It’s Saturday. I’m off from all of my jobs on Saturdays. Unless I’m not hanging with friends or doing something with daughter or family, I’m off. Trish works at the salon every Saturday. She was relatively new to the job back then.
I’m home just doing some writing, and my phone rings. It’s Trish at the salon. She never calls me when she’s working. If there is a problem she would call Achilles. I answer and ask her what’s going on.
“There is a guy in bed #9 and he’s not coming out.”
“What do you mean, he’s not coming out?”
“He’s been in there for like a half hour. I don’t know what to do.”
“Did you knock on the door?
“Did you call his name?”
“Yes. No one is answering. What if he’s dead?”
“I’m coming down there right now.”
I get dressed and jump in a cab. Of course traffic is snarled as usual. I probably could have walked faster than the cab was moving. I finally get there and run up the steps to the salon. I talk briefly to Trish and then head back to room #9. I was really worried at this point. I know people have fallen asleep in the beds before, normally once the bed cools down they awaken. One guy woke up after his phone fell out of his hand, and hit the floor.
The guy had been in there for over forty-five minutes by now. Normally it’s a ten minute session in that bed. I knock on the door. Nothing. I say the gentleman’s name that’s in there. Nothing. I use a special key to slowly open the door. I am concerned about just lifting the hood of the bed. So I walk down to the foot of the machine, and peek down the cylinder. Inside, there is a fit, tan, young man in a little speedo. I’m grateful for that speedo because I really didn’t want to see anything else in there. He appears to be breathing.
I gently lift the lid of this large, powerful sun bed. I reach out and touch him on the shoulder and say his name. He awakens with a start. Wide eyed and disoriented.
“You’re okay.” I say softly, “You just fell asleep. You’re okay. Take your time.” He sits up on the edge of the bed. He looks groggy.
“How long was I asleep?”
“Forty five minutes.”
“Oh my God…”
I quietly back out of the room and close the door.
Within a few minutes, he scampered out the door, and down the steps. He must have been mortified, poor thing. He stayed away for about a month out of sheer embarrassment. But he’s been back in since then, and has managed to stay awake for every session.
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