Monday, September 19, 2016

Mountain Weekend part 13 -- Janelle takes off

Me: I can see where that would make you nervous.

J: It really did.  I felt kinda vulnerable suddenly.  Anyway, the guy gives me his business card and writes his cell number on the back.  This was after I told him I'd have to think about it and that I would have to talk to Jill.  See, in my head I'm thinking 'no freakin' way' but I figured it would be better to act like I was considering it... so he wouldn't push the issue any harder.

So, Jill and I both say bye, thanks, later... whatever and walk together across the club. She leaned my way and said, 'He offer you a full-time gig?'  And I said, 'Yeah,' and I just kinda escorted her to the wing behind the DJ booth.  Once we were in a place where we couldn't be seen, sort of the passageway to the locker room, I stopped and Jill said, 'Hey, I guess we were a little too good at this, huh?'

I just said to her, 'I wanna get outta here. But if we just blow out right after talking to those two it will look bad so I'm thinking... we just keep dancing 'til 1:30 or so, maybe earlier if the crowd starts to thin out, and then we change clothes and bolt for the hotel.  We definitely don't want to be here at closing time.'  

Jill agreed but she didn't seem as skeezed out by the sit-down with the boss guys.  We went back out into the club.  I table danced at about six or seven stops, maybe more, and Jill went off doing her wild thing. At some point I noticed there were finally some empty seats, the energy in the place was subsiding, so I found Jill, caught her eye, and signaled that I was going to the locker room.  I was nearly dressed when Jill got back. Ten minutes later we were in the car heading to the hotel.

Me: Did you ever hear from those two?

J: Oh yeah.  The next afternoon. When we got back to the hotel that night, well Saturday morning really, we counted out all the cash.  We had about twelve hundred dollars between us and that was after we had left almost a hundred in tips for the DJ and waitresses.  We both showered and fell asleep.   Got up about noon.  It was Saturday and we weren't flying until Monday morning. We decided we'd ski on Sunday one last time but just hang out Saturday.

At this point Janelle and I were already back on the trail heading up to where we had left the car. It was warm in the sun and the climb was a bit strenuous. Except when we met other people coming down the trail Janelle continued with the story.

J: The first call I got, actually, was from the club manager, Rick.  They had both of our cell numbers from the forms we filled in-- home addresses too for that matter.  Jill and I had just finished getting lunch and were walking out of the restaurant with a plan to walk around town, shopping and stuff, when my phone rang.  It was Rick thanking us for participating and congratulating us on winning prizes.  It was all a nice, friendly conversation.  Then it seemed like there was something he wanted to talk about but wasn't getting to.  I thought for a brief moment he was going to ask me out or some crazy thing but then he says, 'I understand you two talked to my boss and his friend last night.'

I told him we had and he goes on to say that they told him that Jill had seemed excited about working for them but that I seemed reluctant so he wondered if there was anything he could do or say to help.  I was really worried about blurting out, 'No! I'm not doing that'... at least while I was still in town and they knew our hotel and had our cell numbers. I didn't feel like we were in danger or anything, I just didn't want a confrontation.  Better to just get out of town without committing to anything. 

So I just talked about how I had a really good job back home, how I had only danced for the adventure of it, it wasn't a career choice, but it had been more fun than I expected, and I was flattered they all thought I could do well at it... blah, blah, blah.  Everything was amiable.  He said, 'Well, I'm sure you'll hear from them again this weekend.  I hope you'll tell them that I tried to sell you on it.'  I laughed and said, 'I'll let them know, Rick. You and your people were really great. Y'all made it really fun.'

Then he said, before hanging up, 'You know, Janelle, if you two want to take vacation together out West this Spring let me know. I can put you in the best club in Denver.  You'd work, say, four nights, from 8PM to closing and make enough for your airfare and a nice suite at the Brown Palace for a week. Probably shopping money on top of that.'

I laughed and said I'd keep that in mind.  When I told Jill she said, 'Yeah, the guy I talked to last night, when I told him I didn't know if I'd like dancing every night as a job, suggested that we do something like that.  I think he said Phoenix, not Denver, though.'

Me:  But the club owner called too, right?

J: Yeah.  That evening.  I kept putting him off without saying the word 'No.'  He invited us out to a club for drinks and I told him we were skiing early the next morning and begged off.

We skied Sunday and flew out Monday morning.  Everywhere we went I thought I saw guys looking at us differently but nobody approached me about having seen us at the club. Back home I got a couple phone calls from the club owner and Rick but never succumbed to the pressure to strip again.

Me: Amazing story, Janelle.  Do you know if Jill ever tried it again?

J: Well, she never told me if she did.  I suspected though that she went down to Atlanta and did an amateur night gig.  But that was just a suspicion based on some evidence.  Anyway, she's married and moved back to Georgia and we've fallen out of touch the past few years.

When we got back to the car Janelle wanted me to drive with the top up until the A/C cooled her off from the hike.  We decided on where to have lunch and I got us there in about 45 minutes.  We talked about a lot of stuff other than her story. We got to the restaurant and were seated outdoors.  The lunch rush was over and nobody was seated near us.  While we waited for our orders to come out Janelle went to the restroom.  When I saw her walking back to the table, still in her hiking clothes but freshened up, I was struck again by how attractive she looked to me.

As we ate Janelle said, "How much of what I told at the waterfall do you think is true, Wil?"

I sat back, thought for a moment and said, "I think that the basic story is true.  I think that anything that happened over ten years ago can get a little warped in the telling, some details can be off, but  basically, you and your friend did all that. So, yeah, I don't think you just made it up out of thin air. Not at all.

She smiled. 

"One part bothers me though. It isn't crucial to the story but it doesn't fit neatly for me."

"So you think I made part of it up?  Or, embellished it?" 

"Put it this way, back when I was a kid, back when news reporters used to care about getting the facts of a story correct they would concentrate on the Five Ws: Who, What, Where, When, and Why.  I think in your story the 'Who' was correct-- you and Jill.  The 'What' was accurate-- amateur night at an out-of-town strip club.  And, the 'When' I think was within a few years of the date.  Maybe you were 24 not 27... no big deal. But what I think you changed, and I don't know why you did, was the 'Where'.

Janelle grinned. I took that smile as a tell that I was on to something.
She said, "Why do you think it didn't happen where I told you it did?"

"Because, those ski resort areas can't handle really big clubs like what you described. They're too remote.  You can only find 'Gentlemen's Clubs' like that in the bigger metro areas. So, I'm thinking you were in Denver or maybe not in the Rockies at all, maybe Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, or even Orlando."

"Damn, Mr. Wilson."

Janelle just sat back grinning and shaking her head slowly.

I continued, "Anyway, it doesn't really matter where it happened. What I want you to tell me is why you wanted to tell me about it.  You said you've never told anyone before. So, why me? I really want you to explain that."

After she looked around for a few moments she looked me in the eye and said, "I don't know, I guess I really don't want you to think I'm just a bore. You were around all of those people last night who see me as a boss, an old authority figure. And, you don't even remember me from twenty years ago, I was like wallpaper, but I remember meeting you very well.  You know, I had this crazy crush on you.  You were this big executive from headquarters and I was the new hire...  anyway, I just need you to know there's another side of me. That, yeah, sure, I'm basically a 'good girl', but not always.  I'm not just one thing...

...  see, I'm not totally sure why I need you to know that about me... but it seemed really important to me after we had dinner last night and I didn't come up to your room after.  I was awake for hours second guessing myself."

I smiled at her and said, "You could have just come up last night to show me how bad you are."

She laughed. "I didn't want to look easy. After all, it was just our first date."

"No, when you came over to my table at lunch yesterday, that was our first date.  Then happy hour with your friends was our second date.  So, dinner last night was already our third date. I think we're on our fifth date already.  Anyway, we're both adults. One of us has been an adult as long as the other has been alive. There's nothing wrong, at this point, with 'easy'.  But look at me telling this to an award-winning stripper."

She just smiled and shook her head slowly.

Whatever tension she had seemed to disappear.  It felt to me like we were together.

On our way to the parking lot after lunch I said, "I think you should go to your place, pack a bag, and then move into my suite until Monday morning."

After a few moments she said, "I think I should do that too, but I think you should stay until Tuesday morning and I'll skip work Monday."

"Wow, three nights!  You are a naughty girl."



Anonymous said...

So, does this one continue? I've been following with interest :-)

Wil said...

Thanks for reading. Yes, there's more. Unfortunately the same sorts of things I went to the mountains to escape from have taken up all of my time for the past 6 weeks or so.

I should find some time soon. Again, thanks for the interest.

Mr. Gotham said...

Really looking forward to the conclusion Wil. Great story so far.