watched as the male stripper at the bachelorette party came
out of the gentlemen's restroom wearing his regular clothes
again. He had a limp as he walked across the hotel lobby
and sat down on a bench next to her. "I noticed you left
the room as I was beginning my act," he said, bending over
to pull his sock off of his foot. His toes were swelling,
turning purple. She'd left the party room and hidden in
the lobby bathroom as soon as the stripper had torn off
his chaps and jumped up on a table. Watching a handsome
man dance in a silver thong and red cowboy boots while her
old high school girlfriends screamed and whistled just made
her feel small and ridiculous. She felt just like she had
in junior high at the roller rink during the couple-skate
when no one picked her.
sorry," she said, because it probably was a very rude thing
to have walked away in the middle of his performance. She
hoped she hadn't hurt his feelings. "I'm just feeling a
little sick to my stomach because I ate too much Easter
candy." She couldn't think of anything else to say, and
she had eaten too much Easter candythat was true.
She couldn't help herself. Every year it was the same.
"When I was a little boy," said the stripper, "My Grandpa
used to tell me a story about the Easter Bunny and how he
lived by himself on Easter Island hiding Easter eggs. Inside
each egg was a different special candy or jewel or toy.
The Easter Bunny would hide them all year long, getting
more and more excited about each marvelous egg and thinking
about how happy someone would be to find it. And then on
Easter morning, he'd go down to the beach at dawn and wait
for a boat to come ashore, for someone to visit him, to
hunt those Easter eggs. He'd wait and wait and watch the
water. But no one ever came."
"That's a sad story," said Kitty. She could picture the
Easter Bunny sitting on the sand, his little white head
getting hot as the sun baked down. She wanted to say that
she would have gotten in a boat and paddled out to Easter
Island if only she'd known. But she didn't say another word
because it was hard to talk to such a handsome man. "I think
you're the only person in this hotel who hasn't seen me
naked," said the stripper. "There must have been two hundred
people who crammed into that convention room to watch me
take my clothes off. Are those girls friends of yours? They
were really rough and I fell off a chair." He touched his
swollen foot with his fingers.
"I don't really know them any more," said Kitty. They'd
all either gotten married or were going to. She was the
only one still on her own.
when I'm up there, dancing," said the stripper, "And I'm
shaking my stuff and people are grabbing my legs and shoving
dollars in my g-string, sometimes I pretend I'm the Easter
Bunny, waiting there on Easter Island all alone. Sitting
under a palm tree, staring out to sea, waiting for a ship
to come ashore." The stripper tried to stand up, but when
put weight on his swollen foot, he almost fell.
worry," said Kitty, reaching out to catch him. What a funny
feelingthe heaviness of his body in her arms. "I've