Nicole in Red
I used to dance at a club where rumors abounded that the owner, a heroin addict, had injected lethal doses of heroin into numerous women while he had sex with them. All had danced at the club and nobody ever saw any of these ladies again. Were the stories true? Quite possibly, I thought. No one looked very hard for the women who disappeared. In fact, no one looked at all. No one even knew whether or not they were missing. The owner of the club, or anyone else, could easily have killed these women and gotten away with it. The disposal of their bodies would have provided the biggest challenge. My memories of the vanished women revolve around my impression that they all had very similar personalities: all of them projected a quality of disconnectedness. They seemed to have very few attachments to other people and did not relate particularly well to men or to women. All had sweet personalities, perhaps too sweet. They just seemed too eager to please. Most of them probably had heroin habits. Contrary to popular opinion heroin users often conceal their addictions very well. You can't always spot the nuances of heroin use unless you know just what to look for. Heroin takes the pain away. Young people from tortured backgrounds often gravitate to it. It just takes their pain away. These women had pain. I could just see it in their eyes, their posture, and some type of haunted fear that emanated from the obsequious words that they spoke. They wanted to please everybody and had trouble standing up for themselves. The owner of that club used to pick his playmates from among the dancers who worked there. He had lots of money and had no problem attracting many of them just on the basis of his wealth. Others tried to fend off his advances. He would sometimes become very overbearing and aggressive towards them until they either gave in or quit. A manager named Roger had worked at the club for a long time. One night Roger and I were standing behind the club staring into the night sky around 1AM. I was taking a break and Roger had come outside to smoke a cigarette. We sat in silence for about five minutes. Then Roger began speaking to me in a low voice with his back to me. "Sassi is gone. You know that, right?" he said quietly. I did not know what to say. Roger seemed to be leading up to something rather than asking a question. I felt my body stiffen and the hairs on my arms stood up. "He'll leave you alone. You don't have to worry. He likes pussy, but he likes money even more than pussy. You make a lot of money for him." I sat in silence. Roger still had his back to me. My heart was beating a little faster and I was glad he was not looking at me. "The only way he'd ever mess with you is if you approached him. Just keep your distance." Roger's words hung in the cool night air. I had not spoken a syllable. Roger finished his cigarette and tossed it onto the gravel. He strode back into the club without ever checking to see my reaction. I stared at his cigarette as it slowly burnt out on the ground. The owner of that club never did hassle me. Nobody there did. All in all four dancers disappeared during the time that I worked there. They each had a quiet desperation that lurked beneath their pretty exteriors. I could feel it because I had the same quality. They had no families. I just knew that because I had no family. I can always tell. They all lived alone. I lived alone. A common thread ran amongst all of us. It takes one to know one. Yet I did not use heroin and I suspected that all of them did. Years later I'm sitting here writing this. All of them may still be alive too. Rationally I know that they may have just left that club to go dance someplace else. Or maybe they quit dancing. Or maybe they got married. Or went back to wherever they had grown up. My rational side tells me that because no evidence ever surfaced to suggest that anything bad had happened to any of them. But somehow I don't think that any of them ever left that club. Somebody cleaned out their lockers. The respective landlords who owned their homes eventually must have disposed of their belongings and vaguely wondered what had become of these women. But no one really looked for them because no one was really sure that they were gone. Their faces still come to me at night. Around that time Nicole Simmons (see above pic) was appearing in lots of adult magazines: Penthouse, Cheri, Club, etc. I had begun harboring an interest in doing some modelling and I saw her beautiful pictorials all the time. One by one dancers were disappeating from the club and I decided to take up a career as a nude model. I can't look at Nicole without thinking of those other women, the missing dancers.