By Betty Underground © 2008
The poolside bar at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel had closed. The guests of the surrounding cabana rooms were continuing the party from their patios. A long way from retiring.
At the other end of the pool a barefoot young woman, steps to the edge of the pool. Slender. Blonde with alabaster skin. Flawless. Angelic. She steps out of her skirt and pulls her t-shirt over her head. Standing naked, starring down into the pool, still lit from below. Into the water like a ballerina. Extended legs. Toes pointed. Each step erasing her body from the night.
Flashes from the balcony. From the patios. Camera phone paparazzi. Her breasts still exposed, she walks deeper and dips under. Blonde locks floating on the surface for an instance. The crowd waits. Silence fallen over them. Her body gently piercing the still water. They watch. Lap after lap. She holds her breath from one end of the pool to the other. A breath taken, but never heard, and she dips under. The lights bouncing off her young, perfect body.
She exits from the steps. Again, slowly. With purpose. They are mesmerized. Forgetting the photo opportunity and becoming lost in her motion. An audience under her spell. She bends down for her clothes. The flashes ignite the darkness again.
When she turns back, now dressed, she sees him. At the edge of the far patio, starring at her. Summoning her to him. She sits next to him. Her legs extended the length of the white terry cloth covered lounge. Pulling her hair to the side to twist the water from it. Soaking the front of her t-shirt. The water pressing it to her breasts.
"Hi, I'm Sunny."
"That you are." He chimes with a cocky confidence. Not offering his name in return.
They chat. He is there visiting his sister in from New York. The room is hers. Not much is learned before an older man. Early 40s approaches to fetch her. Not a lover. Not a relative. A handler of sorts. Before she leaves she offers an invitation for the next evening. A group of her friends have rented a house off Mulholland Drive. She scribbles the address on the palm of his hands and leans to kiss him on the cheek.
He chuckles as she glides out of sight, "Only in LA."
The next day he contemplates bringing a friend with him. No. He will go alone. Not unusual. He is confident in all situations and prefers to not have anyone running interference. Or reducing the opportunities.
Dressed in black. A dark horse. He gives nothing of him away. The devil. No disguise.
The house is thumping. Music from every corner. All the windows and doors thrown wide open. In the kitchen he stands with Sunny. Trying to focus on her. A parade of beauties coming from all angles. Passing by him. Waving. "Hi Sunny." None of them stopping. Carrying his gaze along with them as they move past.
In the rooms beyond him, more women. A few men. Mostly young and fashionable. Your typical Hollywood types. Over extended credit cards cowering under the purchases of True Religion Jeans. The older man from the night before he recognizes and becomes momentarily uncomfortable as he makes eye contact with Sunny.
Jasmine, dripping from the pool grabs his eye. The first one to take his attention from Sunny. She approaches and asks for an introduction. "Hi, I'm Wag." The first time Sunny has heard his name. She is equally stunning. Only with dark hair. A more exotic look. His type. Perfectly profiled.
They find a quiet place to chat. The conversation strained. Her eyes unfocused. Not altered. Just distant. The man from the night before sits with them. Asks about his religious beliefs. This is the wrong discussion to have with the devil. He is challenging of their questions. Rapidly realizing why he is there. He watches one of the young strapping bucks persuade a beauty to go into the nearby room with him. She is coy. Playful. Denying his advances. The older gentleman gets up to separate them.
Wag takes the opportunity as an out. Begins to say his good-byes. First to Sunny. She asks him for grocery money. He chuckles. Kisses her on the cheek and walks to the door with Jasmine. It is all clear to him. The adventure is only beginning. The one he will guide.
He agrees to come back the next night. To take Jasmine on a date. To dinner. Show her Hollywood.
The next night he is prompt. Good manners. Dressed again in black. Jasmine keeps him waiting and when she is finally ready has a request. "Can a friend join us?"
"Sure." His hopes of a second lovely are dashed when a scrawny man, barely 21, appears to join them. He rolls his eyes. Not hiding the obvious scam being pulled. A meal ticket. Anyone else might have darted then and there. He decided it was lesson time.
Down into Hollywood. To Santa Monica Blvd. To the Pink Taco. Hip. Trendy. Perfect.
They order a round of drinks. No one reaches for their wallets. He waits. An inordinate amount of time as the tab is ignored.
Jasmine asks, "Why do they call it Pink Taco?" This is what he had hoped for. He summons the less than straight waiter. "Can you tell her why they call it Pink Taco?' The waiter laughs. He is happy to explain the origin of the Pink Taco. At full volume to the naive Jasmine and her scrawny man-child. You could tell, gay waiter boy lived for these moments. It is possibly the most rewarding part of his job. "Well duh honey. It is referring to your pretty pink snatch! You know, your pussy."
Mortified. Perfect. He tips gay waiter boy.
Their table ready, he settles up.
He suggests the appetizer plate. Just enough for them to get their stomach juices churning. He eats more than his share. Asking, "Can I have the last one." Not finishing his question before it hits his lips. Then he leans back in his seat. Forces his stomach out and declares, "Man am I stuffed. Wow, I could not eat another bite. I am done." Tosses his napkin on the plate. The "throw down", signifying the end of the meal.
"You guys full? Because I am. In fact, I am not sure that last tamale is sitting well with me. Do you mind if we got out of here?" He is up out of his seat before they can answer. Tosses the few bills to cover the food on the table and heads to the door.
In the car, he fills it with the smell of his flatulence. A skill any devilish mastermind needs. Rolling the window down and apologizing profusely. "Do you mind if I just drop you [burp] off?"
Barely rolling to a stop. Jasmine asks again if he can pitch in for groceries. The party the night before having cleaned them out. Not having eaten at dinner. She thought she was owed. Shameless. Unaware of what she was doing. Acting as she was asked to. Taught to.
God will bring food to her, but she had to ask for grocery money.
He suggests she try the pool at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. "Just be sure to make sure your mark is not a local, honey."
Skinny Dipping for Christ. Only in LA
Betty Underground is a writer from Northern California.