I didn’t get to work at Club Paradox for very long. I was there only a little less than three months. I found out that the club was closed for good one week after my twentieth birthday. I showed up to work one Monday afternoon and saw the bars were still over the door. Gradually other girls trickled down the street and we sat on the front step frantically texting Patty, our beloved front desk lady, asking her what exactly was going on. Within a few minutes she gave us the terrible news: she had just gotten a call from one of the owners. He told her they had finally lost their license and might very well never get it back.
As I’ve mentioned before, a few months before I came to work at Club Paradox the place was busted for prostitution. The ‘windowless’ room was actually windowless in those days, and there were two particular girls, Pandora and Nancy, who seemed to be under the impression that a booth with no glass was an invitation to do the horizontal tango rather than pretending to dance with themselves. I don’t know exactly how it happened, though the story I heard first was that Nancy ended up blowing–or at least offering to blow–an undercover cop. Whatever happened, it was enough for the police to bust the place, arrest a few girls, and close down the whole club for quite some time.
I didn’t know it when I applied, but anyone who had even a passing familiarity with the city of Chicago’s general view of strip clubs could tell you the club’s days were numbered. But the owner acted as if everything had been sorted out and didn’t even tell anyone the club was still fighting out their fate in court. Perhaps he feared a mass exodus of his charges, perhaps he didn’t think it was something we even deserved to know. The man wore sunglasses indoors and constantly chewed on a damp stub of cigar; the motivations of such people can never be truly determined.