Monday, August 27, 2007

Idle talk?

Something funny happened while I was on vacation. It seems so ludicrous that I still wonder if I analyzed it correctly. One evening I had walked out to a patio area in my hotel so I could sit outside in the tropical evening breeze and work on my laptop. I noticed two women sitting nearby as I settled into a lounge chair and took out my computer. One of them looked like the same woman who had briefly joined a conversation I'd been having with another guest the day before, but I was not entirely certain that I was correct about that. I began typing and got lost in whatever I was writing. Fifteen or twenty minutes later one of the women was having a fairly loud conversation on her cellphone. I'm not really sure what initially caught my attention, but after a moment I heard her say:

"Yeah, she's wearing a red tank top."

My fingers paused for a millisecond on my keyboard, but I kept on typing. I was wearing a red tank top.

"You know.. " the woman continued. "like a wife-beater style of shirt, but it's red."

My fingers never stopped moving and I never looked away from my computer screen, but I felt myself bothering to listen more closely to her conversation.

"Yeah.. " the woman said. "A red tank top and a pair of baggy, black shorts that are going up her ass."

I resisted the impulse to gaze downward and see if my giant shorts had somehow risen too high on my outstretched legs. The woman stopped speaking to listen to the person on the other end of the line. I kept typing. A light wind started blowing my hair across my face and the rustling palm fronds behind me filled my eardrums with a pleasant noise that blocked out most of the woman's words. From then on I only heard snatches of her conversation.

"... another woman at the hotel... uh huh... that's right.. "

By the time the wind died down the woman was pursuing a different line of discussion with her phone friend: evidently she did not have her laptop with her, one of the women she'd worked with had initiated some sort of lawsuit and then died, and then she made a reference to "one of my officers" in the middle of another sentence. At that point I was just about positive that she was indeed the same woman who had conversed with the man with whom I'd been sitting the night before. That gentleman had been attending a convention of police officers at the hotel and was getting ready to leave town the following morning. He and I had begun chatting when he sat down in the lounge chair next to me. The conversation drifted from anecdotes about his adventures at work to how he had felt kind of isolated at the convention. He came from Toledo, Ohio where people are very friendly and he felt that many of the folks in Miami behaved in something of a rude, standoffish manner. He inquired about what I did for a living and I gave him an edited description of my occupation. Our discussion stretched on and he told me some great stories. Also, I felt relaxed because he wore a wedding ring and was neither flirting with me nor directing any suggestive remarks at me. In fact, he was nearly spinning around 360 degrees in his chair to ogle every woman in the vicinity. Most of them wore dresses, high heels, and makeup and seemed to be inviting attention. Periodically he would ask me to explain their behavior. One of them sashayed past us in one direction and moments later sashayed back going the opposite way. He tracked her movements with great interest and said:

"What do you make of that? Why was she parading in front of us?"

"Umm.. " I began, immediately warming to my role as behavior analyst. "honestly, I think she's kind of drunk and was checking to see if she left something over there by that towel."

He seemed disappointed.

"But I could have read it wrong. I didn't want to stare right at her to see the expression on her face. She's drunk and I know I hate it if I feel like people are studying me too closely when I'm smashed." I added.

Other women traipsed by and he attempted to make eye contact with all of them. Sometimes they stared back at him.

"Did you see that?" he would ask me as soon as they were out of earshot.

I chuckled at his delight and reminded him once or twice that I did not want to "cut in on his action" when he had bright prospects on the horizon. He would laugh too and continue telling me lurid stories of crime on the streets of Toledo. I listened to him with rapt attention. There's nothing like a few tales of debauchery to inflame my senses. I become a very good listener when someone is offering up stories of deviant behavior and he seemed to enjoy having an appreciative audience. At some point a woman approached him and he invited her to join us and inquired about one of her friends. The woman said something noncommital and wandered off. A short time later a tropical rain began fallling.and I went up to my room for the night.

So that was that. Or so I thought. Now I believe that the woman who briefly chatted with him during our conversation was the same one sitting in the patio the next day and describing me on the phone. Or maybe not. It just seems too idiotic that anyone would behave in that manner. But then again I was sitting there listening to some angry broad describing an individual who was wearing an outfit identical to my own thrift store apparel. Other folks at the hotel seemed to wear nice clothes. I did not see anyone but myself who was clad like the homeless. I'm smiling even as I type this because I can still hear that woman's voice describing the outfit as "a red tank top and a pair of baggy, black shorts that are going up her ass." In reality my shorts were so big that Ron Jeremy could have comfortably fit into them. I don't know if she had designs on that married cop or what was going on. Maybe they had hooked up already. I have no idea. The unremarkable yet amusing situation did of course remind me of about a thousand strip club conversations that I have pretended not to hear. The strippers who make no money always sit backstage and gossip about the ones who do. Sometimes they increase the volume of their conversations when their particular subject comes backstage for a few minutes. They want her to overhear their mean comments and laughter. Sometimes I become the butt of their ridicule because I mainly keep to myself and focus on making money when I go into the club to dance. I realize when they are talking about me and I just ignore it. People like that want attention and I know enough not to give it to them. Sometimes it's not so easy. A while ago one dancer, Taryn, became fixated on the notion that I was trying to steal her boyfriend from her...

How in the world did Jewell Marceau become embroiled yet again in my problems? How did problems at the strip club spill over into my personal life? What would lead me to stuff a handful of sweaty bikini bottoms down her throat? Join my site to read the rest of the story and see this shocking gallery in its entirety!

- XXOO Tanya


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