Several years back I was doing some contract work in Chicago for United Airlines. I was staying at the Palmer House – though far from O’Hare – its downtown, close to restaurants and galleries.
One evening I had a bite to eat with a friend, Bill Sulitski. Bill was a regional veep for United Airlines. Bill drove me back to the hotel and joined me for a drink in its lounge – the kind with big old leather chairs.
I have a lot of bad things to say about how airlines are run, but its funny that I like so many of the people that run them. Bill is and has been a good friend.
I ordered a bottle of a 1990 Barolo. It was a bit young but quite delicious. I prefer heavy wines. Bill and I had known each other a long time and I have expensive tastes in wine. And when I’m travelling, I often have no one to share those tastes with.
At some point I became aware that a young woman had entered the room. I’ll admit I was struck by her beauty – long shiny black hair, very slim, in a form fitting black dress with spaghetti straps over her shoulders. Her eyes were captivating. I was aware that she was wearing makeup, but I also was aware that it was applied very well.
I guessed her around 30 years of age. She was with another woman, older, and admittedly less breathtaking.
I had hoped that my “awareness” had gone unnoticed. But I received my first surprise of the evening when Bill motioned for the bartender, ordered another bottle of wine, and asked that two glasses be delivered to the two women who had sat down at the bar.
I have this bad habit of liking to be in control of my situation, and this was the first sign of my not having that control.
I was surprised at Bill. I hadn’t known he had even seen these women come in. And he’s married with two kids. My brows furled.
I was then forced to watch their reaction – these chairs just don’t move. This was not my style at all and I was decidedly uncomfortable.
To my surprise they accepted the glasses of wine, took a few sips, got up and approached our table.
I’ve been in many high powered meetings. I’ve taught courses at the university level. And yet it was now that I found myself flustered.
The four of us attempted some conversation. They thanked Bill for the glasses of wine. He told them to thank me as I was treating. This, of course, was news to me.
Here we had not finished the first bottle and now I was picking up the tab for two – $108 per bottle as I recall. He smiled at me which they interpreted as thanking me, but I interpreted as “got you, huh”.
Bill told them he was married with two kids and talked about them. Of course, I was asked if I was attached, which I wasn’t – and I said as much – though probably incoherently as I was completely flustered.
I simply couldn’t concentrate. I tried not looking at her, so I could think clearly. I felt like an idiot – correction – I was an idiot. The alcohol didn’t help.
Turns out they were in Chicago for several nights on business too. They didn’t say what. The chat was small, and I was largely reduced to mumbling.
Bill then gets up and announces he had to go home, and tells our new acquaintances to take care of me and keep me out of trouble.
This, needless to say, tied my tongue further.
So I tried to make conversation. I asked them what they do? As I’m asking I realize I don’t even know their names.
The one who has taken my breath beşiktaş escort away smiled at me like I’m some innocent and says, “you don’t know who I am?”
I begin to shrink in my chair. I feel like my feet won’t reach the ground. How does one answer this? Like a moron, I said, “no”.
Why would she ask such a question, unless I was supposed to know who she was?
She just smiled. I figured she was writing me off as some fossil. How do you turn such a conversation around?
Well there may be ways, but I, in my state, couldn’t figure them out. Instead, I asked perhaps the most moronic question there was to ask: “So, just who are you then?”
As I said it, I didn’t like the way it sounded. They just giggled. She said she wouldn’t tell me.
I buried myself and asked her for her name then, thinking perhaps that a name might give me a clue. More giggling was all I received in reply.
So I sat there in my puddle of humiliation trying to figure out what I should say or do as I sat across from this beauty.
I turned my attention to her friend, and asked her if I’m allowed to know what she did. They laughed. The friend said “I’m her assistant”.
I thanked her for making matters so much clearer. They laughed again.
I made a mental note that the beauty now seemed more in her late 20’s – say 28. It was her use of language. The occasional “like” would pop into her sentence – “This place is, like, so cozy.”
I took a stab in the hopes of repairing my devestated ego – I asked her where in California was she from?
She was quick. She pointed out that she never said she was from California. And I pointed out her accent (my ace in the hole). She trumped me, telling me she was from Colorado, but now lives in Los Angeles (she said “L.A.”, but I’ve never been comfortable with using the initials).
We chatted more. I remained thoroughly off balance. Then opportunity presented itself. The assistant friend announced she had to go to bed. The beauty decided to stay.
In truth I should have been going to bed too, but under the circumstances, wasn’t entirely sure I could stand without doing damage.
We continued the small talk, and I was breathing easier without others in on the conversation.
I was impressed. She knew how to talk. She had things to talk about. While I was upset with myself for talking like a moron, I took some solace in the fact that I hadn’t talked like an asshole.
I finally got the courage to suggest it was time we both got some sleep. I did not want to part, but we quiet men sometimes realize that life sometimes requires commitments that interfere with pleasure.
We walked to the elevator together. On it I asked her to dinner the next night. It was a no-lose gamble. If she said “no”, I wouldn’t be seeing her ever again anyway. I expected that answer as she had her assistant with her, and I guessed it was clear that the invitation did not include her.
To my surprise, she smiled and agreed. I ended the evening asking her if she’d now tell me who she was or what her name was. She giggled as she got off the elevator and said meet me by the lounge at 7.
So there I was with an apparent date for the next evening with someone who I was supposed to know, but didn’t, and whose name I had no idea.
I went back to my room.
The message light was flashing on the telephone. beşyol escort I retrieved it. It went something like this: “hahahahahahahahaha”. It was Bill.
I woke up the next morning with a mild headache and took on the task of convincing myself that she wouldn’t show. It was an all day task.
At 7:10 in the evening I figured I was right. I wasn’t.
Shortly after, her assistant came down and came over to me and told me she’d be down soon. I offered to by her a drink, and she declined. I pleaded, telling her I need to get some information out of her. She laughed and left.
The beauty made it down by 7:30. Her style of dress had me revising my guess of her age downward. Her clothes were expensive, but blatantly sexy. There’s no need for the details.
For so many reasons, I wanted to impress her. I was perhaps 10 or more years older than her. And I certainly couldn’t appear in any magazines. My only consolation was that last evening’s conversation proved she was more than just eye candy.
I had the concierge call the restaurant I had chosen – Italian Village (2nd floor) – to make a quick reservation. We’d be there in 20 minutes. I had him take my car out of the garage too. I almost always take taxis in Chicago, and I don’t always have my car there. But I admit I wanted to impress that evening, and a taxi didn’t compare.
We ate. We got along well. I wondered to myself how she could be so thin but consume so much food. Occasionally, I’d think about how old she was and made a revised guess of 26.
She said she really liked the fact that this was the first time she was out with a guy who didn’t know her. She thought it was “great” that I didn’t know her name.
I told her that I felt like an idiot. She made some smart alec comment about how it was good for men to know their place.
She conversed as a woman who was young, but also very bright. She carried herself off better than I. I, too often, would lose my train of thought as I looked at her.
Everything that evening was delicious.
We returned to the hotel. I walked her to her room. She was sharing it – a suite – with her assistant. We kissed outside the door. She told me she was an actress, asked me if we were on for tomorrow (I nodded) and then left me standing in the hall.
When I recovered I made my way to my room.
I had no idea who she was, but her previous comments made a little more sense.
I see my share of movies and plays but I was fairly certain I’d seen nothing of her work. It was a little infuriating.
The next day was busy for me – it was compounded by having to fill Bill in on the details. We left it on that “I owe him one”. I could see his point of view.
We met again at 7:30. Her look was more serious and her dress was more conservative. She asked if we could go somewhere to talk – somewhere more private. We agreed on my room.
She said she wanted to come clean. She had enjoyed my company very much and wanted to fill me in so that I could decide if I wanted to continue the evening with or without her.
I tried to interrupt, telling her that I had been wracking my brains trying to find out more about her. I told her that I doubted there was anything she could say that would change my mind about having dinner with her – after all, its not like she’d done anything wrong to me – I didn’t even know her name.
She beykent escort told me it was “C.” I asked her if she really was an actress and she said she was.
I still didn’t know of her. The name gave me nothing. At the back of my mind I figured that she probably had had a bunch of small roles in the kind of films I’m not interested in.
Still, this conversation was troubling.
Then she laid down the bombshell: “I do porn films.” “I wanted you to know”. “Would you like me to leave?”
Breathing excersises failed. I said “no”. We went to a nice upscale bistro. We were both pretty subdued. I admit I was somewhat in denial.
Half way through dinner, I excused my self to go to the washroom. I felt that I hadn’t reacted well. I felt ashamed. I was dealing with another human being here. She had laid herself bare. It had been difficult for her.
I would have laughed if anyone had called me a “prude”. Now I felt prudish. Add irritated to ashamed.
My position on pornography wasn’t too complicated – some of it was demeaning to women, some of it not. The not demeaning pornography I had no problem with, even if it weren’t how I got my thrills.
What right did I have to think any less of her for it?
I went back out sat down and apologized for taking a while to react to her story. I told her I liked her, I enjoyed her company, and that she was the most stunningly attractive woman I’d ever seen in person.
We talked a lot. We talked about her industry. Apparently, she wasn’t just in a few porno flicks – she was considered one of the “brightest up-and coming (so to speak)” stars.
She was in the windy city because of a “porn” convention in the suburbs. At other times in the day, she was at various “adult” video stores signing autographs (I still can’t imagine who would be in that kind of line up!). And she had to find 2 hours in the day to spend in a gym doing yoga exercises and working out.
She earned more than I did – or do and I, frankly, do quite well. I had wondered why it was possible to talk about the stock market with her. Now I knew. She was invested.
She “belonged to a stable” of other “stars”, that apparently had the highest ranking in the porn industry. She made 4 to 8 films a year. Promotional appearances paid very well.
Her business meant she travelled. She’d been throughout Europe, some of it for work.
The rest of her life generally sucked. Men who knew what she did for a living wanted her in the hopes that life could resemble her movies. She didn’t get to meet other men. The last person she was sexually involved with was in her industry – and it was a woman. It didn’t last long.
She told me her real age – 22. That struck me. I had that “you have seen far too much life to be 22” feeling. I didn’t particularly like having that feeling.
She wasn’t talking to her parents – correction – they weren’t talking to her.
We got the conversation over with. We moved on to other, lighter topics like politics. Never thought I’d think of politics as a lighter topic.
We went back to the hotel.
Starting that night and for the next 20 months we had something of a relationship. We lived in different places, but had sufficient funds to travel to spend time together.
I know you are expecting the details of that night but I’ll leave it to your imagination. Much happened. But I should remind you, I’m no porn star, and with good reason.
Ironically and coincidentally, it ended when she left the business. She had been planning to go “legitimate”. I saw her once since on television in a music video for some guy who was better at gyrating than singing. She was gyrating too. I guess this is what going “legitimate” means.
She was a decent sort. I think of her often.