's the "bad" part of my brain, telling me I want it.
Every day is waking up to a new crossroads, picking which path to go down. Every day I have to choose to be happy and sane, go down that particular path. Just like I put my pants on one leg at a time every morning, it's always a new day, a new battle, a new resolve to beat my own internal monologue.
I’m Too Lazy to Eat
What does that make me? A sloth or a glutton?
I'd rather do what I'm doing right now, which is sitting at my computer writing a silly story, than go out to the kitchen and cook a meal. Sorry, folks, but I've been cooking the same crap for over 50 years and I'm pretty tired of it. Why can't they find a new animal to kill?
Sorry, vegans. Or a new vegetable to yank cruelly out of the soil?
Chili, spaghetti, meatloaf, liver and onions, steak and potatoes, stews, soups, macaroni and cheese, chicken wings, bar b que pork ribs, shrimp, tuna fish salad, egg salad (whoops, not anymore). I'd eat if someone else would prepare these dishes for me and spoon-feed me at my computer. If not, I'll just go without.
It's not like I couldn't lose 30 or so pounds right about now. Maybe I'll design a new diet program for lazy folks who won't exercise. The, "It's too hard to walk out to the kitchen diet". I could make a fortune.
G-Is For String
I’d been dancing all my life. My neighbors took dance lessons when we were all five. My mother wouldn’t let me take them because she claimed I was too skinny and clumsy. So, I would visit the two neighbor girls every Saturday afternoon to see what they had learned that morning at ballet class. They put up with me until they got bored and sent me home after I memorized plies, releves, first, second, third positions, and more.
I’d take that dance knowledge and practice in front of my dresser mirror until I could copy their moves perfectly. When that first magical library card was handed to me, I took out every book I could find on dance and spent hours trying to imitate the pictures.
I danced in secret. Every. Single. Day. I told no one.
Much later, when I arrived at college for my first semester, I was able to take real dance classes. The essential classes fell by the wayside, as I concentrated on learning everything I could about modern jazz, ballet, and yoga. Saturday mornings were spent in the empty dance studio with the mirror, the music, and the barre, creating my own unique style of dance. There is a name for my brand of dancing now- it’s called ‘Combo’. Back in 1972 I just called it ‘mine’.
My college dorm mates encouraged me to enter a dance contest at a big club in the nearby city of Rochester, New York. Once onstage at the club, I realized that I was terrified of being in front of a crowd, and could barely move, let alone dance.
Disappointed by my dismal failure, I was leaving the club when an older gentleman stopped me to suggest I keep trying. He handed me his business card and said he could get me booked into smaller clubs until I got comfortable. That was all it took for me to toss my graduation cap into the air and put on a G-String.
That was the beginning of a thirteen-year-long adventure through the underbelly of the exotic dancing world. Many changes happened during my years in the business. What was once a glamorous strip tease show with women removing silk gloves for an audience’s rapt attention in 1973, devolved into lap dancing, and private rooms during the latter years. Not a fan of up close and personal dancing, I finally retired at age thirty-one, with many stories to tell.
It always escaped me that I was performing almost naked in some terrible places because in my head it was all about the stage and the movement. I could be dancing anywhere and in my head that usually meant Broadway. Cabaret, Hello Dolly, Chicago, Sweet Charity look out, Tina D'Angelo is starring tonight.
Sometimes my life was hell. Pure hell. I don't know how I survived it. Broken relationships and broken hearts chased me through those years, leaving fading scars and permanent damage that I’m still recovering from.
Through the loneliness, dangers, and forfeited motherhood, dancing held me, prisoner, on those warm wooden stages.
Dance was magical.
Dancing was flying without wings.
G-Is for String
It had been a few months since I quit college to pursue my dream job,
when my parents finally located me living with my friend, Marjorie.
They expressed their glee that I had just ditched a $3,500. per year
private college in upstate New York, for which they were still paying,
to follow my heart.
Those aren't the exact words they used. My mother’s exact words
were, “How could you do this to us? What were you thinking? You need
to stop this foolishness and get back to school. They are giving you
two weeks, or you’re being expelled and will have to immediately
repay your student loan. Don’t forget we are still paying your
That was one thing she could be sure I would never forget, because
For the next twenty years, they would constantly remind me.
$3,500. doesn't sound like an enormous amount of tuition
money now, but in 1974 my parents' house was worth $17,000. brand new.
“I can’t go back there. It felt like I was smothering to death
there.” I pleaded, “I’ll try to pay you back, but I just can’t go back again.”
“Ha. Like you promised to see college through, then ran away?
We should have known you couldn’t handle being on your own and
making good decisions. Why am I surprised that you’d pull another
one of your antics again?”
In the background, my father was yelling, "We’ll just go up there and bring her home. There are doctors who can treat this problem.”
I felt bad that my parents were so frustrated and angry but
felt even worse that they found me and threatened to drive to
Rochester, NY, and take me home. Or, worse, possibly commit me to
some creepy mental hospital. No way were they going to take this
away from me. I wasn’t five years old anymore begging for ballet
lessons and being brushed aside.
Besides, letting my parents down was nothing new. I could save a toddler from drowning and my mother would point out that if I’d been paying attention, the kid wouldn’t have fallen into the pool in the first place. With my mother, especially, if I didn’t disappoint her, she would have been disappointed.
My college dorm mates had read about an amateur dance contest
in nearby Rochester, a short jaunt from our campus. It was being
held at a nightclub downtown and they were sure I would take first
place if they dressed me up and did my hair and makeup. They were
also sure they would certainly have a better time hanging out at
a real nightclub for the evening, instead of slumming at the local
watering holes with all the loser townies.
After an hour of transforming me into a short Barbie hooker
wearing a shiny, tube top and short shorts, and way too much mascara
and eyeliner, the five of us loaded into one girl’s little
Ford Mustang and headed into the big city. No GPS or
cellphone guidance coordinates back then in the 1970s. We had to
ask for directions at just about every corner, raising eyebrows
when a load of college girls started asking where that
particular club was.
The club was big, posh, and a little intimidating. Especially
to a bunch of girls from mostly small towns, who had only been
inside neighborhood bars before. It was like being in a movie
scene- they even gave us real cocktail glasses…and napkins.
No plastic cups in this joint!
The drinks were expensive, so we had to pool our money to
meet the two-drink minimum. There was a real DJ, named
Wolfman Jack, who introduced the entertainers, and it didn’t
take long for us to realize what sort of dance contest this
was going to be. I wanted to leave but was glued to my seat
out of sheer, morbid curiosity and the fact that we had just
spent most of our money on the two-drink requirement.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, and I use that term loosely, please
welcome, all the way from the Combat Zone in Boston,
Boom-Boom Taylor, and her BOOM-BOOMS!”
Boom-Boom was a scary-looking creature. Adding to her already
statuesque six-foot physique, she wore six-inch pencil-thin
stiletto heels and a monstrous, flaming-red beehive hairdo,
so huge I expected bees to begin swarming out of it
any moment. Even without all the extra accouterment, I suspected
she surely must have played basketball in another lifetime.
Her skin-tight gown glittered in the spotlight as she stalked
around the stage with authority, knowing that all eyes were on
her and her Boom-Booms. She never actually danced or did
anything akin to dancing. She strutted about like a Gestapo
commandant inspecting the prisoners before choosing his quarry.
She would zero in on her victims sitting at the
ringside tables and flop her cement bag bosoms in their
faces, laughing hysterically at their reactions. Men,
women, waitresses, cockroaches, it didn’t matter. Whoever or
whatever was close enough to the stage got a face full of Boom-Booms.
She was disgusting and insulting while she was fully clothed.
Who knew what she would be like at the end of her show? By the
second song, she had already whipped her gown off and tossed it
over the DJ’s head, which proved what I had suspected, that she
had given up her basketball career to prance around naked in bars,
letting the patrons do the dribbling.
I’d like to say her performance became more subtle after
ditching the gown, but she spent quite a bit of time making love
to the stage curtains during the next song. The nightclub’s
dry-cleaning bill that week was going to be ghastly. Then,
off with the tiny shreds of fabric she had draped over her
only talents, Boom 1 and Boom 2, to a rousing round of wild applause.
After showing them off for a while, she launched into her finale of
humping a tooth-shaped cushion to the tune of
‘My Dentist told me to Open Wide’. I’m sure you can use
your imagination. Gross, but that night I learned that you could
do just about anything onstage as a dancer if you made
sure your nipples were covered with little conical sequin ‘pasties’
and all your hair ‘down there’ was tucked neatly into something
called a G-string. A triangle of fabric no bigger than a square of
Charmin held in place by an incredibly thin piece of elastic. Those
were the only rules, apparently.
So, it was that kind of dancing. It was more than a little
disturbing, but I knew I could outdance their lame feature dancer
‘all the way from the Combat Zone in Boston’, wherever that was.
When they called me back to the dressing room to prepare for the
contest, I was informed by the other dancers that there were
several different categories of entertainers in the so-called
topless nightclubs. There were Go-Go girls in short shorts and
white boots, who did not get undressed. Some exotic dancers were
house strippers and did take off their clothes. Then, there were the
out-of-town feature strippers, like Boom-Boom, who had their pictures
on the marquee in front of the club. They were the stars.
They also took off their clothes and got paid a whole bundle
more than the rest of the dancers did.
The dancers at the club decided it was best for everyone
involved if I went on stage as a Go-Go girl and did not take
off my clothes. Lots of competition and cattiness went on in
strip club dressing rooms and since I was nineteen years old
with a rather firm 36C bust line there was no reason to let me
steal their thunder. Plus, no one was willing to share a pair
of pasties. Not a problem. I didn’t intend to take my top off
anyway and hadn’t even considered this would be an option.
The DJ, Wolfman, decided to put me on after the Rubber
Ducky bath routine by Jackie Cantrell, the Swinging Tassel Girl.
Amazing. She could swing the tassels hanging from her sequined
pasties to the left and right and alternate between left and right.
It was a feat of unparalleled dexterity and upper body strength.
The bouncer had to remove Susie’s inflatable swimming pool
from the stage and clean up after the finale of her act when
she pretended to do sick things with a child’s rubber bathtub
toy. The floor was still slick, making it difficult for me to
even walk out onto the stage. Especially on shaking legs
with knocking knees. I almost vomited. But first I almost passed
out. No. I’m pretty sure it was almost vomited.
At any rate, about halfway through the song I realized I wasn’t
breathing- nor were my feet moving. I was so scared I couldn’t
So much for outdancing Boom Boom! My friends were
in the audience somewhere, hiding behind the spotlight that
was shining right into my eyes. I finally stumbled through the
rest of the song and ran off the stage, humiliated by the fact
that all my work and practices resulted in a performance showing
off the fact that I could, indeed, stand up and wave my arms around.
Ugh. OK. Maybe that was it. I simply wasn’t cut out for a
After my humiliating performance, I had to listen to the roaring
applause for the next amateur dancer, Baby Jane. We figured Jane was
somewhere between forty and sixty-five years old. Toothless, with
thinning, bleached blond hair and no makeup, Jane was a
shameless marvel. Every time there was an amateur contest in
a Rochester strip club, Jane was there, ready to prance around in
her battered, white (sort of) go-go boots and her mini skirt.
The crowd loved her because whenever they hooted and hollered,
she would get more creative. Jane, Jane, Jane. She never paid
attention to the rules, mostly because they didn’t apply to her.
No pasties? No problem. Her naked nipples were usually hidden
somewhere between her knees. No G-string? Also, no problem.
The G-string would only have covered what was already covered by
her drooping belly. No one could tell if she was completely naked
or not, due to her unusual anatomy. If she’d had enough to
drink before getting onstage, audiences could become
amateur gynecologists for the night. Or, so, the other dancers
told me in the dressing room.
That was my introduction to stripping and I dove into it anyway.
What could possibly go wrong?
G-Is for String
17 and over
Story of a young woman out of her element, trying to survive and thrive in a business that she was totally clueless about. The business was all about sex. She thought it was about dancing. She stood out with her dancing ability and her unique shows but was caught up repeatedly by her gullibility with men and the clubs she worked at.
College girl quits school and falls in love with the stripper stage. Fate deals her many blows but she keeps dancing, no matter how hard it makes her life. She stubbornly holds onto the destructive game because she loves dancing, and, well, because she is simply stubborn.
At a time when romance novels for women are selling like G-Strings at a porn auction, this is a great read for women who would have loved to dip their toes into stripping. It's also a wonderful read for men who want to see the life of a real stripper. It's starkly truthful and painful at times, softened by humor. No phony idealism or fairy tale romances. It is also full of memories from the 1970s and 80s, music, clothing, fads, and the sexual revolution. Although this is a story about a stripper, I do not get extremely graphic. There's really no need to.
I'm a 68-year-old grandmother, who quit dancing in clubs to teach Sunday School classes and play piano in our little Baptist church. My children are grown and I am the bad grandma to six funny kids. I quit college when I was 19 years old and returned at 55 years old to finish the degree I gave up to become a stripper. I have always written. It is a long-time love of mine and I was the only stripper I knew who traveled with a Remington portable in my costume suitcase.
As hard as I tried to become sexy and sultry for my stripping career, nothing moved me like making an audience laugh. Comedy softens the harsh lines in my story and I can't tell a tale without it. Think of Erma Bombeck in a G-String...or don't. That is my style. If you are too young to remember Erma, think Lara Croftish, as a writer friend of mine tells me. Snarky, sarcastic, and full of my own observations on life.
I am an avid reader of historical fiction, memoirs, and all the classics, with
Daphne Du Maurier being my current favorite.
There is another finished book in the series and a third is almost finished. Thirteen years of adventures, love affairs, lost opportunities for motherhood, criminals, abusers, and starting over gave way, finally, to a normal, whatever that is, life.
I write for Medium, Vocal, Reedsy and now, The Prose. I can be found at
June 25, 2025
This will be my final journal entry.
After decades of research and endless hopeful results that turned into dead ends, tonight, at last, I will fulfill my destiny.
Over the last five and a half decades, my entire professional life, I have been developing the technology for time travel. I have lost so many on this journey, but I’ve always known my perseverance would bear fruit.
When I was a youth, I visited a fair with my parents. I was drawn to the fortune-teller’s tent. As I gave her the requisite nickel, she grabbed my wrist and looked at the palm upon which the nickel lay. She let go as if my skin burned her. She spat and said, “You will do what you are destined to do and I will have to live with that knowledge. Get out!”
I was confused, hurt and more than a little angry at the time. But as I grew older, and found my calling, I remembered her words with delight: I would prevail.
Why does anyone want to go back in time? Perhaps to change a single, personal action one has lived to regret? A vigorous No, I reply. What a waste of such a precious gift! First, the change may but inflict a worse fate. But more importantly, to be able to twist the fabric of existence and slip into the stream of time in order to travel against the current - it cannot be for such an insignificant moment in the history of man. For never doubt, each life that walks upon the Earth is but a grain of sand on a beach…if that.
Perhaps one would wish to meet some great minds of history? That at least has some merit: to learn from those who spent their lives pondering questions that continue to baffle those who still take pleasure in intellectual gymnastics. Socrates? Plato? Aristotle? Da Vinci? Machiavelli? Russell? Or perhaps some well-known historical figure? One might discover if they were really as they have come to be viewed. Christ? Mohammed? Alexander the Great? Attila the Hun? Queen Elizabeth I? Louis XVI? George Washington? Benjamin Franklin? Abraham Lincoln? I do not deny the exhilaration one might feel gaining first hand knowledge of some historical personage, but the gift of time travel would be wasted in such a venture. Change would be limited, personal and, therefore, meaningless.
Chatting with a writer whose works have not yet been erased by the passage of time might be desired. Shakespeare? Cervantes? Tolstoy? Dostoyevsky? Joyce? Lewis? Tolkien? Dickens? Twain? Wells? Verne? Huxley? Orwell? Garcia-Marquez? How to choose? And really, why bother? Do they not all tickle the brain with the words they weave to tell the same stories, depict the same situations, describe the same feelings that have plagued humanity as long as stories have been told?
Or maybe one has a grand altruistic gesture in mind. Perhaps erase the existence of some murdering tyrant, despot, or prolific serial killer? Remove the scourge before it occurs? Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, King Leopold II. Elizabeth Bathory, Pedro Lopez, H.H Holmes, Dr. Harold Shipman. Alas, each is but an infinitesimal sliver of evil as viewed through the lens of time. What of all that has never been recorded but was? Or that will be.
This evening, I sent my assistants home revealing neither my breakthrough nor my intentions. If I am successful, it will not matter. I will be no more.
I have reviewed the algorithms multiple times to ensure there are no errors. I’ve programmed the portal with the chain of commands that will send me where I can have the greatest impact.
Before the egg. Before the chicken. Before the bang. I will intercept that which precedes all that is.
And I will suggest a rigorous and detailed review of the design blueprints for humanity, for the existing one is fatally flawed.
In a Frame
I feel trapped in a painting, unable to wiggle
even a little.
It happened when I lost my identity two days ago
after never listening to myself and my own desires.
Always bending to others' persuasion
always soaking in everything like a sponge.
Then a stranger entered into my body.
My eyes has no fire, my face is colorless,
my hands remain motionless,
my heart swings to a stop,
and I am always looking
in that direction.
Call me mad if you wish, but life's events ebb in and ebb out,
never affecting me
trapped in that still
and always wearing that expression of boredom
I long to go to the outside world,
where Mother's homemade apricot pies await me.
Where there's the constant struggle of school, work, and relationships.
Where I can be drunk in the perfume of wisterias and lilies.
Where I can actually appreciate art from an outsider's perspective.
Where I can at least make faces and not stare dumbly into space,
for others to interpret my feelings.
Now I am being shipped off to another place...
A laundry room perhaps?
Or a patio?
Or a bathroom?
Or a dentist's office?
Or another garage?
Or worse...a closet?
Either way, I am still