Joe’s years at the hotel were marked by the occasional one night stands until about four years into his stay he met a woman at a Tuesday night jam. She came up to him while he was taking a break from photographing and chatted him up during the band break. She seemed nice and wasn’t shit faced like her pals on the “girls’ night out” gang that she came in with every Tuesday.
In her early thirties she was quite attractive and had an interest in photography or so she said. Joe had finished and was just having a coffee before going upstairs and developing his film. She asked him if he was coming back down and he said no.
Then she asked him if she could see his darkroom set up, and Joe said sure why not and they went upstairs.
Well, one thing lead to another and before you knew it they fell into bed and got it on. They thrashed around for about an hour and then she went into his washroom and cleaned herself up, gave him a kiss and went back downstairs to her friends.
The next Tuesday he got a phone call at about six o’clock in the evening and it was her; would he be available that evening? Now Joe was a little shocked because she was quite graphic about what she expected if they met that evening and thinking with the little head he said yes!
He wondered where she had gotten his number then remembered that it was on the” coming soon” board across from the coat check downstairs.
She arrived at seven o’clock with a medium sized shoulder bag containing her feminine hygiene products and a change of underwear. Joe asked her if she was planning on moving in. She said no, and came into his arms and said “Let’s fuck.”
Joe didn’t need much encouragement after the horny phone call. She was the answer to a single guy’s dreams, and she would do things before he asked her as if she was reading his mind. They had a very spirited romp and afterwards she was up out of the bed and into the wash room. She told him that the next Tuesday to have his darkroom gear put away because she was going to want a shower before she went downstairs to her friends.
She also chided him about using a condom, but in this day and age of HIV and AIDS that had already taken several of his friends in the Blues community he was unlikely to knuckle under to that demand.
She also asked that he give her his spare set of keys so she could come up to the room without having to be let in and not to come to the “girls’ night out” table if for some reason he was downstairs.
Tuesday night was the jam night when the people in town for gigs at other clubs would come and hang out at the hotel so he always tried to check in once or twice a night to see who would appear. They had in the past had players from the large stadium shows appear and take part with the local musicians in jamming. Tuesday didn’t have a door so it was always full and the club rocked to the likes of Brian Adams, Bon Jovi, John Lee Hooker, and Bono from U2. It was also good to see that the local guys and gals could hold their own with these world class stars.
Etiquette demanded that the visiting stars not dominate the stage. The “girls’ night out” gang was suitably impressed and would try to wangle an autograph or a dance with one of the stars. Most of the time they were allowed the autographs but the groupies around the stars would be very aggressive about defending their turf so dancing either vertical or horizontal was not allowed.
Joe’s Tuesday nights went on for about a year and he had done the female thing and went through her purse when she was in the shower and found out that she wasn’t who she said she was and that she was married. He didn’t face her up with this little fib and was quite prepared to leave things as they were.
She made no demands on him except on Tuesday nights when they both indulged themselves in various sexual fantasies; his wardrobe closet contained any number of bits of sexy underwear and outrageous sex toys. It was amazing how many antics you can get into an hour and a half.
The whole thing imploded when she decided to snort cocaine in Joe’s room and got quite nasty when he wouldn’t allow it. She had smoked marijuana in his room after sex and couldn’t see that this was any different. Joe had indulged her on the marijuana because he didn’t see any harm in it but cocaine was a very different matter.
The club scene was turning quite scary because of the traffic in coke and Joe didn’t want it anywhere near his space. Far too many of the good folks he knew in the blues world had turned into lying, cheating, thieving monsters because of that drug.
He was adamant about this and decided that he would end it on the next Tuesday. He packed up all her gear into the case that she had brought to his place on the second date.
He took the case downstairs and waited by the front door to intercept her when she arrived so that he could kill two birds with one stone and get his keys back.
When she arrived she didn’t notice him so he called out to her by her real name. She turned surprised and Joe took the keys out of her hand. She attempted to come into his arms but he fended her off by bringing her case between them and saying “It’s over.”
She reeled back and steadied herself on the wall. “Why?” she asked in a small voice.
“Cocaine” he answered, he had checked with the waitresses and was assured that she was a steady user.
She pleaded with him and said that she would never use it again in his place. Joe said, “You are addicted and your promise is worth nothing.” Having just fought an addiction of his own with alcohol, he knew that she could only become clean and sober for her own reasons and that these problems wouldn’t be made right by a lover’s promise. Besides he was tired of the play acting that went on about the affair.
She came off the wall and tried to knee him in the nuts but he managed to turn aside and grabbed her wrists as she went for his eyes. By this time she was screaming like a banshee and they were starting to draw a crowd. The hotel bouncer was just coming into work and grabbed her and pulled her off. She then directed her venom at the bouncer and got herself barred indefinitely from the club and only desisted in her attacks when the police were called.
Joe had to get his telephone number changed to an unlisted number because she would call at three o’clock in the morning with abusive language and tears. She was persistent and Joe had taken to unplugging his phone before he went to sleep.
This made it awkward because Joe no longer worked at the camera store and needed his phone to conduct his business as a writer and photographer. An unlisted number won’t get you much business.
Things in the hotel were going from bad to worse as the scourge of cocaine swept through the staff and tenants. It seemed that every second new tenant that the management let into the hotel was dealing.
Joe realised that his days at the hotel were numbered it was only a matter of time before his room was broken into either from the fire escape of from the inside and his equipment stolen, but where to go?
A friend offered to share his studio, and one of the local non profits gave him darkroom time and a place to show his work in return for his keeping the gallery maintained.
Joe still kept the room at the hotel although he wasn’t photographing much because the smoke and noise were starting to have an effect on his health. He was no spring chicken and had started to cough like he was a two pack a day man and his ears would ring for days after a night photographing.
Then one night he was by the coat check talking to the lead guitar player for one of the local band and his girl friend, They were trying to decide where to go for a late lunch when this Amazon came up grabbed the guitar player by the balls and said, “Lets me and you get it on.” Joe and the girl friend looked on incredulously while the guitar player stammered, “Ccccan’t dooo that,” disengaging her hand from the family jewels “I’m married and this is my wife,” nodding toward his girl friend.
“Sorry about that!” said the Amazon cheerfully as she flounced away. Now really, this girl was an Amazon, big, muscular and wonderfully proportioned with a pile of curly black hair and an angelic smile. Joe decided that he wanted her as a model so he chased after her down the street.
She allowed him to buy her snack and told him a little bit about herself. She was on a holiday financed by a wealthy older man in an Ontario small town. He had gone south with his wife to Florida and paid for a return ticket to the coast and gave her an open ended credit card. This allowed her to maintain her rather erratic life style and she had been in party mode for the last two weeks.
Joe asked if she would like to pose for him. “Nude?” she asked. “If you want to,” he replied. She said “I don’t do porno.” “And neither do I.” said Joe, “Why don’t you come over to the studio tomorrow and look at my portfolio.” “What time?” she asked and the set the appointment. He gave her his card said his goodbyes and went back to his room.
She appeared an hour late at the studio and smoked a joint with Joe’s studio mate. Then she came into Joe’s area and looked at his portfolio. The joint really screwed up her head I don’t think she was used to West coast bud yet. At any rate she talked nonsense and was very paranoid.
Joe attempted to take some portraits but she was too stoned to take any direction so after a roll of film he gave up. She drifted back down the studio to Joe’s studio mates hereinafter known as M’s space and got totally wasted. When she left the studio she could barely walk straight so Joe walked her back to her hotel room.
When he returned he chided M about getting his model stoned. M laughed and Joe could see that this is one thing he should never do and that is let his models socialise with M before a shoot.
Joe had nothing against the smoking of marijuana except that it wasn’t for him. He tended to become very paranoid and couldn’t sleep for twenty four hours without horrendous nightmares.
The fact was that except for coffee and caffeine he didn’t use any drugs at all. He banned smoking in his studio and would even kick old friends out on to the sidewalk. M smoked like a chimney but the ventilation of the studio took the smoke from his area out into the alley so no harm done
The new digs had a cooking area where nightly, the other artists in the small artist community on Seymour Street would congregate for a communal supper and conversation.
M was a designer with a wide circle of friends and there was a nightly round table of good conversation with interesting people.
The Amazon was pretty much unavailable for the next ten days and then came to the studio and announced that she was headed home. She asked Joe if he would help her collect her gear and take her out to the airport the next day.
Joe borrowed the hotel van from Jim, on the promise that he also deliver “Pine top Perkins” to the airport at the same time. Then Joe went with her to the hotel room to help her get her gear together.
The room was a mess of discarded clothes and dirty glasses and Joe wondered what the chambermaid was thinking. It turns out that when the chamber maid tried to come in to straighten out the room the Amazon was in bed bonking some pilgrim she had picked up in the bar that night.
She had a voracious sexual appetite and practically threw Joe on the bed and in a welter of clothing and bodies they got to it. She was like the proverbial five hundred pound gorilla and you don’t try to thwart a five hundred pound gorilla.
He thought he had her pinned on her back bent double when she somehow flipped Joe over on his back and ended up on top without losing connection and proceeded to pound his body with hers. The action was so violent and unexpected Joe’s back went into spasm and when she was finished with him he couldn’t even stand up.
She gave Joe one of her valium tablets and the spasm released and he got away with his life. He had never gone to bed with a woman physically stronger than he was and he could see why her sugar daddy had to get away to Florida. The poor bastard probably needed a rest.
He picked up “Piney” and the Amazon the nest morning and drove them out to the airport. Piney had been into the brandy the night before and was shaking so badly Joe thought that the van had a shimmy. He, Piney also didn’t smell all that good, like someone spilled shaving lotion in the outdoor toilet. Joe drove out to the airport with his window down so he wouldn’t gag.
He gave the Amazon a kiss and she apologised for almost crippling him; they had a good laugh about that and then she disappeared into the airline terminal towing her suitcases.
©Copyright October 10, 2006 by John-Ward Leighton