The 2010 era was an odd time for me. Being a young man at odds with the strict nature of my most recent father figure I soon found myself forcibly removed from my living situation. I had just recently graduated high school and was experiencing the full weight of the world for the first time. Finding a warm embrace was not too difficult. As it turns out, if you don’t have a choice, things come pretty easy. I found myself surfing couch to couch and mainlining whatever recreational drugs I could get my hands on. Suffice it to say it was the best of times but mostly the worst of times. The people I was hanging around were more of a seedy element. People who had similar life situations and proclivities. One of these people was called Rikki, she wasn’t from the area. She had been moving from place to place like I had but on a grander scale. As opposed from apartment complex couch to couch she had been bouncing around from state to state. Rikki was a few years older; a stripper and she took a shine to me. We worked similar schedules so often times I would pick her at the end of my shift at the local Wally World. One of these times while waiting for to change I was watching the lineup at the center stage. A girl named Jade was going up and she began climbing to the top of the pole. Now this pace had decently high ceiling and Jade was a pretty tiny girl. So, the top of the pole was an impressive height in comparison. What I didn’t know at the time was Jade was wearing a ring on her right ring finger. A small detail I know but it makes sense later trust me. Jade makes her way all the way, gets into prime position and begins her fast decent. Immediate screaming drowns out the music blasting and I feel something wet and warm hit my face and shirt. Jade is spiraling down and spraying blood out of her right hand. It was almost in slow motion in the moment. The screaming the blood cascading out around the stage. It was surreal, shock and awe filled the room. As it turns out there was an exposed bolt at the top of the pole and her ring got caught on it. The result was it ripping the ring and all of the skin off her ring finger with it. Panic ensued, the authorities were called, and ambulance promptly arrived. Some customers were understandably freaked out. Others were pleasantly surprised, calling it the best experience they’ve had. Interesting cross section of humanity at a strip club. But that’s an analysis for another time. It sits with me as a story worth telling, a memory I’ll never forget. One I’ll share with my children one day when their mother is not around. Though funny enough that’s not even the weirdest thing I’ve seen.