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Friday, November 28, 2003

Lest Old Acquaintances Be Forgot...

Sometimes strange things happen, and you just have to give thanks for them. Does it get much weirder than this...?

So I am spending the week with my family at tourist trap from hell. My father is getting on in years and has decided to relive some old family memories by herding everybody together during the holidays at old family haunts. Never mind that we're all a few decades older and our tastes have changed since, say, we entered puberty... this is a family vacation and dammit we're all going to have fun, and if my father says we're going to act like it's 1976, well then it's going to be 1976.

Of course the siblings have all plotted our late night escapes, or perhaps I should say, escapades. And therein is the story...

On Monday night I went out with my sister and her husband to sample a list of local clubs. Now I'm not normally a bar hopping kind of guy, but the previous night was spent playing Gin Rummy and Scrabble with the family, so by Monday night I was ready to take up either shark hunting or lion taming for my evening entertainment.

We are at club number three. I am several drinks past the winter legal limit in Outer Mongolia. I look a few tables over and see a familiar face! I do a double take worthy of a Monty Python character, rub my eyes, and look again, and son of a gun!, it's either a former ATF (All-Time Favorite) provider who retired some years back or her identical twin sister. Both possibilities seem enormously exciting, and given the approximately four or nine or whatever number of Alabama Slammers I had consumed (the numbers were nearly as fuzzy as my head), my libido and swagger were inflated. So I tried to catch her eye by various gestural contortions, clearings of my throat, stretches, loud laughs, and winks until my brother in law had his phone out ready to dial 911 for my obvious delerium tremens. None of it worked, as the club was both noisy and busy, although the bouncers started to nudge each other, unshoulder their truncheons, and edge toward my table.

So I decided on the direct approach, mentioning to my sister that I thought I knew one of the girls at a nearby table. Ignoring the subtle skepticism and the not-so-subtle references to my drunken desperation from my dear womb-mate, I tottered over to the table in question, drawing the attention of my lost and beloved ATF from her three other girlfriends. Her widened eyes demonstrated her first recognition of me, and the quick release of her pepper spray demonstrated her last opinon of me.

Just kidding. Actually she was very nice and introduced me to her friends. (I knew her well enough several years ago to have known her real name, met her one-weekend-a-month daughter after she retired, and taken them out to a play.)

This is the first time I've met a provider randomly, unexpectedly, in the "real world"... Not to even mention in a strange state, in a strange club, and while I'm with family.

Ok, so I mumble something and we talk for a few minutes. I start to realize that I have no idea what to say, what her friends know or don't know, or frankly why I'm even at the table. Then my former ATF excuses herself to the restroom, all the other girls leave with her, and I'm alone at their table somewhat bewildered. My sister and her husband are smirking and simulating sinking ships and crashing planes in hand gestures with all the energy of a second Hindenberg disaster. But a few moments later all the girls return, looking like they are sharing a private joke (which girls always look like when they flock to and from the restrooms... what's that about?) And my old ATF passes me a small piece of paper!

This is the first time a female of the same species has passed me a small piece of paper in a bar. Unless it was a bill or a receipt. Or a summons... but that's another story!

Not to even mention in front of her friends, and when I'm drunk. Oh, and did I mention the strange state, strange club, and with my sister watching?

There is a little more talk. Then my former ATF excuses herself. There are smiles and handshakes and hugs and before I know what's going on, they are all out the door and gone. As I write this, I still don't know when they settled the tab. But anyhow, they are all gone, and I am left clutching this little piece of paper. Which of course I open.

It says, "Call me tomorrow at 10" and a phone number. Strange state area code.

Wow.

When I return to my table, I give my best Cheshire Cat grin and say nothing. An old girlfriend, I say.

Now you must understand my situation here in tourist hell... I am sharing a room with a cousin whose pinnacle of achievement was when he placed California All State wrestling in high school. Or when he worked at a porn distributor in Chatsworth and had all the low-budget porn he could digest over three years (which, based on his encyclopediaic knowledge of the subject, must have been quite a lot, I must say). This guy has about three times my mass in muscle, but compensated by a five-fold reduction in IQ. His first reaction when he saw my new laptop was, "hey, can I play my pornos on that?" Since I am adverse to sticky keyboards, I told him no, and he had to keep himself occupied by constantly using his little in-room rubberband gym to keep himself pumped up.

Note that I had insisted on my own room (and paying for it, since I was paying for most of the rooms anyhow), but the patriarch of the Fuller clan insisted that we live "family style". Family style seems like a great idea when applied to exotic food in restaurants, but it is a ruinous idea when applied to all-too-well-known relatives in rooms.

So Musclehead was watching ESPN2 while I tried to sober up and sleep.

This is the first time I have had to room with my cousin. Not even in 1976 was I forced to sleep in the same room with this guy. Apparently the steroid and protein cocktail he's on causes parts of his throat to turn into pipe organ-sized resonators, because I swear he snored at 92 decibels.

Anyhow, at 10 AM I storm out of the room onto a balcony that is about as large as a doormat, and covering the mouthpiece to my cell phone for privacy, dial the number. Goes to voicemail. In a momentary panic, I kill the connection. Then I sheepishly dial again. A sleepy voice answers the phone. Sounds like I called too early. I say, "Hi, we met last night and you said to call..."

The breathy reply was not what I was expecting, "Dan? Is that you?"

"Uh, no."

"Oh, then Frank was it? I didn't catch your name at the club; it was so noisy and you kept putting your tongue in my ear!"

"Uh... really? I mean, no, it's..."

"No, wait, I know, it was at the strip club, right? Harry? The guy with the abs? You liked my thighs?" And then she burst out laughing. "Ok, Sig, I'm just joking, I know it's you. Only YOU would call me in the morning when I asked you to call me at night!"

Indeed, it was true. I misread PM for AM. Must have been wishful thinking.

This was the first time I had ever made this mistake, even after years of hopping all over the globe, crossing and recrossing the date line numerous times.

Anyhow, to make a long story shorter, we met that evening.

The cap to the night? It was clearly the orgy I had with her and her friends at their suite. Two of her friends were twin-sister ex-cheerleaders who worked in porn but were virgins, and the third was a gymnast from Budapest who was on a pure liquid protein diet, had an oral fetish, and tutored eastern bloc spies in sexual seduction techniques.

Ok, that was merely a vision I had, a fantasy. Just before I ran into the lamp post with a huge smile on my face. The bump is almost gone, and the doctors say I'll be ok and they'll let me out any time now.

Seriously now. She no longer is a provider (in fact is one of the few providers I've known who saved and invested her money; and I will blushingly admit she prepared for the crash with a little help from me), which made it strangely sweeter for me.

First time for that, also.

We had a marvelous evening capped with a wild night. I didn't get back until the next day. Turns out she remembered everything I liked. She's not as young as when we first met (and neither am I), and with her less practice now some things are more difficult, but she's just as skilled and about twice as horny. And this time we'll stay in contact.

So I'll be adding one more thing to the Thanksgiving thanks list at dinner. A private one, I think!