A novel by Karen Lockhart
Copyright© 2018 Karen Lockhart
When my shift was over, I checked the messages on my cell. Jean and I were talking about my move to the main bar on the first floor.
“We can gab in the lounge during breaks, compare tips and eligible guys wearing high heels,” Jean joked.
I said Pete left me a message that seemed important. I thought a moment, and decided, what the heck, I'll tell her.
“I bumped into Pete today as he was leaving a meeting with Logan, I acted like I didn't know him, but Logan took me aside and related what they had talked about.”
“Really, you and Logan are getting pretty friendly these days, be careful,” Jean warned, “His wife is just upstairs you know.”
I leaned over and pinched her arm, “Don't start any rumors you! Just for that, no more information.”
Jean laughed, “Please tell me more, oh please.”
“Since you were so nice, okay. Pete was given access to the new member's photos, and Logan was going to check any new applications for him. If I stayed upstairs I could keep an eye out for Morales also. But just yesterday, Ariana said to me she wished her father could hear her sing.”
Jean nodded, “If he shows, and she recognizes him, I bet she couldn't wait to tell you about it, so you'd know too.”
She dropped me off at about 3 AM, and after a quick shower, I slid into bed. I don't know what felt better, the bed or shucking those 5” heels!
While eating breakfast on Wednesday, I called Pete's cell to find out what he wanted.
“Hello beautiful,” he answered his phone, “Doing anything today?”
“I'm telling Ellen you letch, and you an engaged man!”
“Don't do that Ginny, I'm afraid of her,” he kidded.
“That manager of yours seems like a nice guy; when I listed the things we want Morales for, he offered to look in the membership files and compare photos. There were three with only after photos, I'll look those up if we can, but I was hoping you could keep an eye out too.”
I agreed saying, “Mr Logan took me into his confidence after you left. He explained that Morales was wanted for drug dealing and murder of that poor woman walking her dog. I was right though, the dog walker's death really has him worked up.”
Pete chuckled and acted like Jean when he asked if Kevin knew about him.
If I could have reached out through the phone, I'd pinch him too.
“You're as bad as Jean is, she said almost the same thing last night on the ride home.”
“Oh, before I forget, I've been promoted to the main bar downstairs. From there I can see the entrance as members come in. I won't be where his daughter, yes, his daughter, not his son performs.”
“Congratulations,” Pete said, “Does that mean more money?”
“Pete, I'll be making over $400,000 a year! That is, if I don't take vacation and work 5 days a week. Can you imagine? All that money for tending bar, I feel like a pro athlete getting paid for playing a kids' game.
Pete told me to smile every time I cashed a check. We gabbed about his and Ellen's wedding plans and hung up.
I went to my room and got dressed and put on my war paint. I realized it had been a while since I wasn't dressed like an eighteen year old's wet dream. I'd even gotten used to wearing 4” or higher heels. Well, they did make my legs and bum look better!
It was my turn to drive so I headed across the narrow road to Nahant to pick up Jean. What a view, the Boston skyline on the harbor side, and the ocean all the way to Europe on the other.
There must have been a storm off shore, the ocean side had breaking surf from Swampscott to Nahant that day. Jean got in and remarked on the surf.
“I live in the center of town, but I hear the surf breaking from my condo. Why don't you swing by the cliffs, I'll bet the waves are impressive.”
I did and they were, shooting twenty-five feet into the air and leaving the little bay covered with white snow-like foam.
We arrived a little early, so I followed Jean to her dressing room. I no sooner closed the door than I was paged over the PA to go to the downstairs bar and see Mr Logan.
I gave Jean a quick hug and made my way to the bar. Logan was chatting with the two girls behind the bar, I overheard him say, “Just you watch.” as I walked up behind him.
“Watch what?” I asked.
He smiled, “Ginny, I need a stiff drink, make me a 'boot to the head' please.”
I slid under the waitress station and tossed a few bottles in the air, catching and pouring into a large shot glass 1oz of Drambuie, 1oz of Jack Daniels, and 1oz of white Tequila.
I held up an ice cube and looked at Mr Logan who nodded, so I added ice and delivered the drink with a flourish.
The other bar tenders were amazed, asking where I heard of a 'boot to the head' or whatever it was. Logan laughed, and said he asked me the same thing a week ago.
I fessed up, “I have a fantastic memory. Once or twice a week the Boston newspaper has a drink recipe on the page with outrageous fashion designs. The outfits are so bad you couldn't get a drag queen to wear them for money.”
“That seals it Ginny, on Friday you start down here. I like the way you tossed those bottles in the air too. When you go upstairs say goodbye to Joyce and Janice. I'll advertise for a bartender for up there this week.”
On my way upstairs I met Hiram and Cathy. I told them this was my last night on the second floor bar. They were worried I was fired, but cheered when they found out I was at the downstairs bar, I got a hug from Hiram and a kiss on the cheek from Cathy.
“I guess we'll hang out down there from now on honey, you make the best Cosmo in town.”
As soon as I got my apron on, Joy and Jan grabbed me in a big hug.
“See, we said you were going to the big bar downstairs. Logan loves you.”
“Don't start that guys, have you seen the size of his wife, she's an Amazon. She'll kill me!”
“Hey”, Joy said, “You're being paged, someone's waving at you.”
I turned, and there was Hiram waving away, saying, “Service, why can't I get any service down here?”
I walked down and placed a tall Pabst in front of Cathy and a 'Shirley Temple' in front of Hiram.
“If you act like a child, you get children's drinks, capisch?”
Cathy roared, and slapped Hiram on the back.
“She got you, you old phony, now apologize to the lady.”
I ended my shift, with a tearful goodbye to the girls and headed down stairs to wait for Jean.
Jean greeted me with a big smile and a hug, “How's it feel to make almost half a million dollars a year, cutie?”
I stopped in my tracks as what she said sank in. OMG! She's right! I'll gross almost $450,000 counting my tips.
“What will I do with all that money?”
Jean snickered, “Buy a new car for cash like someone did. Or maybe not buy clothes at Walmart?”
“Is this how much you make Jean?”
“Well, counting my tips at the Club, I make a little more than that.”
After dropping her off, I sat in the car and did the math three more times. I came up with the same numbers. How can a bartender make that much money?
“Well, that changes things when Ellen and Pete marry,” I thought. “I'll make her an offer on the condo. If she accepts, Wendy and I don't move. She gets to sleep in a real bed not a sofa bed.
I had the following two days off, that meant jeans and a sweat shirt, no stockings and heels! I'd shower in the morning, just remove my makeup and brush my hair that night.
I woke Thursday to the smell of sausage and pancakes. I wondered what Wendy wanted.
After showering and slapping on my face, I went into the kitchen to a breakfast served with coffee and squeezed orange juice. I ruffled Wendy's hair complementing her on doing breakfast, and asking if she wanted to do anything special today.
She said her date for her driving license test was next Monday, and could she practice for a while today?
“Why not?” I gave it some thought, “let's go to Gloucester by way of route 127? It's windy and scenic, and maybe there would be leaves still on the trees, reds and yellows, Fall in New England you know.
Wendy wanted to take Jean's Mitsubishi 3000 sports car, but I put my foot down, saying it wasn't covered with the proper insurance. I got my Honda's keys from the dish at the door and handed them to her with a smile.
“If you don't hit anything on the way, I treat you to a lobster in Gloucester, and maybe shopping on the way home.”
That perked Wendy up. As we headed through Salem I asked what she thought of Ellen moving out after marrying Pete.
“Will that mean we have to move too Aunt Ginny? I love where we are so much, can't we stay?”
“Good news, if I stay at the club, I'm going to make her an offer on the condo. You will finally have a bedroom of your own, no more sofa! Now, take this right and follow the water, Gloucester here we come.”
To be continued
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