Dorian Hargrove 12:47 p.m., May 19
How do I start? This may reveal some kind of prejudicial side of me, but I prefer to see it as discretion…or sanity.
So it goes, I ended up on a rooftop somewhere downtown with the lights of the city as a backdrop to a surreal lifestyle I was privy to for one night. The rooftop party area was desolate except for a security guard in his high chair surveying the quiet concrete, glass and potted bamboo plants.
We broke the quiet with our tinkling bottles of Skyy Vodka on nouveau black metal lunch benches. The guard glanced a disinterested once over. 7-11 Big Gulps of Squirt and vodka filled our bellies as we chatted about my friend’s friend’s (Juice’s) odd life in the city. It was his rooftop on which we sat.
His living situation interested me. How does this all work? Five people in a studio loft?
“Where do you all sleep,” I asked.
His response: “It’s not about where we sleep. I mean it just works. We don’t all stay here at the same time. It is what it is.”
New age-ie coded conversation tends to be outside my realm of expertise and interest so I moved on, slipping into serious observation mode.
The view on top of this building was idyllic SD. The clean lines of our city were silhouetted against a dark August sky. The building horizon line ceased to exist in the mix-up between stars and windows and lights. I watched the Sea World fireworks explode silently between the Merryl Lynch building and another innocuous office scraper as my mind floated in and out of the mundane guarded conversation between my friend Red and her friend Juice and some other wannabe Elvis dude. As I broke the surface of my vodka haze in an attempt to rejoin the conversation, I realized Juice and Elvis had disappeared.
I surveyed the concrete landscape for their dark forms. Through the jungle of metal handrails and glass separators I located one of them in the hot tub area. Thankfully, Elvis had left the building (ha, ha). Red and I shrugged and began to fill the empty rooftop with riffs of our guffawing laughter and ludicrous storytelling. Lively sounds bounced off the hard décor, softening the harsh environment. Juice interrupted, “Come put your feet in the hot tub.”
Jean and sweater clad, Red and I made our way to the glass encased hot tub. Smoke rolled off the surface of the teeming water. We peeled our jeans up over our calves to soak just our feet while Juice talked about his Real World-ish roommates in vague non-descript words.
“Hey girls, what’s up?” greeted Juice, as two of his previously un-described roommates joined the party. Two robe-clad women entered the frame.
The girls darted their vacant eyes around the Jacuzzi half taking in the environment around them, but mostly high and oblivious. They smiled for no reason and dropped their white robes. We’ll start with Royalty, the normal one. She wore a full bottomed royal purple bikini which highlighted her athletic/too skinny clearly drug-worn body. Her ethnically light tan face was dotted haphazardly with pimples and zits of all sizes and frizzy brownish hair danced around her as she chain-smoked nervously between a constant stream of irrelevant words aimed at the other who was most likely a stripper.
Now she was a certified spectacle! Stripper that is…underneath her white hotel robe she wore a tangle of red strings that somehow formed a bikini over her taut athleticky-anorexic body. These fragile strings bore the burden of supporting two gigantic, plastic breasts as large as her head. Her zit textured face and typical blonde hair did little to distract from her enormous chest. Everywhere you looked: flesh and boob. Stripper gripped a broken piece of blown glass in her right hand, “I use this as my pipe. It’s a piece of my old bong.” She mirrored Royalty as they smoked and talked in a barrage of ticks that had no correlation to the real time occurring around them
My say-no-to-drugs-and-stripping-after-school-special reverie was interrupted by a new couple. They stopped in surprise as they slowly registered the fact: Jacuzzi is occupied. As if there was not enough exaggerated breastage in our funktafied soup, the new girl slurred behind inches of black fake lashes, glitter, and pink infused bleached blond hair extensions, “I didn’t think anyone would be here. I forgot my top.”
She threw her dress aside as her Abercrombie sculpted young man sank into the water tightlipped and distant. He was definitely not trying to talk. His dark skin strained to cover every sinew and muscle on his lean body. Ambercrombie and Ms. No Top were tragically mismatched and uncomfortable. They sat next to one another without a flake of intimacy or even general knowledge of the other. They clearly just met. He continued to melt into the teeming pool while Ms. No Top jerked around the small circle assessing the situation with her puffy pinkish nipples. I sunk deeper into my observations and my vodka while tightly smiling to anyone who cared to notice.
Ms. NT joined the stripper and Royalty in their talking/smoking ritual, while the boys voyeured the levels of nudity. I sat back entertaining myself with my joke that I had walked into Hedonism San Diego style when my Spidey senses (or drunken observations of the obvious) started tingling: Juice said, “We should all get naked.”
My nunnish layers of garb, jeans and tank top and sweater, made me laugh internally even more.
The stripper, suddenly alert, joined the party through me. She looked directly into my eyes and said, “I’m sorry. I hope this isn’t rude, but you have great tits. You are really beautiful. Sorry. I can’t stop staring…” Blah, blah, blah, smoke and tick.
I smiled, shifted and said an uncomfortable thank you as my mind reeled at the thought that I had now entered her talking smoking periphery. God only knew what she thought my role in her ritual would entail.
Prudish, judgy, scared or otherwise…I am not a guy and this is not my fantasy, so Red and I non-verbally exchanged then graciously, but quickly, excused ourselves before any naked vaginas could hit the water. We burst into the inner hallway laughing with relief, when we heard Juice’s sad little voice behind us, “Why don’t you guys stay?”
Red later relayed to me, that her man Juice criticized her for our inappropriate and unfriendly behavior at the tub. Sorry Juice. I am not very well versed in stripper-coke-blown-glass-Ambercrombie-bare-breasts-possible-escort hot tub etiquette. Now I know and I would still do the same thing.