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Tristan Davies

Talent Show

Hates herself, runs away up to Washington, D.C., becomes a naked dancer at a talent show four blocks from the White House.

Hates herself, runs away from home to Los Angeles, California, appears in two or so pornos, knocks around, lives for four years with an automobile mechanic in Santa Monica. Settles finally in Fresno, working for the state. Later she volunteers on a rape hot-line. 

Hates herself, stays home in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Drops out of high school and marries a boy whose family owns a feed store, runs the county's school busses. No children. Lives out the rest of her life in her maternal grandmother's house, left to her when her grandmother dies. 

Hates herself, stays home, finishes high school. Attends UVa, plays varsity soccer two years, quits after indeterminate benching, but keeps small scholarship money. Meets a boy from Baltimore, a lacrosse player. After graduation, she follows him back to that city, where he intends on becoming a writer. Under pressure from his parents, he attends law school six years later as a "mature student." She leaves him during finals in the spring of his second year. They were together for twelve years. 

Hates herself, graduates valedictorian from high school in Westmoreland County, Virginia, is admitted early decision to Yale. It is the first instance of this from her high school, according to her college counselor. Goes to Yale and studies biology. Twice suffers non-consensual intercourse, the second time at the hands of four pre-medical majors with whom she studies organic chemistry. Dates a lacrosse payer her senior year, tells him one night of the acquaintance rapes. He is shot to death late the next evening, while walking home from a party. 

Graduates fourth in her class from Westmoreland High, is admitted to Yale. Receives a "reputation" there her freshman year which, though embarrassing, she admits to herself is deserved. Twice finds herself in sexual situations so distasteful that, subsequent to each, she experiences severe depressions marked by incidences of self-mutilation. These she attributes--both times--to different roommates' cats. Is recognized by the faculty as an intense student. After graduation, works two years in Baltimore as manager of an adult literacy center. Returns to attend Yale Law. While studying there becomes engaged to a medical resident in New Haven. One night, she discovers her fiancee and three other men–residents as well–having sex with two exotic dancers at a large bachelor party held in her home to celebrate one of their colleagues' engagement.  

Westmoreland County High, fourth in class, Yale, Baltimore Literacy Project, returns to Yale law, engagement to a surgery resident. Breaks engagement for reasons never made clear to family or friends. Graduates law school and is appointed to a much sought-after clerkship, working for a future Supreme Court justice on the D.C. bench. Two years later takes a job with the International Monetary Fund, then, two years after that, moves to the Washington offices of a major international investment bank.  

One night she joins two colleagues and two prominent clients at a business dinner. Afterward, on something of a dare, she joins them in visiting a naked dancing club that is four blocks from the White House. 

Sits at the runway between the clients. Watches with a nervous smile as a stalky young woman wearing nothing but high heels and a gold chain around her waist grasps a smeared brass pole. The dancer wraps a bare leg over the shoulder of one of the clients. 

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