“She reminds me of Stevie Wonder.”
I looked at Dante after he said those words. “Who?”
“Lola,” he said.
“Lola reminds you of Stevie Wonder?”
With a bright smile upon his sometimes clueless face, Dante nodded
Now, for visual purposes, let me remind you about Lola. She is a woman who looks younger than her 60 years. I am guessing that is how old she is. She is a strong built woman, and as Dante described her once ‘With a body of a Russian Athlete,’ and hair like “Sally Field from steel magnolias‘, also Dante’s words.
“OK, I’ll bite,” I said. “Why does Lola remind you of Stevie Wonder.”
“What song?” I asked.
Dante began to sing, “Isn’t she lovely. Isn’t she full of wit”
“I don’t think that’s how the words go,” I said.
Dante continued to sing, “Isn’t she special. Lola is just the shit.”
“Dante, I know this song. That’s not how it goes.”
“I know. I made them different for her.”
“Why are you changing the words to a classic Stevie Wonder song for Lola?” I asked.
At that point, we were in the back and Lola was at the front desk tending to a guest. Dante slyly peeked out. Again, his eyes got this sparkle and he smiled. “Have you ever noticed how attractive Lola is?”
“For real?” I asked. “Not about Lola being attractive but you asking me that.”
“Why would I lie? The way she handles guests. They melt for her. And she is pleasant to people unlike some people.” He stared at me.
“I never claimed to be pleasant. Do you have a crush on Lola?”
Dante gasped. “No! I just appreciate her.”
I am sure this ‘Dante and Lola’ thing will have more to it in the weeks to come. I mean, the guy changed the words to a song for her. Anyhow ..... Dante took a room down the hall. His lights were not on in his new place and apparently, he can’t sleep without the sound of a dryer running.
Lola went home. I didn’t tell her about Dante and the hotel was quiet. There was a young man in the lobby. He was waiting on a guest that was, according to the young man, upstairs arguing with his significant other.
He was there when Lola was and an hour later ... still there. He asked to use the rest room. I was leery, but I let him. There was something about him.
So he went into our employee bathroom that is in the hotel laundry and I went about my business.
I had a lot to fold, and I went back there again, I noticed he hadn’t come out of the bathroom. I texted Nancy, our manager who said that I needed to knock on that door.
I didn’t want to, I told her maybe he is one of those people who take a while. Thinking it was fine, I went back to work. I gave him another ten minutes bring his total bathroom time to a half hour and I finally knocked.
I backed up.
Nancy texted and asked if I had checked on him. To which I lied and said I did and he was fine. He grunted. I mentioned that Dante was in the hotel and maybe I should go find him.
She said, “No. You haven’t been there as long as Dante and if you get a dead body before him he’ll be really pissed. Now make sure that guy is okay.”
No. I merely sent a ‘K’. And I went and sought out Dante.
He wasn’t sleeping when I knocked on his door and then I explained the situation.
I don’t know why I expected Dante to be calm and cool, I didn’t expect him to freak. “Jackie! Why would you do that? Why would you let someone use the employee bathroom.” He blasted as if it were a scared place.
“He uh ... had to go."
“Yeah, but you should have said no! Let him go elsewhere and die in someone else’s bathroom.”
It had now been thirty-six minutes since that guy went in there. I had to pull out the big guns.
“Wow, how would Lola feel if she heard you talking like that. In fact ... what would Lola want you to do?”
“Fine.” He huffed and stormed by me to the laundry room where we both stood before the closed bathroom door.
“Go on,” I told him.
Dante took a brave stance, raised his fist and knocked. “Sir, Sir, front desk.”
“I can’t. I can’t.” He backed up. “You.”
“I’m not going in there.”
“I can’t do this. Maybe he’s napping.” Dante knocked again.
“I don’t think we have the keys to this. We may have to call the fire department.” He reached for the knob and he sprang back as if he touched something hot. “Oh my God, it’s unlocked.” Wringing his hands Dante reached again, only he stopped. “I’ll be back.”
He raced from the laundry room and two doors down to John’s room. “I need a drink,” he said. “Do you have that vodka?” He asked John when John opened the door. “We may have a dead body isn’t he bathroom”
John who was wearing just his underwear and already two sheets to the wind gave Dante the bottle.
Dante guzzled it and handed it back. “I’m good. I’m good. Thanks.”
“Ready?” I asked.
Dante nodded and walked to the bathroom. “Get ready to call 911.”
I lifted the cordless phone. “I’m ready.”
“Sir,” Dante called out. “I’m coming in.” He closely his eyes, mumbled something, grabbed the door and flung it open.
I couldn’t look, I turned my back.
Dante screamed. I mean he screamed then it seemed the cry out was abruptly cut short. Like cut mid scream.
I turned around. “What is it?”
“It’s empty,” Dante said.
“Empty?” I peeked inside. “Oh. Okay. He probably left and I didn’t see him. Thanks for your help.” Admittedly, I tried to stifle a laugh because his look was priceless.
“Jackie!” Dante scolded. “Do you know what you put me through? I’m traumatized.”
“Sorry? I don’t know how I’m going to sleep.”
“Considering you just chugged a third a bottle of vodka, I’m gonna wager you’ll sleep pretty good.”
“This isn’t funny.”
“Yeah it is.”
“You owe me,” Dante said.
“Fine. Fine. I owe you. What do you want?”
“We’ll, see in how you know her outside this place, see if you can get Lola got go out for a drink with me.”
I just smiled and agreed. Ha! Things will get even more interesting with that very early May - late December romance blossoming.