A tired man, a hot humid tropical hotel bar, a mysteriously detached woman, and a hot richly appointed elevator come together.
It was late and I was tired, but having just arrived from Jakarta after a long and dreary flight, I needed some change of scene before turning in.
The hotel bar was nearly empty. Even in a city like this one, full of exotic people brimming with sensual attraction in their sleek and colorful fashionista dominated culture... even here, things closed down by 4:30 AM. Except for me, that is... and her.
She never shifted her pose, never looked my way, never spoke a word, never did anything other than blow slowly rising smoke rings and sip her drink. She looked as though she was a thousand miles away and still climbing. She looked as though her world was sufficient unto itself.
Tired and bored when I had come into the bar, now I was fascinated; though I made every effort to keep from showing it. Still, it was more than clear, this was a woman who knew she'd be noticed wherever she went. She was familiar with being seen, noticed... even watched. She appeared to be of both Asian and Western European descent, with perhaps a touch of Native American as well. Slender, clearly very fit but without that overdone muscularity that so many girls work toward in the gym. About twenty-six I would guess.
Her body moved with a kind of efficiency I had rarely seen; almost as though each cell knew it's function in any movement she desired to make, and responded perfectly; neither more nor less than needed. This resulted in a graceful, almost stylized presentation. Only once did she falter... or was it... more likely... purposeful.
I enjoyed her one enjoys a work of art. Beauty, grace, and a clear and heavy eroticism dwelled within and oozed out of her. My reaction was surprisingly non-sexual. A slap in the face and a beer would, no doubt, have awakened that part of me, no doubt. No man could see this woman and have no sexual thoughts at all. But mine were muted in the lazy haze of fatigue I felt, the slow movement of the ceiling fan, the quiet work of the girl behind the bar, as this silent self contained woman danced her dance.
As for the "faltering" It was just an instant, so slight as to leave me wondering if I had even seen it correctly; but when I told the girl behind the bar that I was ready to go, and tossed a fifty on the bar while standing up to leave... she moved. It was a departure from the totally unconnected way she had been until that moment. She appeared to shift, ever so slightly, toward me... and to twist her upper body around in a way that emphasized the cleave between her ripe breasts. The image was there. And then it was gone. She was detached and in her own world again.
Without thought, I stopped and just looked at her. Maybe half a minute.. just looking. It was so quiet that the hum of the fan above us, pushing the humid air past our warm damp skin, dominated the senses. The bar maid didn't move. Even having seen the million near encounters she had witnessed from behind the bar, she was spellbound by the tension of those thirty seconds. Looking back on it now, I think we all were.
I turned and walkied from the bar; across the marble floors below crystal chandeliers that hung twenty feet above, to the elevator.
Like so many aspects of this place, the elevator was a powerful combination of modern design and old world lavish tradition. As the crisp clean brushed aluminum doors opened I could glimpse the deep tones of the mahogancy covered walls inside, adorned by a brass holding rail on all three sides.. hip high. Before even entering, I knew that the silence inside would be even more complete than it already had been in the bar.
I stepped in, touched the button for the penthouse, then the code that allowed access to that floor, and lazily leaned back agains the side wall. The doors moved slowly in closing. Everything here seemed to move that way. Lanquid. Flowing.
As the gap between the doors narrowed to a slit, and the atmosphere in this small space began to take on its own unique flavor... long smooth fingers slid between the massive doors. They stopped moving. For an instant, everything stopped moving.
I knew it was her.
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