Visiting Heinrich (Margo Brings a Poinsettia & Hides in Bathroom)

      I was at the hotel in time for check-in.   The hotel was notable because it is the only 4-star hotel in Manhattan in which I have not had professional BDSM sessions, crazy dates, or marathons of violent sex with my ex, the Surgeon.  I love hotels, absolutely love them, but for me, the hotels of New York are haunted with emotional memories and the ghosts of sessions past.  I could tile my bathroom floor with the hotel keys I’ve collected over the years.  If there is a hell, and it’s like the one in Dante’s Inferno, I’ll be lugging a clanking 25-lb bag of BDSM gear through endless hotel corridors in a pair of skyscraper stilettos.

       Checking in was a different experience because it was the first time in a LONG time that I didn’t feel like I had a blinking neon sign above my head saying SEX WORKER or HOME-WRECKING WHORE (protip to any sex worker or sleazy adulterer reading this: after a modest and conservative business suit, the best thing to wear when checking in is a pair of hospital scrubs.
Mention you want an isolated room because you’re working on call or on rotation.  Wear a pair of crocs if you got em.  Hotel staff will give you a credibility pass.).  

           Anyway…where was I?  I checked in.  The room was large by NYC standards.  It had a couch and a table (the furniture was beautiful but not conducive to BDSM rigging…it’s The London in Manhattan if you want to look it up).  I would be able to have friends visit me there if my time with Heinrich didn’t go well. 

        I texted Heinrich to let him know I was in the room.  I took a photo of the view out the window and sent it to him.  He called me back and we agreed to meet at his place at 6 pm.  He sounded pleasant and calm on the telephone.  He did not sound nervous.  I was nervous, but tried not to show it.  He said that if I was hungry from the long flight, we could go get something to eat. 

        Dinner in public sounded fine to me.  Neutral ground.  People usually mind their manners in public. Lack of privacy forbids certain topics of discussion. If the meeting goes bad, you know that an end is in sight with the check.  If you’re a girl, you can escape to the bathroom to cry or text your girlfriends or throw up your dinner or just run out the back door, all of which I have done many, many times in my life.  

          I took a bath in the big bathtub.  I washed my hair and shaved and then put on lotion.  I did not know what to wear.  What do you wear?  It wasn’t a date.  Was it?  This is a problem.  If you wear the lacy thong underwear, you are admitting that you expect to get laid. Or at least that you expect someone to see it.  But if the date is bad and nothing happens, then you will feel like a chump when you take it off later that night, alone, all alone! 

        I wore a blue woolen dress that was tight but didn’t show skin.  That way if things became excruciating, I would not be sitting there with cleavage.  Working in the sex industry (lots of risque clothing and outrageous costumes) and as a figure model has left me very un-selfconscious (sp?) about modesty, but it is never pleasant to be under-dressed in the presence of a hostile heterosexual male.  

       I curled my hair pretty and did my makeup.  I was listening to NPR in the background because I didn’t want any shit that was going to make me emotional.  I charged my phone and cleaned out my handbag, locking most of my stuff in the hotel room safe. 

        Then I left the hotel and took the F train to Brooklyn.   I stopped at a corner grocery along the way and bought Heinrich a poinsettia.  Because it was the Holidays, and because it’s rude to show up without a gift.  

                           *                             *                             * 

           It was dark and fucking freezing when I got to his place.  I was a little anxious, I admit it.  I was thinking that we were going to go to dinner and catch up and act all friendly, and Pretend as if the Infamous Friend-Zone Meltdown Had Never Happened, and it would be weird, but not awful.  Or maybe we could put off Discussing Important Things for a few hours.  Or something.  Worst-case scenario: he makes some grand romantic gesture that turns out to be totally humiliating for both of us….possible, but very unlikely, as we are both too old and wise.  

        (The other worst-case scenario, lurking uneasily in the back of my mind: he has too much to drink, corners me when we’re alone, and lectures me about what a bitch I am for leading him or and/or hurting his feelings.  Almost every woman I know has been dressed down for rejecting a man, even if that rejection was unintentional or happened only in his imagination.  I did not think that Heinrich would do this, because it’s a weak, petulant, and immature behavior, and I don’t know Heinrich to be any of those things.  But I was also telling myself that maybe I didn’t know him as well as I thought I did.  Right?)

           So, yeah, I was nervous when I rang the bell.

           He opened the door and I gave a big, cheerful smile and held up the poinsettia:  “Heinrich!  Happy New Year!”

          “Margo.  You are here.  Please come in.”

          Uh-oh, I thought.  Dude does not sound happy. 

        Heinrich is a reserved personality.  It’s not like he’s going to open the door and loud rock music from his stereo is going to come out and he’s going to give you a hug and shove a beer in your hand.  But when he’s in a good mood and entertaining, he projects warmth.  I wasn’t seeing that.  I wasn’t even seeing Nice-Smile-Covering-For-Nerves, which is what I had on.

           I walked inside, and he closed the door behind me. 

          “I brought you a poinsettia!” I said, as if it were not completely obvious.  I felt like an idiot.  At the same time, I thought, oh thank God I bought this plant, now I don’t have to decide whether or not I should touch him. 

           “It’s lovely.  Thank you,” he said, and took it from me without looking at it.  I checked out his clothes.  He was wearing gray slacks and a blue shirt.  He didn’t look like he’d dressed up for me, thank God.  He wasn’t wearing jeans, but then, I don’t think that he owns any.  

          He did not have on shoes.  Uh-oh.  We need shoes to go out.

         He asked if he could take my coat. 

          “Do we have time?  What time is the reservation?” I asked.

         “Eight.”  When I first met him, he was new and had a habit of giving the time in military time, like they do over there.  

          Well, hell.  Two hours away.

           I took off my gloves and put them into my coat pockets and took off my coat and scarf.  Heinrich put the plant down on a table and hung up my coat.  He did not compliment me on my dress.  I did not know what to think of that.  

           “Would you like something to drink?”  He sounded serious.  Oh, yes.  The man had something on his mind.  He sounded almost sad.  It reminded me of when T-Rex came in the room with the sad face to give me bad news.  

           “Water!” I said.  

           Then I ran away and hid in the bathroom.

           I stayed in there as long as I could.  I heard him get water out of the fridge.  He has one of those automatic water-filters.  Then I heard him walk past the hallway where the bathroom was, and into his other room, with his desk and the library.   He did not turn on music or anything.  

         I ran the water to make it sound like I was doing something.

         True story: if his bathroom window was big enough, I think I would have opened it and jumped out.

          Instead, all I could do was sit behind the door with my ear to the crack, wondering where he was.

          “Margo?” he called.  Closer to the door, this time.

         “Yes?  What is it?”

         “Do you need anything?”

          “I had something in my contact lens!  I’ll be right out!” I lied.  Then I flushed the toilet that didn’t need flushing and washed my hands.   Then I took out my Visine and put it in my eye so that it would look like I really was messing around with my eyeball.

            Then it was time to face the music.  As it were.

            I walked down the hall and into the library room, where he was standing against his desk.  He has his hands in his pockets.  And he looked Very Serious.

             “So, did you have fun with your friends on New Year’s?”  I asked, with the smile back on my face. 

           “You were hiding from me.”  


3 thoughts on “Visiting Heinrich (Margo Brings a Poinsettia & Hides in Bathroom)”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.