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  • Writer's pictureelise

Chapter 34 - I might have blacked out for a second...

With my hands covering my face and hiding my eyes, I tentatively peek through my fingers to see what’s happening on stage. Our friends are laughing and telling me to film Guapo, and I just can’t. My mind is racing with 1. WOW, what a good sport, 2. Is he going to be upset with me after this? I mean this is 100% my doing. 3. Am I about to see something that will be burned into my memory forever? 4. Are they going to take off his clothes? 5. Is he going to get really embarrassed in front of all these people?

I was so nervous. I might have blacked out for a second because my memory of the on-stage antics is a bit fuzzy. I know there were moments of dancing and laughing and girl’s clothes flying and all of that is a blur…however, I am quite clear on what happened next.

Guapo and the other birthday guy were on stage with girls dancing around them. The MC was revving up the crowd. For what? I don’t know, honestly, I didn’t want to know. The other birthday guy had enough and walked off the stage. Just when I thought it was coming to an end, the girls formed a bridge with their hands. They stood in two parallel lines and reached their arms up overhead and connected hands with the girl across from them. They tell Guapo (the only birthday boy left on stage) to walk through the bridge. Without missing a beat, Guapo strikes a pose, throws off his sports jacket, takes a running start, and does a Tom Cruise like slide on his knees and coasts all the way through the bridge of girls to the opposite side of the stage. Time begins to slow down and I watch his slide in slow motion. His face full of glee, his hair blowing back, I catch glimpses of his ecstasy through the fishnet covered legs of the girls on stage. He seamlessly coasts all the way through the bridge. Time comes back to real speed and Guapo with his typical calm, cool, demeanor, simply stands up, smiles his perfectly imperfect smile as a little sparkle reflects off his bright white teeth, high fives some audience members and returns to his seat. Not a drop of sweat, not a hair out of place, not a wrinkle on his dress pants.

What. is. going. on? Where am I? If this isn’t the Twilight zone, I don’t know what is?

He is laughing and smiling, I am jumping out of my skin, uncomfortable. The guys fist bump and I just keep the words, ‘I’m so sorry,’ on repeat.

At last, it’s time to go. I’m not sure I’ve ever had more of a rollercoaster of emotions in one hour than I did during that show. I’m physically exhausted. I feel I was personally put through the wringer, when in reality all I did was sit there and repeat a mantra. As we get up to collect Guapo’s jacket and leave the ‘theater’ the MC says, ‘everyone is welcome to stay for the late-late night show!’ Guapo and his friend make a joke about staying and I turn around to Guapo, lovingly grab his face, and say,’ just for the record, I do not condone you attending establishments like this.’ He laughs and says, ‘you’re the one who took me and my friends to a strip club!’ Touche.

The rest of the evening and pretty much the rest of the NYC trip consisted of moments of rehashing that show and Guapo’s grand finale slide.

Our NYC portion of the trip finally comes to an end. We get back on the train and head to Philadelphia. As I watch the city of possibility get smaller and smaller in my rearview, I laugh to myself thinking - NYC never disappoints. Although this time NYC might have given me a bit more than I bargained, I can rest assured that this birthday was indeed a memorable one…and that was the goal.

NYC -1, Elise - 0.

We sit close to each other holding hands on the train. We are quiet. Perhaps were exhausted. Maybe we’re reflecting on the trip, or maybe Guapo is reliving his Tom Cruise moment. We glance at each other and smile. I say quietly to him… ’there’s more.’

‘There’s more what?’ He says. ‘There’s one more experience coming your way in Philadelphia.’ I explain.

We laugh because apparently at this rate it could literally be anything. He pleads with me to tell him what it is. I hold strong and say, ‘I can’t tell you what it is, but I can tell you what it’s NOT. It’s NOT a ‘variety show’ and it’s NOT a strip club.’

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