8:01 AM: The lobby is still and void of activity – much like the mind of many a guest I shall encounter today, I imagine – and so I am left to my own devices.
9:01 AM: The lobby remains quiet, save for the voices of valet and doormen chattering on about their economic hardships. Of course, a life free of gambling, excessive drinking and whoring is a life filled with fewer economic hardships. Just sayin’…
My life doesn’t seem so glamorous right now, does it? Truth be told, a bellman’s life is filled with long periods of downtime, during which he ponders his existence and other matters of great importance to the evolution of mankind, such as:
- What the hell did the world do to deserve Justin Bieber?
- Is that return guest (the one who travels with a different “boyfriend” each time) a hooker or does she get bored very easily?
8:50 AM: WAIT, THE PHONE JUST RANG! The first call of the day!
8:54 AM: My first guest was a statuesque, lean, raven-haired single mother mother of two young male rugrats whose beauty shone through in spite of her lack of make-up and Sue Sylvester tracksuit. We began to chat as we waited for an elevator: “I’ve been told I’m a yummy mummy!”, she beamed.
I released an awkward smile and engaged her in one of my patented guest encounters:
THE HOOK: Not that I’m disagreeing, but if I may ask, who told you that?
YUMMY MUMMY: One of your bartenders!
THE HOOK: That sounds like something a bartender would say.
YM: Bartenders are players, aren’t they?
THE HOOK: Pouring drinks just kills time in between flirtatious periods.
YM: I suppose it helps them rake in the tips. Do bellmen do that?
THE HOOK: Not this bellman.
YM: Moral standards?
THE HOOK: Wife with a crowbar.
YM: (Laughing.) You’re funny. Your wife must love your sense of humor.
THE HOOK: Unfortunately, I’m funny in small doses and my wife has been taking a full dosage for eighteen years now.
YM: Eighteen years? My marriage flamed out after seven! He changed, pretty much overnight.
THE HOOK: He grew distant?
YM: He grew gay.
As you can imagine, that drew some looks from the elevator crowd.
THE HOOK: (Seconds felt like years as I formulated a response that would buoy her spirits without crossing any lines. I had zero interest in getting intimate with the wife’s new crowbar..) Well don’t take it personally, I’m sure you did all you could. These things happen.
“These things happen”; the fallback comment of every awkward conversation. By this time we had reached her regulation single mom mini-van. She strapped in the rugrats as I loaded their bags, stuffed animals and hard liquor. Most parents, especially moms, go take wine in vacation, but a gay ex-husband calls for the hard stuff, I suppose.
She returned to our conversation without missing a beat.
YM: I did everything I could. (The tenor of her voice began to waver.) We tried everything, and I mean everything. Do you know what seven hours of tantric lovemaking leads to?
THE HOOK: Horrible chafing?
She smiled, but once again, she was undaunted.
YM: Divorce. I still can’t believe it; gave him everything.
THE HOOK: But the one thing he really wanted. It has to be tough when a husband and wife both love male genitalia.
YM: Oh yeah. My boys keep me hopping but I get down sometimes.
THE HOOK: You need to visit a bartender once a week.
YM: (She shot me the look. And I’m not elaborating!) Or a bellman?
THE HOOK: Crowbar.
YM: (Laughing again.) Sorry, I forgot.
THE HOOK: You have that luxury. I don’t.
YM: Thanks for everything. Is this is a weird conversation for a bellman to have with a guest?
THE HOOK: Not this bellman.
YM: (Beaming.) Well, thank s again. You’ve made my day.
And she made my blog, so we were even.