As I write this, my friends, it is 6:45 in the a.m. in Niagara Falls.
The wind is howling through the tunnel that runs along the hotel’s valet deck.
In the lobby, a group of middle-aged men and women natter on incessantly as they wait for the skeletal night crew to bring their vehicles up from the garage, each of them hoping to channel the sort of energy they drew on in their younger years.
They are soon joined in their vigil by corporate types in knock-off business suits and pantsuits. The Wall Street wannabes are equally boisterous despite the hour and soon the lobby walls are bouncing back multiple conversations.
A few moments later, a small horde of cheerleaders enter the mix, their faces adorned in garish make-up, their bodies wrapped in inappropriately tight outfits and bright bows. Some are voodoo priestesses, others are fairies. All of them are unbelievably loud, both in voice and appearance.
(In fairness to the many cheerleaders – and their moms – I’ve encountered this weekend, this group was particularly perky/rabid and in no way represents the millions of young ladies currently sporting bows and pom poms all across North America. Cheerleading is a time-honored activity that has given purpose and a sense of pride to legions of girls. let’s continue, shall we?)
The music of the lobby is soon transformed from its usual calm waiting room silence to a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds; a cacophony of deafening human interactions.
Then she enters the picture and while things don’t change – the players in this little drama are too wrapped up in their own lives to notice the emergence of another character, my attention is soon shifted.
And how could it not be?
The mechanized sensor-activated doors are sliding open at a breakneck pace and the lobby has become an ice palace worthy of Jack Frost and his frozen court and yet, she is barely dressed, her outfit reaching levels of boldness that the attending cheerleaders would never dare dream of, much less live out.
Her sun drenched blonde hair cascades across her shoulders, its tendrils reaching out across the white top that has been poured onto her torso, her braless nipples protruding forward like guns on an aircraft carrier, ever-ready for action. The fabric ends above her belly button and her flat stomach is clearly visible… until you reach the main attraction: a pair of baby blue shorts that would put Daisy Duke out to pasture.
It is almost a disservice to the world of fashion to refer to the minuscule threads barely adorning her lower half as shorts at all; her buttocks were fully visible and to be brutally clear, so was a portion of her labia.
Yes, you read that last part correctly, friends. ONE HALF OF HER LABIA are clearly visible.
Just let that thought – and the subsequent image it inspires – sink in for a moment.
I had heard tales of this young lady and her aggressive fashion sense the previous day; one of my colleagues feared for his job as he delivered luggage to her room “I couldn’t take my eyes off her crotcheral area! I was convinced her boyfriend was going to knock me out!” was his pronouncement after returning from the most unforgettable call of his hospitality career. Clearly, she was content in her look. “If it ain’t broke and is sufficiently whoreish, don’t fix it” appeared to be her motto.
Once again, this is a judgement-free commentary. I simply report what my eyes and brain have recorded, that is all, and trust me, the image of this young lady has been seared onto my consciousness for all eternity. Or to be more accurate, until my existence expires at least.
The assembled crowd is oblivious to the mostly-naked damsel’s presence; their attention focused squarely on other matters such as the perfect cheer and Johnson, that brown nose in accounts. However, I am watching intently as she mills about the lobby for a moment or two, the forces of nature intruding upon our man made haven of concrete and glass to thrust a steady onslaught of wind across the lobby and her hair. The cold only serves to make her chest extend even further into the world beyond her milky white t-shirt.
Finally, after an agonizingly all-too-brief few minutes, she exits the lobby – and my life -seemingly forever. But the horde remains, their music bellowing to a crescendo. They are soon joined by even more travelers as the day marches on.
And the clock hasn’t even struck seven.
Welcome to my life, Sunday edition.