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Keyhole Klub

When Junior got down to the lobby he saw that no one was manning the front door.  He scanned the room and found a crowd huddled around the coat room door across the lobby from him.  He saw the backs of his bouncers dressed in their bright red t-shirts with the Keyhole Klub logo on the back.  The lobby was high ceilinged and ornate.  Junior thought it looked like one of those old movie theaters.  The place was dim and mostly empty except for the crowd at the coat room.  Junior heard the massive front door open.  It was one of those old school things with padding and a large keyhole shaped window in it.  The window had a cover on it like an old time speak easy.  The Keyhole Klub was members only and Davey had insisted it be tricked out like a Playboy Club from the sixties with a bar area and separate cabaret rooms done up in Vegas Rat Pack décor.  It had cost a fortune, but the worker bees from the ‘burbs ate it up.  They would come to the club all dressed up in their Armanis and Rolexes so they could stand in a peep show booth and whip their skippies in front of a woman not their wife or girlfriend.  Or they could pay an extra premium for entrance into the Krystal Keyhole, which was the sex club aspect of the business, complete with mixer night, couples night, ladies night, men’s smoker night and all kinds of “special services”. Right now, at early evening on Christmas Eve, the place was maybe a third full.  Davey liked to call days like these their “Eleanor Rigby” days because of all the lonely, pitiful people that populated the club then.  Junior didn’t share Davey’s contempt, he just felt sorry for them.  But neither one of them were going to turn down their money.  Junior’s head bouncer Casey turned and spotted his boss standing at the bottom of the stairs, surveying the scene.  Casey came running over.

“Boss! You’re not gonna believe it! Some chick’s havin’ a baby in the coat room!”

Junior brushed by Casey with a few choice words and plowed his way into the coat room.

“What the hell!  What’s goin on in here!”

Junior squinted in the suddenly brighter light of the coat room.  He saw a couple people squatting on the floor; he recognized Eusevio, his janitor and Ruben one of the bouncers and Randy, who was one of Junior’s live sex show actors. Randy had a 15 inch Johnson with a gold ring like you see in a bull’s nose piercing right through the tip.  Randy had worked for them since before they left the city and all this time later, Junior still couldn’t get used to the sight of that thing.  The guy could tie it in a knot for God’s sakes.  Luckily, Randy’s partner, Shasta, was just as freaky as he was and enjoyed working with him immensely.  In the stark light, Junior saw that Randy and Ruben each had a leg and were hoisting them up so the soles of the girl’s feet faced upwards.  The feet were filthy. Someone he couldn’t see was kneeling down between her legs, crouching forward.  Eusevio was holding her hand and dabbing her forehead with a towel. The chick was screaming her head off.  Junior shouted above her.

“I said, what the hell’s goin’ on in here?  You can’t do that in here!”

Casey came up behind his boss and whispered in his ear.

“It’s cool boss.  The paramedics will be here any minute.  Ruben and I let those folks in.  She was in labor. Moanin’ and all. We couldn’t leave ‘em out in the snow.”

Junior wheeled around on Casey.

“Oh! So you made that decision.  All on your own!  And who are these people?”

Casey gestured toward the group on the floor.

“That’s her husband there.” Casey shook his head in exasperation. “Look boss, we had to do somethin’and  I’m the door guy.  You gotta trust me to make decisions on the spot.  It’s Christmas Eve; I wasn’t about to leave people in need out on the streets.  I don’t think you would have neither.  I mean lookit those people.  Really look at them.  It’s like the Posada, man.”

Junior could see blood seeping out under Rubens feet.  The weird fluorescent light was making everything jump out in urgent relief.  And that chick was really begging for mercy now.  Screaming for the pain to stop. The EMT’s had better get here quick, Junior thought.

He barked at Casey.

“What the hell’s posada?”

The guy that was crouched between the girl’s legs yelled something not English over his shoulder.  One of the other bouncers standing at the fringe of the crowd took off up the stairs.  Junior saw that a crowd was starting to gather out in the lobby.  Some of them he recognized as customers, but there seemed to be a lot of the local homeless out there. Junior frowned. Casey put a hand on his shoulder and had to yell to be heard over the girl’s screaming.

“The posada’s an old Mexican tradition.  A celebration of the journey Joseph and Mary took to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. You know, when they couldn’t find a room?”

Junior looked non-plussed at his bouncer then glanced at the tableau of birth taking place on the floor of his sex club.  He scanned the lobby again and saw a shabby dude talking to himself as he shuffled through the front door pushing a hotel luggage cart ahead of him.  The lobby was filling up with people and they were all looking Junior’s way towards the coat room.  They were silent, big-eyed and pitifully hopeful looking. Junior had seen the look before at the welfare office.  Junior thought they looked like goddamned zombies.  Drunken, crazy zombies. And they were in his lobby mixing with his regulars and even a few Krystal Key VIPs.  This shit had to stop.  He looked Casey in the eye and put a finger into his chest.

“You think this is Jesus being born here? Is that what you think?  You gone nuts or somethin’?  Last I heard, that little event already happened.  Oh! Wait! You think this is the second coming! I get it!  It’s Christmas Eve and all! Perfect timing, right?” Junior grabbed the wire attached to Casey’s headset and pulled. Hard.

“Get a fucking grip! It’s not gonna happen here even if it were true.  In a sex club?

Junior laughed.  The barking sound drowned out by a fresh round of wailing from the woman.

“A second coming.  Here at the Keyhole?” Junior got nose to nose with his head bouncer. “Look, dipshit. The only second coming that’s gonna happen here tonight is when Shasta and Randy do the hot rod thing at the midnight show. Get me?  Now start getting’ these people outta here. I want a clear path for the medics when they come so’s they can this mess outta my club!”

Casey looked shocked and crossed himself.  Junior saw this and grabbed Casey by the collar, but before he could continue berating him, the big man pointed towards the woman on the floor.  The blood was becoming a seriously large pool.

“I’m sorry boss, but just look at ‘em.  Take a good look. It don’t look like they’re exactly from around here do it?”

Junior stared at the woman and at the blood.  His head swam a little.  Then he heard sirens. Good.  He let loose of Casey and pointed towards the lobby.

“I don’t care if they’re from fucking Uranus, get these people outta here. Now! And if you see any reporters, kick their ass!”

Casey hesitated so Junior gave him a shove towards the stairs and the people gathered there. Casey swam into the crowd waving his arms and telling people to back off.  Junior turned  back to the coat room.  The girl was still hollering and it was causing everyone else to panic .  Junior saw that the guy hunched down between her legs was shaking his head and as he swiveled around searching for help his eyes locked onto Junior who had begun to shoulder into the room.  The guy gabbled in some sort of foreign language at Junior and even though he didn’t understand a word, Junior saw the meaning splashed all over his terrified face.  Junior turned and screamed at Casey who was presently involved in a deep debate with a guy wearing a tin foil hat and cardboard shoes.

“Casey!  Get your ass out to those paramedics …tell ‘em to get a move on!”

Casey grabbed the Reynold’s aluminum hat ranger by the scruff of his neck and plowed through the crowd to the front door.

End of Part Two