I could hear her before I saw her....
The sound of her high heeled clogs, the laughter only a few martinis can bring, and the beckoning call for retreat from the others.
Up til this moment I had been enjoying myself in the resort, of which we lived, frolicking about in my tube top bathing suit with not a care in the world.
Taking turns with the tourists from all over the country, showing our skills in cannonball art and bathing suit retrieval. My brother's were the Kings of the Cannonball and the occasional backwards gainers taking the time to show the tourists how cool the locals really were. I, on the other hand, was a champion of bathing suit retrieval and tears. At the age of 10 I had not quite learned the art of the tie around the neck swimsuits...I enjoyed the sleek 1970's beauty of the tube top. This proved to be one of the subjects of great fodder for my new friends and brothers alike.
Little was I to know that I was soon to be a subject of greater fodder which would haunt me for the rest of my life.
We were all toasty brown, with chlorine greened hair. I lived on a diet of Shasta and bar pretzels, which were always put on room 113's tab, a little trick my older brother's taught me.
We were on our own...except for Fridays. FRIDAYS...the dreaded Fridays when the parental forces would come off the golf course and hit the "Sandollar Lounge", dressed in their finest resort wear to "tie one on". They hardly ever even acknowledged us, except when they realized it was edging close to dinner time. Then as if magic tiny white plates of "Happy Hour" food would land at the pool side table for my brothers and me.
It couldn't get much better than this. Utopia.
The sun would duck down over the 6 stories of the Resort and the pool lights would brighten the deepest parts of the pool. The deck was aglow with summer.
Marco? Polo!!!! Marco...."hey, you can't get outta the pool!!!!" Polo!!!!
The music of Wings and songs of Pina Coladas would flow from the bar as did the laughter. Occasionally, we would peek through the poolside windows and see our parents dancing with other unknown parents, enjoying their cigarets and martinis, smiling....you know, "cutting a rug".
I was as free as the night was long. Pretending I was from a mansion across the golfcourse, dripping with money only resort living could bring. Not a care in the world.
Like I said, I heard it before I saw it. The crazy laughter...the adults laughing, then my brothers saying something to the effect of
Someone laughing, "That's our Gloria!!!" as the poolside double doors swung open.
The kids of all ages gasped as she stood in her sequined pants suit on the white of the resort deck. Cocktail in hand, music flowing outside, the clippity clop of her high heels. She was stunning. She was, at that moment the magic she thought she was, and the horror I knew she could be.
My brothers yelled and whistled....
Tourist kids clung to the side of the pool, eyes like saucers...
"is this resort life?" zipping through their teenage minds.
clippity clop clippity clop...
She was on the diving board before I could escape. Sequins shining in the spotlight. The pool was her stage.
The girl dog-paddling next to me says, "Is that your Mamma?"
The tube top seemed so far away at that point, the fact the teen boys had seen my nippies was nothing anymore.
Before I could udder a lie, I hear the yell and the flash of the red sequins , "Cannonball!!!!!"
Wig bobbing in the deep end like a refuge. A teen age boy holding a retrieved martini glass from the bottom of the 12 feet of resort pool, and my mom, sequined and backstroking across the water, laughing, laughing and laughing.
"How was that boys?"
My nippies seemed so trivial now.
Tomorrow I will ask for a one piece.