Sunday, June 22, 2003

A Man for all Treasons: Part Two

Wartime advantage or no, I immediately made haste to apologize for a variety of personal shortcomings my date--we will call her Maureen--would doubtless recognize in the coming hours. My sunglasses, for instance, were far too stylish, and I feared being mistaken for someone too eager to make a good impression. My pants, as I have already made mention, were a kind of elaborate rag suspended from my hips which I had hoped to conceal as best I could with my large hat; but I soon realized this strategy worked best in a seated position that I could not easily reproduce while walking. I apologized for my vulnerability to the sun and my constant consumption of water and hourly lavatory constraints. Mercy on Maureen, was woman before ever so be-pelted with regrets! "Stop doing that, will you?" she finally told me. "You're fine."

For some time we walked about the city, avoiding a variety of topics, and making our way to the Hudson Hotel (pronounced "Hudson Hotel"--the article is silent). The reader may well question the wisdom in booking a hotel room on the first date, and I must confess a certain degree of trepidation regarding the matter myself. But soon I felt very selfish indeed: if soldiers can so bravely answer the call of war then surely I too can be-bed unfamiliar females. I considered the bravest souls of Operation Iraqi Freedom--anyone under attack from the US military--and decided that I had it easy. And besides, Maureen had a crazy discount.

Suffice it to say I have never experienced a hotel so uniquely odd and ostentatiously expensive as Hudson Hotel. Maureen had to assure me that I would not be forcibly removed from the establishment at a moments notice, so convinced was I to be tromping beyond the privileges of my caste. "Just make sure they know you're with me," she explained. But this proved difficult even for Maureen: when consulting a front desk co-worker about checking in, so untenable was the premise that she had reserved a room for me in her name that the general manager, a large German, was summoned to sort out the whole mess.