The Atlantic Beach Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico was where I turned thirty. After three decades of bottling up an incredible desire to be seen, worshiped and respected, I let it all hang out on a stage in front of at least three hundred hot- blooded Latinos. I stripped down to a G-String and served as the half-time entertainment for a drag queen that was the headline performer on the steamy evening of January 9, 1998.
It was a professional go-go gig– $300 in cold hard cash for turning them on. The bright strobe lights did not phase me, but the number of females in the audience (non-lesbians) shocked me. Skinny arms reached from the intoxicated audience and grabbed my ass cheeks as Frank and me put Miss Hetta Lettuce on our shoulders and carried her above the masses to the stage.
Frank choreographed our halftime show. He had the connections and knew the owner of the gay hotel and its outdoor bar and grill. Go-go performances were as much a part of Frank’s life as the professional dance gigs he performed at as a member of the Dance Theater of Harlem. He was accustomed to having audiences throw cash at him for shaking his body wildly. I was terrified that the crowd would be bored during our fifteen minute performance and besides, I was thirty that day–time to turn in my sexy card.
The upside down spins were a hit. Frank taught me how to stand on my hands and fall freely over into his arms, where he lifted me upside down and spun me around like the tramp I always wanted to be– crotch flying in the tropical air and my lily- white ass glaring like a disco ball for all to see and dance to.
The baby oil was a mistake. Its glistening effects made me look 20 at the time, under the lights of the stage, but I slowly started to slip from Frank’s arms just as he completed the third and final spin.
It was time for me to spread my legs apart, upside down–
“Frank, I’m going to fall,” I shouted in his ear.
“Just do it! They love us,” he ordered.
I ended up back in a handstand– a part of the act that was not planned and I carefully arched my body over and slowly returned to my feet where they all stood with dollars in their tan hands, waiting to touch this fountain of youth.