Friends: More than the money
I drive around a great deal. And there are times when the faint business voice in my head clamors a bit louder than normal, or when my well of patience finally runs dry, and I get fed up enough to remove a club from my itinerary. And Secrets has teetered on that razor edge since the very first booking I had there a few months ago. But there are many factors to consider before going that route.
First, I need the variety. I get bored quickly. I like to think this is symptomatic of rampant intelligence, but I’d not be surprised to find it simply betrays a short attention span. At any rate, it’s good to move around and remain as new as possible to as many people as possible. And yet, if a club isn’t properly primed, the patrons may not know how to show appreciation to entertainers. Cutting a club from the list is limiting in ways that can be helpful or hurtful.
Next, for me to really completely write a venue off (especially after having frequented it), I have to be pretty near irreconcilably pissed off about something that truly matters: There’s a difference between taking a break and saying “never again.” There’s a club in Macon, GA that has this status: When Scotty and I walked in they asked us, “Are you going to be sucking cock over here or over there? We need to know where to set the screens up.” Ahem. That booking was okay as far as money, and they didn’t wrangle over the fee, but they’re impossible to coordinate with (because both owners send emails separately without conferring first). So. Never again, Macon. I needed an extended break from PT1109 in Columbia, but I’m almost ready to go again. Swinging Richards is its own little vortex, but I do admit that I’ve missed not being there for the past several weeks.
Lastly (for now), I have to consider the connections I’ve made in various places. True, I find Secrets to be incredibly mismanaged on many levels. True, the money has never justified the travel required to get there. True, I find it to be ridiculously exploitative to be required to walk around naked with an erection and no guarantee of income. However…
I have made some wonderful friends in D.C. Hopefully they know who they are, and I think they know what I mean when I use the word “friend.” I would like to think I’ve made it clear to them how much I like and appreciate them. I really enjoy D.C. as a city (except for the damn “roads” and “drivers”), at least the Northwest quadrant, anyway. And I would like them to know that if it weren’t for the anchor of my dance company, I would probably move to D.C. this fall, since my lease ends in September. But there are connections in Charlotte that I’m not willing to sever just yet.
And so, despite the frustration I contend with at Secrets, I will continue (no matter what I say) to book myself there. These amazing people add something to my trip that is worth more than the cash which I do or do not make at the club. They are more valuable to me than mere money. They are treasures unto themselves. And so then: How could I not include Secrets? Cutting Secrets would mean walking away from far more than I’m willing to sacrifice.
(Tu sais bien, Monsieur SS, que tu me manques déjà, et que je ne peux guère attendre à te revoir.)