Chapter 16: Missionary Work
It was about 10pm when we came back from dinner, after closing time for the hotel pool, which disappointed me since I’d been hoping to get Kaitlyn and Mary down there. But then I had an idea.
“Hang on a minute, you two. Kaitlyn, come with me.”
I led her over to the front desk where a bored-looking young woman sat head down in a thick textbook laying flat on the counter. Evidently a college kid, working her way through on her own. Good for her!
“Miss?” I asked, getting the young woman’s attention.
“Yes, sir? How may I help you this evening?”
I leaned on the counter so that I could speak in a lower tone to her in case there was someone in the office behind the desk, saying, “My fiancée and I would like to have a swim tonight. I understand the pool is closed, but,” and here I closed her book on a new bookmark, one with a green-and-white monotone portrait of a dead old white guy on it, “maybe you could let us in for a private session?”
She just eyed me for a second, looked down at her new bookmark, and then said, “Yes, sir, I think we can accommodate your needs this evening.”
“We were thinking that you would be able to find something to curtain off the hall window, to give us some privacy?” I pressed.
“Oh, certainly,” the young woman answered. “We already have a curtain we put up when we’re cleaning the pool. Will you be coming down later, then?”
“No, I think we’ll just go right on in now, if that’s okay with you,” I answered.
She didn’t quite know how to parse that. Did we have our swimming suits on underneath our evening clothes? But then, probably thinking about her nice new bookmark, she decided she didn’t need to know about our swimwear. “That will be perfectly fine. If you’ll follow me, I can let you in through the door. It locks automatically after 10pm, you know.”
And so we followed.
Once we were inside, the counter clerk put up the privacy curtain, then said, “If you need anything, just come out to the lobby and let me know.” Then she bowed herself out.
When the door latched closed, I turned to look across the pool and noticed an open shower on the wall between the pool and the hot tub.
This got me to thinking. That shower isn’t much use for sanitation before the swim if the patrons are wearing swimming suits. The nasty bits you want washed off are underneath the suits, so about all you can do is get your suit wet, which doesn’t actually do much for sanitation. What you actually want is for everyone to use that shower before swimming, but to do so naked. And if you’re going to have everyone shower naked at an open shower beside the pool before they swim, why wear swimming suits in the pool at all? This way would be more hygienic all around. I’d concede that the shower was useful for knocking the chlorine off before going back to your hotel room, but if you’re going there, you’ve got a shower there already. No, I liked the idea of mandatory public showers better: then everyone knows everyone else is clean.
I pointed to the open shower, drawing the Gutierrez women’s attention to it, and ordered, “Strip, y’all.” I’d been picking up Southern American English, one of the few dialects with a distinct second person plural pronoun. I didn’t understand why people thought of it as an uneducated version of English. I guessed that all those snobby North-easterners were just jealous of my adopted land’s innovation.
The two women just looked at me, smiling, and we all began to strip. We showered the day’s funk off and climbed into the pool, floating and swimming around like giddy children, free in our nudity.
We’d transferred to the hot tub when the young clerk came in and asked, “Is everything all right? Can I get anything for you?” Then she stopped, seeing the bared breasts above the waterline.
Mary spoke up, her mother’s instincts kicking in quickly. “Dearie, don’t be shy. Do come over.”
The clerk looked nervous, but she came over as asked.
Mary continued, “Will you please sit down by the hot tub? It’s a little uncomfortable looking up at you hovering over us like that.”
The clerk did, and then Mary climbed out of the tub to sit beside her at a comfortable chatting distance. This startled the girl, having a mature matron sitting naked next to her, but she didn’t bolt.
“That’s better, miss…?”
“We thank you for the offer, Miss Angela. I think we’re all good, though.”
“Well, um… I think I’d better leave you to your…um…activities?” she said nervously.
“Relax, Angela,” Mary said in a calming tone. “We’re just swimming and hot tubbing. We just choose to do it without swimsuits, since you’ve gone and given us a nice private area for it. Have you never been skinny dipping?”
The clerk just shook her head.
“Never wanted to try it?”
“Well, maybe,” she admitted.
“You’d be welcome,” Mary offered. “Wouldn’t she?” Kaitlyn and I nodded. I put my arm around Kaitlyn to show I was taken and thus no threat to young Angela.
“Do you perhaps have a boyfriend?” Mary asked.
“Yes, ma’am,” the clerk answered shyly.
“Maybe you’d like to invite him over, too? I’m sure he’d love the experience.”
That shook her nervousness, overwhelming it in mirth. “Oh, yes, ma’am, I’m sure he would!”
“Well, if you decide to, we’ll be happy to let you join us. It’s just swimming, all right? Nothing naughty,” Mary assured her.
“All right, I’ll think about it. And if you need anything, I may check back in later, okay?”
I spoke up. “Miss Angela? Would you bring us some kind of bag? Maybe like one of those reusable shopping bags?”
She agreed, I thanked her, she left, and those of us remaining all smiled.
“Nicely handled, mom!” Kaitlyn complimented. “I hope I’m that smooth someday.”
“Smooth? I’ve got wrinkles everywhere, and this water isn’t helping!” she protested, purposely missing her daughter’s point.
“Well, mom, I suppose you’d better just go lay naked on that chaise over there for a while then and dry out!”
“I think I’ll do just that. I’m not likely to get the chance again soon!”
Kaitlyn and I got out of the hot tub and did some laps in the pool, casually racing each other. She was more agile and thus able to take less time in the kick turns than I did in my awkward way, but I had longer limbs, so I usually won these battles.
After a bit of that, we joined Mary on the chaises around the pool.
And that’s how we were when two young people walked in on us, the young man’s jaw dropping, the young woman smiling at having caught him by surprise.
“Angela and boyfriend, I presume?” called out Mary. “Do come in and close the door, please!”
They did, but they stayed backs to the door, the boyfriend looking about ready to bolt.
“Um, hi,” said the young man, trying to look anywhere but at my fiancée and her mother.
Mary had risen and walked over to shake his hand and guided him over to the showering area. “You kids peel, get a shower, and join us in your own time, then, all right? You, too, Angela.” Mother Factor 10 in full force!
They did as Mary had bid, the young man already semi-erect when his boxers hit the rough anti-slip concrete walkway around the pool.
To avoid any sense that we were watching them strip and shower, Kaitlyn and I returned to the pool for a few more laps while Mary chatted blithely to the young couple.
We got out of the pool and joined the group in the hot tub, which was now fairly crowded, arranging it boy-girl-boy-girl as best we could, with mama Mary in the center, ending up with Angela and I closest to her, and Eric — the young man’s name — sitting stunned between two beautiful young naked women. He was dutifully paying the most attention to Angela, but his eyes roamed everywhere other than on me. I was just grinning at the spectacle.
We chatted about the couple’s school classes, their extra-curricular activities, and some of Angela’s stories about working a hotel desk. She said this wasn’t the strangest thing that had happened to her on the job, but she refused to tell more, pointing out that her position did demand a certain amount of discretion, the implication being that we wouldn’t like tonight’s adventure turned into a story, either. She was right, and I liked her for it.
The two went off for a couple of laps in the pool, then Angela said she had to get back onto the desk, that she’d be on until the early morning. The two showered again, dried off, dressed, and left us there alone again.
We got out shortly thereafter, showered off, and toweled dry using pool towels stacked by the door. I gathered up our clothing into the bag I’d had Angela bring for us, which turned out to be a book bag with the hotel’s logo on it. She said we could keep it.
Then we wrapped the pool towels around ourselves and made our way back to the room that way, relying on our wet hair to sell the illusion of swim suits beneath the towels. We didn’t see anyone in the halls, as late as it was, which made me return to my fantasy of walking back from the pool without the towel, too. If I’d known no one was going to be around, I’d have done it.
This town is famous for proselytizing, but we’d done a bit of our own tonight, of a sort that’d give the boys in white shirts quite a turn. It felt right to me.