Well, the hotel has new lobby furniture, but otherwise, it’s business as usual.
Case in point, at 8:00 A.M. this morning I rolled my luggage cart past the most obvious hooker I have ever cast my bellman eyes upon in sixteen years. Seriously, folks, the only element missing from this girl’s appearance was a “THIS SPACE FOR RENT” sign on her butt.
- Platinum blonde hair with a partial bowl cut in the front topped the ensemble off but was far from the only noteworthy aspect.
- Ridiculously-tight, grey-as-my-uniform-jacket-pants enveloped her lower section.
- An open black leather jacket adorned with chains covered a painted-on top.
- Eight-inch black with white polka dots stilettos put the whole outfit over the top and the resulting clomping sound they produced preceded her by sixty-seconds at least.
She met my gaze with a genuine, but awkward smile that screamed “Please, please, don’t judge me. I may look twelve, but I swear I’m legal and I know what I’m doing.”
And so I won’t. After all, everyone is someone’s child and every hooker is still a little girl deep inside. Don’t ask me why but I’ve seen a sliver of innocence in every prostitute I’ve encountered in my career. The young lady in question rose from her perch on a lobby bench, checked her phone – no doubt double-checking a room number – and made her way to our south tower elevators. I watched her disappear into the shiny metal box and after the display screen ceased its ascent at the eight floor, I made my way back to my desk with my cargo.
“Hey, Hook!” our Valet supervisor, Vic, greeted me with his usual zeal. “Did you see that hooker? She looked like she was eleven-years-old! Did you see where she went?”
“The eighth floor, buddy,” I answered, before launching into a routine that left me feeling somewhat guilty, “Which make sense really. Eight in the morning, the eight floor and most likely, eight diseases contracted.”
We laughed while shaking our heads but I couldn’t escape the feeling that I had crossed a line. Years of combat in the hospitality trenches makes a person immune to the reality of certain truths. In this case the truth is irrefutable.
No matter how much we may disagree with others’ life choices we risk severing our connection to our own humanity by standing in judgement of them.
I’ll always find humor in the absurd – and trust me, starting your day by paying a stranger to engage in the most intimate physical act of all is as absurd as it gets – but I’ll always look deeper while doing so.
(I had some things to say about the horde of hockey families leaving the hotel right now: “The parents should be the ones wearing helmets, not the kids!”, but I suddenly find myself too sullen to be amusing.”
Besides, why I should I start now?
See you in the lobby, boys and girls…