Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Men's Christmas Outing (Part 2)

South Beach, 1980

[Continued from Part 1 here.]

The next stop was Layla’s, a women’s boutique at which it is safe to say few of the wives of Sea Colony had ever shopped. Layla O’Malley, who ran the place, was a friend of Spiff’s and made sure a few of her cutest sales girls were there to “model.” Spiff pulled out more hundred dollar bills. Whiz seemed to know one of the girls and went off with her for a while. Nate bought a sweater he thought Marion might like.

Nate hoped this would be the end of it. A couple of hours had gone by. All but Nate were drunk. The sun had set. The clouds had socked in and it was raining. He couldn’t imagine where else the guys would go. The town wasn’t big enough to have much more to offer in the way of shopping unless you wanted to consider the drug store, and even it was about the close.

As they headed out to the car, Spiff yelled at Whiz, “So, Whizzo, what have you got for us now?” The other guys turned to see what Holt would say. Whiz rolled his eyes and continued running through the rain to the car, “You’ll see,” his only answer. Nate became concerned. He hadn’t bargained on more than a little shopping. To be sure, he’d expected some frat boy antics. Some drinking. Off-color jokes. These guys had the natural way together of people who’d known each other all their lives. But it was time for things to wrap up. He hadn’t been comfortable with the way the guys had pawed Braxton’s daughter. He didn’t want to know what the blond at Bivens’ store had done when she pulled Gordo into the dressing room. He could only wonder what had happened to Dupere, who went off with one of the other girls and didn’t come back.

Whiz Holt owned the Sea Faire hotel, a rambling old oceanfront place his grandfather has built right in the middle of town. The hotel was closed for the winter. But as the limousine approached Nate could see lights on in some of the upstairs rooms. When it came to a stop, Whiz turned and announced, “Gentleman, I believe you’ll like the entertainment I’ve arranged for the evening. Let’s get along now, doggies!” When they heard the doors of the limo close, several girls stepped out from one of the rooms onto the balcony overlooking the parking lot and waved.

Nate began to wonder whether he should call Marion to come get him. Could he run the three miles home without getting completely soaked by the rain? Could he come up with an excuse for getting Teensy to drop him off at the hospital? Would he be forever persona non grata in Sea Colony if he did this? How would he explain it to Marion? Was this what rich gentiles did at Christmas?

Nate followed the guys into the motel.

[Part 3, tomorrow.]

1 comment:

  1. Hahaaaa--these are all questions inquiring minds want to know. Poor Nate.