Dana wrote about working with big cats, especially a tiger named Jasmine, at a feline rescue facility in Southern California. She wrote about learning to surf, which I find immensely morbid. She chased ghosts and pried into her childhood and talked about being a crazy cat lady.
Limiting myself to a single piece was difficult, but when I took my brain out of the equation and went with my emotional reaction, the answer became clear. I loved her story about dancing in the bikini bar. As she told the tale, she made herself vulnerable and funny and very, very real. I knew that girl. I might have been her, if my life had gone another direction. The character, drawn in the first person, approached archetypal.
The story became something of a lightning rod as I promoted the book last year. When I mentioned it on "guy-oriented" radio shows, interviewers couldn't see what might be morbid about choosing to take off your clothes in a roomful of strangers for a handful of crumpled dollar bills. In fact, the men I was talking to got defensive.
I think it's an important story, as political as anything I published in the magazine. I hope you enjoy Dana's reading of it at the Hypnodrome last October.