Chapter 12 Graveyard Groupies
About nine months after Jennie left, I got invited to be a keynote speaker at a Journalism convention in San Diego. The invitation came with a week’s all expense paid stay at a luxurious ocean front hotel. There was some talk about the column getting syndicated, so management was more than happy to give me the time off to attend.
When I got to the hotel after a stressful six-hour drive, I was on edge. I don’t see how people handle LA traffic. I dropped my bags off with the bellhop and made a beeline to the bar. Normally, I don’t like paying twenty dollars for hotel bar drinks, but the organizers of the convention were picking up the tab, so I sat down and ordered a Glenlivet and water and decompressed for a bit.
I love hotel bars and hotel lobbies. I just like to sit and breathe in the ambience and watch people sliding by on their way to doing things that their life requires. This particular hotel was loaded with bustling, interesting looking people and beautiful women. My inner sloth was happy.
After a couple of drinks I headed upstairs to my room. The first thing I did was find the ice machine and get ice. I was cracking open a hundred dollar bottle of Glenfarclas scotch. I don’t usually act like a scotch snob, but I was willing to splurge a bit on trips like this. It made it a bit more special.
I fixed a drink, rummage through my shaving kit and brought out a small medicine bottle of weed I had gotten from Remi. I rolled a joint and stepped out on the balcony. I got situated in a big, white comfortable deck chair, inhaled a couple breaths of cool ocean air, took a sip of the scotch, and fired up the joint.
I was on my second hit when I heard her voice, “That certainly smells wonderful. Wish I had some.”
I looked around but couldn’t see anyone. I waited and the voice came again, “ I said I wish I had some.” This time I could tell it was coming from the balcony next door. I tried to look around the barrier, but it was useless.
“Well, you are going have to come over here then.” Seconds later, there was a soft knock on the door. I opened it cautiously and found a beautiful, tanned brunette with a somewhat sheepish grin wearing a white terry cloth robe.
“Hi, I’m Lisa,” she said offering her hand.
“Hi. Now get your ass in here before somebody else smells this joint. I didn’t bring enough for the whole damn hotel, “ I said laughing as I took her hand and led her into the room.
She was holding a bottle of Heineken in her left hand. I gestured that we make our way to the balcony. She lifted her robe as she sat down letting me see that she was wearing neon pink bikini.
“ I’m Dan by way, Daniel Lazarus,” I said handing her the joint.
“I'm Lisa. The Lazarus Letters? Wow. You’re the one that my friend Eddie came to hear.” She took a deep hit and started coughing.
“ He writes obituaries?”
When she got her coughing under control she said, “Yes. He’s pretty writes everything for a small town paper in Northern California. He expressly mentioned the fact that he wanted to hear you speak.”
“Well, that is kind of strange.” I took the joint back.
“He loves your wit. Tell me, how did the idea of doing a column about the dead come to you?”
“The sheer volume of the letters. I got a lot fan mail. It really freaked me out at first. Then I started reading some of it and understood that some of them contained very good advice about how to get on with your life when someone close has died.”
“That’s crazy, “ she laughed. “ I was thinking about creating my own column, and I might have to steal your idea.”
“You do obituaries too?”
“No, no, I write about relationships mostly. I was thinking that it would be a good idea to write about what happens afterwards, after the relationship ends. Damn, this is some good shit.”
We smoked a second joint, and I rose and got her another beer out of the minibar. As we laughed and talked, her robe slipped carelessly open a few times revealing the beautifully tanned and toned body worthy of a Playboy centerfold.
She caught me looking, “ Do you mind if take this robe off? It’s kind of warm today.”
“Fuck no, here I’ll go hang it up.” She handed me the robe and I took it the closet and put it on a hanger. When I turned back around, she had removed her bikini and was lying completely naked on the bed.
For a small moment, I thought about the moral issues involved with sleeping with someone who was only about six or seven years older than my oldest daughter. Next, I tried to bring up the idea that I had only known her for less than five minutes, but I dismissed that notion before before I fully formed the sentence reasoning that you don't need a long history with angels. They appear, and you honor their presence.
I took one look at her perfect breasts and quickly decided that there were no moral issues involved. My mind screamed one last final warning, “But you love Jenny, Dumbass!” And that did give me pause, at least till the vision of Lisa's body eroded my resolve and my loins began screaming back, “But Jenny don’t love you!”
The best way for me to describe her breasts was the word, perfection. They were masterpieces, so beautiful and flawless that the Italian sculptor Antonio Canova would have blushed with shame at his piss poor efforts.
Lisa smiled and then beckoned me forward. And I went of my own accord, that is, if you can honestly say that surrendering myself to a vision of the feminine nature as a voluntary thing.
My days as a sprinter were long gone; I am firmly committed distance runner. I have become a lot less competitive as I have aged. Now, it is not so important that I finish on the podium, just that I finish.
If this bothered Lisa, she didn’t seem to show. We took things slow and steady. On the last leg, she got on top and took over a little, moaning softly, “Oh, oh, oh.” Then with the last “Oh”, she opened her eyes, smiled, and rolled off of me.
I kissed her then asked, “Are you an atheist?”
She giggled, “What ever would make you ask me that?”
”Because most women that I have been with evoke the name of the deity when they climax. I just wonder if I’m losing my touch, or maybe you just don’t believe in God.”
She looked perplexed then laughed, “Well, you can relax. I’m not an atheist, but I don’t call on God either. He didn’t do the work; he don’t get the credit.”
“Whew! I thought I was losing it.”
“No, you did fine, really.”
“Well, let me ask you one other question then.”
“ You are not one of them chicks who is into totally weird stuff?”
“Weird being like what?”
“I mean you’re not an obituary writer groupie or something like that, are you?”
“Um, let me think. Would it matter if I was?”
“I don’t think so.”
“I might be. I mean I only know two guys who do that for a living, and I’ve slept with both of them.”
It was my turn to laugh, “ Look at you. You’re young and probably the most gorgeous female I’ve ever laid eyes on much less slept with, and even before I was married, gorgeous women weren’t exactly lining up to sleep with me. You’re the third beautiful woman who just kind of appeared out of nowhere and jumped into bed with me. I have to wonder, why me?”
Lisa smiled sadly, “ Damn, your ex must have beat you down. Give yourself some credit, Laz. You’re a handsome man, and you’re insanely funny.”
“Yea, besides that you have something of a poet about you.”
“ Poet? I write obits.”
“You do it in a way that is very different. Eddie showed me this one that you had written about a young girl who had been murdered by her boyfriend. You wrote something like, ‘All Grace ever wanted out of life was to love and to be loved; sometimes life is just not fair.’ I mean who writes stuff like that? It makes the people you write about all seem kind of special.”
“They are, or they were. Frozen light.”
“We are all light that has been frozen for a moment in time, and when we die, we go back to being light.”
“ That’s what I mean. Your wife was fool. Any further questions, you dopey guy?”
“I’ll stop while I’m ahead.”
“You mind if I take a nap?”
“Not in the least, in fact, I’ll join you.” So, just like that, we fell asleep in each other’s arms.
I woke up a couple hours later. Lisa was sitting in a chair beside the bed. She was wearing one of my dress shirts and looking very sexy in it. I glanced at the clock on the table. I had missed the first session.
“You don’t mind?” she said asking about the shirt.
“You look better in it than I ever did. I already missed the first session. They’re supposed to have that Watergate guy talking at the next session. I had better go.” I jumped out of bed to get dressed.
“You sure? I thought we might have a second go around. Eddie is going to go see that guy, and that would give us just enough time to have some fun,” she smiled provocatively as she spoke.
“Sounds great, but I had really better go touch bases,” I replied as I dove into the closet another shirt.
“Are you sure?” she asked again.
I came out of closet as she unbuttoned the front of the shirt, and there they were again, the beauties. They emitted a powerful tractor beam that pulled me toward them. I twisted and struggled against the tug, but it was pointless. The next thing I knew, we were back in bed groping our way toward the finish line.
This time, however, when she crossed the line, she was talking in tongues.
She finally left to go meet her boyfriend. I got dressed and went back on the balcony. There was a large roach in the ashtray, so I fixed myself another scotch and water and finished it off. Staring out at the ocean as the waves washed over the beach below, I started thinking about the situation.
Three beautiful women had virtually jumped into bed with me. This was not how things usually happened. It was more than a little bit strange, and it shook me up a little. With the exception of Remi suddenly showing back up, everything else in my life was pretty unexceptional. The three beauties were something totally out of place, as was the realization that I would have traded all of these most pleasant experiences to just close my eyes and wake up in bed next to Jennie.
While I was contemplating, I fell asleep out on the balcony. I began to dream. At first, it was very pleasant. I was sitting on a balcony smoking a joint and drinking some scotch. There was a slight breeze and the sound of the waves washing up against the beach was lulling me to sleep.
I heard someone calling me and looked down and saw Jennie standing up to her thighs in the surf. She was wearing the white bikini that made her look like the girl from Ipanema. I could hear Astrud Gilberto on radio behind me sing, “Dark and tan, young and lovely.”
She was walking through the breaking waves but suddenly stopped and called to me, “Danny. Come here. I need you.”
I instantly arose and started to look for a way down to the beach. There was a solid looking lattice next to the balcony that I felt would hold my weight. Then the sliding glass door of the balcony opened and a naked Lisa came out, grabbed me by the arm, and started pulling me back into the room. I looked in and also saw the red-headed Angel with the Leopard Skin panties, the woman from the casino, having a pillow fight on the bed with Remi’s naked stripper friend.
It only looked away for a second two before I broke free of Lisa’s grasp. I hustled over to the side of the balcony and climbed onto the lattice. In a jiffy, I was down on the beach. It was so real that I could the cold sand between my toes and the mist of the breaking waves on my face.
I looked around everywhere; I searched the sand for Jennie’s footprints and then waded into the surf loudly calling out her name. With each shout my body trembled, my mind flooded with desperation, but Jennie was gone. I awoke with a sob that shook me to my very core.