tagGroup SexRoad Trip Pt. 03

Road Trip Pt. 03


... continuing from Part 02 ...

Chapter 12


Just north of the Ohio-Michigan border is the Coldwater Lake State Park, an undeveloped piece of land with a few trails on a modest size lake. I'd set this as my travel goal because I left Greenville, Ohio, so late in the morning. I pulled into the small park, and took advantage of the fact that my motorcycle could follow a well-trod foot trail to get to a better campsite than those along the road through the park. I setup camp beside the lake, and had an easy dinner from some of my supplies.

After dinner, I meditated for an hour, trying to cleanse my mind of all my confused thinking and the nearly unanswerable questions rolling around in my head. My focus dwelled on the sounds in the park as my eyes glazed over in my elevated state - birds, insects, the leaves in the rustling wind, the water lapping at the shore, and even a jet high overhead.

When I'd finished meditating, I reflected on all the crazy things going on in my head: Karen's secrets, falling in love with multiple women, the near overload of sex I'd been enjoying, my guilt about my grief fading, my incestuous thoughts about my sister, the feeling of angst over what I felt were changes to my fundamental values around relationships and sex, and my newfound fascination with group sex. There were more, and I let them all scramble my brain for a few minutes, not reaching any conclusion other than I could stew about them all day. Instead, I decided to focus on 'gratitude.' I started to list some of the big things I could be grateful for.

I started with Karen's death - it had been painless for her, just a slow erosion of her strength and life; there are many worse ways to go. I thought of all our friends and their outpouring of condolences to me and the rest of her family who attended the memorial service we held. There was much love expressed in those tragic moments.

I thanked the Universe for Anna for staying with me after Karen's passing to be sure I could function. My gratitude also went to her idea to ride the motorcycle across the country. I thought of my father, and the joy he briefly had with the Harley Davidson motorcycle before he died; I thanked the Universe for the skills I had to renovate his bike after the years of neglect. I thanked my mother for always being there for me when I was growing up.

I moved on in my thanks to Lauren and the outpouring of love and passion she shared with me. I discovered how in tune the two of us had been for the entire time I'd known her sister. Lauren launched me into my trip with an open and willing mind for new relationships. Each time I saw Lauren I was struck by her appearance; she looked so much like my late wife. Increasingly, I found the memories easier to deal with.

I expressed my thanks for the friends I'd found in the Circle of Love in Pennsylvania, particularly June - one of the women in the Circle that took me under her wing and who became one of my lovers with the other two women in the Circle. She also introduced me to her sister Kim who became my confidant, mentor, and lover.

I thanked the forces in the Universe for having me in the right place at the right time to rescue a farmer from burning barn, and some young children in a tough situation as their small boat drifted far from shore. I felt fortunate to abort a rape by four men against a pretty woman in Alabama.

I expressed my thanks for the help and affection by Attorney Lacie Landers and her daughter Lindy in Louisiana, and then Pat Peyton at her diner in Arkansas. I felt accomplishment in helping the police stop a rash of robberies there too.

My expression of thanks and my enthusiasm grew as I remembered the synchronicity of events leading me to Crystal and into country music in a way I couldn't have dreamed, and then how we extended the love we shared to her sister. I felt glad that I could provide some entertainment for so many people though my music and concerts, hoping that I might lighten the load of someone grieving in the way I had been for months.

Lastly, I thanked the cosmos for Summer - the wife of a long-time friend, and sometime, months from now, the mother of our child. I had left her bed only hours earlier, and in my mind I was sure, as she was, that we'd succeeded in our goal of insemination. Maybe this would be the child Karen and I would have had if she'd lived, manifesting in another way. Thank you Universe!

I prayed, not for salvation or for some 'thing,' but for guidance and willingness to follow the path the Universe revealed to me each day. When I finished, darkness had fully enclosed the park and my campsite. Only my small fire lighted the surrounding area, one small light in the darkness. I hoped I gave a thousand fold as much light to the women I had encountered and loved along my travels. They were slowly transforming me.

My focus on the many things I had to be grateful for helped ease my continuing sorrow for Karen's loss and clear my befuddled mind sufficiently so I could sleep. I would deal with my questions at another time.

* * * * *

I emailed Pete Krakowski. In a day or so I expected to drop in on him on Mackinac Island - a small tourist island between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan.

I took a pretty straight shot north, right up the middle of the Lower Michigan Peninsula, varying east or west slightly to stay off the Interstate highways. Gradually, the scene shifted from mostly industrial and residential, to more agricultural, and then to sections of dense forest. The further north I went, the narrower and less maintained the roads were. I felt as though I were fleeing civilization.

I pulled into Mackinaw City about four o'clock. My only stops had been for gasoline and lunch. I found the Star Line Ferry, and booked a seat on the boat. The pretty clerk told me where I could safely leave my motorcycle and rent a locker for my gear. An hour later, on foot, I walked aboard the Joliet - a ferry resembling a sleek looking luxury yacht. I carried my saddlebags from the motorcycle that hooked together to make a passable backpack. About a hundred other passengers boarded with me. Exactly at five o'clock, the boat pulled away from the dock and soon skated across the lake leaving a high plumb of water behind the hydro-jet ferry. Not too far away, the Mackinaw Bridge spanned the water between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron connecting the two parts of the state. The ferry trip to Mackinac Island took only a few minutes.

The resort town on Mackinac Island is small, with most of the town within a short walk of the ferry dock. No automobiles or motorcycles are allowed on the island. I got my bearings and walked along the narrow pedestrian street to the Mackinac Inn and Spa. This was the place my friend Pete Krakowski managed and partly owned with his family.

At the front desk, a pert and efficient young woman informed me that Peter had reserved a top-of-the-line room for me. She also handed me a note in an envelope; I opened it and read: "Welcome - Meet me in the bar at six. Dress code requires a jacket and tie - left them in your room. Ciao. Pete." I maneuvered up two floors and out to the end of one wing. The room was spectacular - a king-size bed, pleasant sitting area, and a view over the Main Street and harbor that seemed unparalleled. I felt well treated by my friend.

Pete had left a blue blazer and rep tie on the bed. I chuckled, because he assumed I had an adequate shirt. It was only because of Crystal and our entertaining that I did have a nice western-style shirt, although it had been well crushed in my backpack. A search of the room revealed an ironing board and iron; one problem solved. I had to assume blue jeans would be passable, along with my new western boots.

I shaved, showered, dressed, and decided I looked natty as I checked myself in a large mirror on my way out the door. I did notice I'd started to look more like a raccoon from wearing my sunglasses so much in the sun; plus I had a helmet line across my forehead. On the other hand, I had a deep tan and more of a ruddy complexion than I'd had with the pasty tones left by the previous winter in New England and my desk job.

I got noticed as I sauntered into the hotel bar. I'm not sure all the male heads turned in my direction, but I was certain that every female head did - teenager to a grand dame seated in the one chair in the room resembling a throne, her doting family around her. Several women smiled and nodded in my direction; I nodded back with a smile. I made a mental note to myself to dress this way more often.

I heard a shout from behind the bar, "Jim. Jim, down here. I saved a seat for you."

Pete came out from behind the bar, and we did the mandatory backslapping and shoulder buffs that old male friends do when they haven't seen each other for several years. Pete and I had been fraternity brothers together in Delta Tau Delta on the University of Delaware campus.

Pete explained he was tending the bar to make up for an unexpected absence of an employee. He ran down some of the stats about the Inn: ninety-six suites or rooms, full dining room doing three meals a day for near eight hundred meals a day, full service bar, pool, full spa, and about one hundred fifty employees - a mix of part-time and full-time. He explained about the short season from Memorial Day to the middle of October, just after the colorful foliage had fled the trees - it was then the whole island closed down. In the winter, a caretaker or two ensured security of the buildings; however, the only visitors were the intrepid snowmobilers that visited the island by coming across the frozen water.

Pete expressed his condolences again over Karen's death, and then we moved on to more pleasant topics. He had seen the issue of People magazine with Crystal and my picture on the cover, so that became a major topic of conversation. He saw several people in the large lounge keep looking in my direction; and thought that I'd been recognized as a celebrity. Personally, I didn't think people recognized me as a celebrity. I thought it was more that I stood out from the others with my deep tan and rugged appearance, and the mix of the jacket and tie with the boots and jeans.

As we talked, Pete offered me dinner at the bar. He joined me in a small steak and Caesar salad. Along with the wine, this proved to be the perfect dinner. Pete kept working the bar, but as the dinner hour passed, things slowed down, and we could talk with fewer interruptions. Many of the staff would rush in, toss a question at him, get an answer, and fly away. He seemed to know everything going on in the inn.

During a lull in activity, I asked, "Are you having fun?"

He laughed and said, "Hell, yes. I wouldn't trade what I'm doing for anything. This hits me right where I live - constant change, challenge every minute, problems calling for fast creative solutions, beautiful people from all walks of life - working here or as guests, an opportunity to improve my leadership skills, and good money. Now and then I even get to apply my skills as the resident psychologist when some interpersonal problem arises. The rest of the year, I teach at a small college down the peninsula, and do the planning and logistics to keep this place running."

Pete got me talking about my cross-country trip, where I'd been and where I might go in the remaining states. Eventually, we got around to women, and I allowed him to slowly pull from me some of the events and liaisons of the past couple of months. As a bachelor, Pete looked in amazement at me; "You're my new idol, not because you can sing, but because you've laid about every woman from Vermont to Florida, and back up here to Michigan." He paused, with a grin, and added, "Oh, wait! You haven't gotten laid in Michigan yet ... well, we'll have to see what we can do about that." We laughed and jested at each other for another hour or so.

I yawned a few times as the evening slid by; apparently my posture also started to sag. I'd been up a good part of the night two nights ago making love with Summer and had risen early for my ride to the Island. Pete finally observed, "Jim, you are falling asleep in your cups. Why don't you turn in? I'll be working the front desk tomorrow morning, so find me there. I'm about ready to close up here; if you haven't noticed, business falls off rapidly after nine o'clock."

I nodded at his wisdom, and slid out of the bar, up to my room, and found the bed all too comfortable. I slept like a baby.

* * * * *

In the morning, I woke up before most of the small town. I took a brisk walk, stopping by the pretty harbor and letting a small envelope of Karen's ashes empty into the waters of the lake. I meditated along the shore as the sun started to break above some of the trees in the distance. Sometimes, during or immediately after a meditation, I sensed messages left for me by the Universe ... or maybe Karen. Today, I got a couple of messages: exercise, be more open, offer help and friendship, and don't forget past friends. As I walked back to the hotel, I analyzed each 'message,' and thought about what it meant. I developed a 'to do' list based on my thoughts.

At the hotel, I found the exercise room. I did a workout, but again carefully stretched or compressed my left side where the bullet wound still healed. I did weights and Nautilus, a chance to really workout some of the specific muscles that had been dormant for a few weeks.

I went back to the room, showered and dressed in casual clothes, and then set off to eat and find Pete. A pretty young waitress served me in the dining room. I could tell she recognized me, and finally she asked, "Are you Jim Mellon ... the country singer?"

I shook my head, laughed, and said, "People tell me I look like him all the time, especially since he appeared on the cover of People magazine."

"Oh!" she exclaimed with a smile but a hint of disappointment in her voice. Her name tag said, 'Julia.'

I said, "Julia, let's have some fun. Don't tell anyone you think I'm that Jim guy, but you can call me by that name when no one else is around. OK? I think I might enjoy it too." I gave her a conspiratorial grin.

She managed a big smile: "That'd be fun. I can pretend I'm waiting on the famous singer, and you really do look like him. I like to play games anyway so this'll be fun."

I thought this could get interesting. She never asked for my real name, and I didn't volunteer.

Julia went back to waitressing, but with a new friend - 'Jim.' After I'd eaten, I scribbled my name and room number on the chit along with a big tip. The message I'd received during my meditation that morning said to be 'open' so by giving Julia my room number I was be open and hopeful. I smiled to myself.

Pete was in the final stages of checking out a young couple with a four-year old. All seemed to go well, and I could hear the adults promising to come back next year about this time. In Pete's business, I knew repeat customers were important.

Pete saw me approaching the desk as the family left. "Oh, man, am I glad to see you."

I said hello, and raised a brow to respond to his statement.

Pete said, "I've had a couple of no-shows by staff today, including my trainer. Do you think you could bluff your way through a day as a trainer and masseur? I'll pay you!"

I suggested he tell me a little more, and Pete launched into a crisp description of the duties. The trainer would coach an individual customer or family through some exercises and make suggestions for what they might continue later. The masseur gave massages that were booked by the front desk. There was a special massage room near the pool and spa, and some of the massages were given in a guest's room on a portable table that I'd have to lug up there and use, then fold up and return to the spa.

I recalled in happy detail the massage I'd gotten at the spa near Kim's home in Florida. If I could replicate that for someone, I knew they would leave a happy customer. As for being a trainer, I still recalled the physical fitness regime I'd gone through as part of the Special Ops team for almost eight years. I warned Pete of my limitation beyond these experiences.

Pete said, "Just make it up as you go along, and if you act as though you know what you're doing, no one will know you aren't the real McCoy." He waved a key under my nose, "This is the key to the spa to use outside posted hours. You'll find the massage table down there, as well as some sport shorts and a collection of sneakers and shirts with the Inn's logo on them." He checked a separate ledger book, and came back to me, "Your first appointment is at eleven; a couple needs a trainer. You also have appointments for massages at one, three, four, and five o'clock. Sometimes I get a request for an after-dinner session too. Check back with me later this afternoon about that time slot. You're a life saver."

I found the spa, suited up in the official Inn training outfit, found the massage table, and some oils, and had time to think about what a trainer might do with a couple wanting to get in shape on a short vacation.

Norm and Vilma Ketso came into the spa a few minutes before eleven. I rose and greeted them. We talked for a few minutes about their training goals and what they hoped might come out of my session with them. I had each of them do some squats, lunges, push-ups, tilts, and turns, to sense their agility and current state. Both were seriously overweight and out of shape.

An hour later, the Ketsos left the spa exercise room sweating profusely, and probably sore. Both commended my 'toughen up' attitude with each of them, and they promised they'd stick with the program I suggested for them after they left the island. The program followed some of the Army's basic training.

Pete and I had lunch together. Julia waited on us, and we gave each other knowing glances. Pete saw the subtle interaction and said, "You've already had a piece of that haven't you?" He sat back, as though in utter disgust. However, he was laughing at the possibility.

I politely said, "A gentlemen never tells, but in this case I assure you that your staff's virginity remains in tact - barely. I almost took her on the breakfast table this morning, but she worried what the other guests in the dining room might think of her." Pete smiled. I followed Julia's trim body towards the kitchen; she deserved special attention.

We went over my afternoon schedule. The four o'clock had cancelled while I'd been with the Ketsos. During our discussion, I learned that all my afternoon customers were women ... and, according to Pete, damn fine looking ones too. He'd also booked me for one evening massage in a guest's room. His final words to me were, "Well, since you don't work here I can't fire you, but try to leave the reputation of the Inn unsullied as you slave away on those luscious female bodies all afternoon."

* * * * *

Pam Saunders from Chicago was my one o'clock. She arrived in the spa, and my jaw dropped open - she was drop-dead gorgeous; about my age, she wore a short tennis skirt that accentuated her long shapely legs, and a matching top that snugly revealed significant breasts. I suggested she make herself comfortable in whatever she would like to wear while I worked on her, and then lay on the table. I told her I'd excuse myself for a few minutes while she undressed; I gave her two towels to use as a cover ups. I felt a surge of lust and resolved to control my emotion during her massage.

I left the room to get the warm oils and lotion. When I came back Pam was lying on her stomach on the table with her head in a 'doughnut.' A small white towel had been delicately arranged over her butt, yet I could immediately tell that she was naked. Why had I ever gotten into computers when I could have been giving massages to women like this?

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