“Hey, how are you? WE should meet up!”
I’m stunned by her text. (See: Sun Stories – Just Another Sunday at this Fucking Salon)
“I’m doing well! You’re right. It’s been a minute. We should meet up.”
Then I get another text.
“When do you work? Every time I go there now you’re never there. I thought you left.”
Now is not the time to make Kita wait. “I picked up some shifts at a restaurant in Rittenhouse, so I’m only at the salon on Sundays now.”
“Oh cool. I’ll stop in Sunday to tan.”
Wow. I really thought that after what happened, Kita was gone from my life. I figured the pure shame of what occurred would drive her from me forever.
I really didn’t know what was going to happen next. But so far it didn’t sound bad.
I knew I’d have to wait a week until I saw her, if she was going to come in at all.
But knowing Kita, she had to tan. It was her addiction. She’d be in. She’d tan before Sunday just to feed her addiction, but would she follow through with Sunday?
It all seemed surreal. All of the time I’d put in with her as and elder friend and mentor, and the paradox of our dates and romance.
Then the sexual explosion between us. I wanted it, but never in my wildest dreams actually thought that I’d be with little Kita.
But it did happen. There’s no turning back from that. She either shows up Sunday or I never hear from her again and pray for the best for her.
I work the week at the restaurant, and all is well. That’s my life now. That’s my main stream of income. I love working for them and my life is in balance and moving forward.
I’ve given all of my shifts at the salon to Amelia and Skyler. I’ve been reduced to the Sunday guy. 11am to 4pm. An easy shift that yields $200 a month for now.
Sadly, what I once saw as a business opportunity with Achilles has been reduced to me doing everybody a favor by taking the Sunday shift that no one wants.
That’s why I’m out of there. If I can figure out a way to leave the salon forever, I’ll do it. But for now, I’ll hang. I’m not angry at all with Achilles, I just realized that the salon isn’t going anywhere and I need to be out of there.
I’m with a growing company with some really great people, and I’m happy with the way things are unfolding. I chased this new business, and I caught it!
I wanted so much with the salon and Achilles. For two and a half years we could have built something, but in the end it was a loss. Tanning is shrinking in this city, and the gym is an absolute failure.
I cashed out of that and didn’t lose a cent.
I’m happy I made the leap when I did.
The great thing is, working at the salon groomed me to step into this new job and lead effortlessly. I manage the store. The food is free. Tips are flowing along with a great salary. I’ve been asked to do some marketing for them. It’s a growing brand and I couldn’t be more excited to work there.
Everything is better now!
But my time is limited. Now more than ever.
I thought with my schedule changing with the new job, I’d be more available to meet up with friends for happy hour now. (1st time in over 2 years because of my night shifts at the salon) But no. I finish work and want to go home.
I’m done with public life. I’ve been on stage for the last 10 years in my media jobs. Always out, selling and being social. My photo being taken with the hottest girls at the best events.
I’m done with all of that.
It’s boring and a waste of my time and money.
I love being in the ‘industry’ but I love that mine is a simple model. Not a bar. No late nights. No drunks or shitty employees or guests.
Simple hard work and elegance. A decent days work for a good dollar. Just bringing extraordinary client service to whoever comes in the door.
I’m not meant to work in this salon or for Achilles anymore.
I was for a time, but that was to transition me to a better gig. It took me a while to realize that, but I got it. It was meant to be.
I met so many wonderful people along the way.
Amazing girls that were so great to work with. I love them all in different ways. It was sweet moments in my history that can’t be repeated!
But here I am. Still hanging on. Actually phoning it on a Sunday from 11am to 4pm. I play classic hits on the radio and the regular clients know it’s me who’s here. It’s dead this time of year and we maybe get a dozen people rolling through here now.
I stand here at the counter and read other people’s crazy dating stories online just for entertainment.
It’s odd that once you know there’s no future in a job how quickly your mind leaves it.
I do know what needs to be done here but no longer work with the fierce vigilance I once had for something I thought I had a future in.
Now I roll in 15 minutes before we open. I no longer sweep, mop, or take out the trash on Sundays. There just isn’t enough traffic to warrant me to give a shit anymore.
It sucks because I really thought Achilles and I were going to create some sort of business together.
But now I realize it was all careless talk day after day in the salon and nothing will ever change here. But that behavior mirrors his own life and his relationship with his significant other. I feel sorry for her too.
For some reason I can no longer get on wordpress to write or edit my blog at the salon anymore. Part of me feels that Achilles has blocked my access because he’s bitter that I left him for a better gig… but I digress.
The worst part of working any shift in any retail or hospitality job is when people come in at the last-minute when you’re trying to close.
What I just wrote will be agreed upon by everyone I know. I don’t even need to check in with them. We hate it, and hate all of the people who pull that shit.
I deal with the last of the line steppers on this rainy Sunday and pray I can get out of here at a reasonable hour today. Not that it really matters. I’m done at 4pm. It’s still light out here in our fair city. I can still walk around the corner and go to Marathon at 16th and Sansom and have a slammin’ Manhattan and a BBQ chicken sandwich, and just let go of the week.
I’ve served everybody, everyday, all week-long, and it’s nice to have somebody serve me for once. I don’t want anything special in my life. But an exquisite cocktail and a simple sandwich with a coke is pretty sweet by the end of the week.
I load fresh towels in the bathroom, and collect the trash, hoping no one comes in at closing. It happens so much I wish I could unplug the phone for all of these asshole line steppers.
I’m walking back to the front of the salon and I’m about to lock the doors at 3:55 when I see her.
“Sorry I’m late. Do you have time for one more?”
She’s wearing a tight white tank top that clings to her small breasts. She has a matching tennis skirt that showcase her shapely brown legs.
She looks gorgeous.
“Nice to see you, Charles.”
“How are you?
“I’m good. But I had to come and see you.
“But first I need to tan because I feel so pale.” ( She’s as brown as a penny)
“Stand up or lay down?”
“You can go to 3, full-time.”
“What are you doing after this?”
“Umm.. I was going to go around the corner and have a drink.”
“Want some company?”
I looked at her. It took a moment. I needed to flashback to what had happened between us. The anxiety is starting to smolder in my stomach.
It only took about 10 seconds.
“Yea, that’d be great.”
“Cool. I wanna talk to you about some stuff.”
Kita headed to room 3.
“I’ll see you on the other side.”
(Giggles and the door slams)
What am I doing?