I spent the weekend in my town, where my American friend from a nearby city visited me. We went to a gay club with two guy friends and the freak show began.
Looking around, I saw a shirtless man so ripped he looked like his skin was going to explode. Another had a skinny head and a weirdly hard-fat body clad in plaid. Another had long hair and was old and asked me if me and my friend like to kiss on the mouth while his overly large friend rubbed my back. I saw a tall man in white pants pull his dick out and gesture at a midget, who went together into the dark room, a place where my friend told me not to go into in general, but that if I did, not to go in with my cell phone or wallet.
My Brazilian friend suggested excitedly that we ‘go watch the dancers with the…’ then gestured across his crotch in a motion that made me think ‘chastity belt’ or ‘diaper’. There were four go-go dancers on a stage, wearing little man underwear and boots. I was hypnotized by the hottest one’s abs, which I think I’ve only seen the likes of in the movie 300.
They stopped dancing, I talked to my friends, turned around, and he was there, looking shorter than he seemed on stage. Still shirtless, he grabbed my hand, led me away from the music, and told me his life story.
He was 21 and finishing high school, on account of his dad leaving his mom when he was little so that he had to work from the age of 13 on. His mom is evangelical and told him he couldn’t keep dancing when she found out he was, but now she’s ok with it. He got the gig when he dressed up as a go-go dancer for a costume party and his now-boss spotted him and asked him to dance at the club. He said no, it’s just a costume, but eventually agreed for the tantalizing price tag of R$80 per hour. He’s Maori. His tattoo is like The Rock’s. Then we made out. His breath smelled. I surreptitiously touched his abs, figuring I probably wouldn’t feel abs like that again in my lifetime so I might as well take advantage of it.
He followed me and my friends around the rest of the night, and I felt so bad I couldn’t run away, even when he started working his creepy Latin charm. I just kept thinking of him having to support his little siblings by go-go dancing, sliding along that slippery slope toward prostitution. I imagined him in his high school night classes after hours of working out so that he can keep working making $40 per hour. He asked me if I would stay in Brazil if I found a reason to stay, implying that in some sort of universe he would be the reason. I said no. He asked if I would go to the represa with him tomorrow, and I said sure, whatever, and left.
The next day he called 18 times. Needless to say, we did not go out.