In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fool Me Once.”
Everything in this story is true except the part where he sleeps with the call girl.
My inner circle, all iPhone bearers, can triangulate my whereabouts within a few feet thanks to the Find Friends app. It reduces the semiregular rapid crossfire exchanges of “What’s your 20?” amongst ourselves. Having never grown up with implied or explicit expectations of privacy, I don’t mind this convenience. It is said that everyone is from somewhere else, somewhere less free. I’ve been somewhere else, and I’m good here.
“What’s your 20?” It was The Bear. I look at the IM, perplexed. I’m on, right?
“Gotcha,” he replies moments after I exit the sauna. I search his location before asking my next question. Wait, what? Vegas?!
“Snag?” I text frantically, knowing the implications of an extended-ETA from The Bear and mentally taking inventory of shovels, battery powered drills and other items behind the coded-door of my garage.
My cell rings. There are only a finite amount of calls I’d deem necessary of taking while mostly naked and sweaty in a gym dressing room; this particular call qualifies.
The Bear foregoes pleasantries and begins, “I got the sets and tickets. So you’re good.”
The upcoming Vegas-themed event required opportunity drawing prizes and The Bear was up for the field trip. That was the straight-forward part. His last minute tagalong, Sasquatch, complicated things considerably. He was grieving, frustrated and in a bad place. Then he ops in for a run to Vegas to “relax.”
“The snag,” The Bear continues after clearing his throat, “is Sasquatch. The less you know the better, but he was kinda in a funk. The room took the brunt of his energy.” I close my eyes, mentally picturing a 6’6″ 260 lb. inebriated Sasquatch – in all his fear and loathing – turning an unassuming Vegas hotel room into the next great FEMA site.
“Do you need me there?” I ask, unconsciously dressing at the same pace I once did when a pager would wake me from a dead sleep at 2am – last EMT dressed got to drive the ambulance. (I rarely drove.)
After a moment of hesitation, The Bear continues, “I took a walk. I get back to the room, and these girls were there. And he was there, but in the bathroom. They seemed nice and we started chatting. Sasquatch was in the bathroom and the girls and I got to talking…”
“…Call girls?” I ask.
“Apparently.” The Bear responds matter-of-factly; he doesn’t sound amused.
“Did you…” I begin my line of questioning, as if for some future documentation.
“No.” The Bear answers.
“No?” I echo, partially surprised. A hotel room has windows, so it goes.
“No.” The Bear firmly confirms. This is a room with no windows.
“So he…?” I ask.
“Yes.” The Bear pauses.
“Then why are you torn?” I can hear the inflection in his voice; it is throwing me off.
“I spent half and hour with both of them.” The Bear finally admits.
“Okay.” I respond with a reassuring tone.
“Talking to them both about Toastmasters.” The Bear says, quizzically.
“Whaa…?” I am so confused!
“I think they’re going to a meeting tonight just up the street from here.” The Bear proclaims. “They could really use a boost to their confidence! I gave them some cash for the road, ’bout enough to sign up, if it suits them.”
“Do you need some down time? Is there too much on your plate?” I asked, concerned.
“Oh no,” The Bear giggles, “We done just got started. I’ll Waze you. You can show me enroute, 3 hours out.”
“Returning plus one?” Realizing at that moment I didn’t know how Sasquatch fared in all this.
“We’ll see.” He answers honestly.