I am innately predispositioned towards luxury. I was raised in the lap of luxuries warm potpourri smelling embrace. My bed was always perfectly made when I returned home from school and three meals a day where prepared by a live in chef. Maids, cooks, pool cleaners, gardeners, tennis teachers, golf instructors, tutors, and concierges all made up my inner and outer life while growing up in an exclusive country club. Five or six times a year my parents would take my sister and I on deluxe vacations where we would stay in hotels that were clean enough to eat off of their floors. I remember lemon tart cookies and slippers were often left by the sides of the comfortable resort hotel beds that I joyfully slept in. I was living a five star lifestyle and I did not have to spend a penny of my own money. Of course I had no money of my own. I was just a kid who had the good fortune of popping out of my mothers womb and landing in the lap of luxury.
Fast forward thirty years. Fast forward over my rebellious and angry teenage years and my eventual decision to reject the world of capital and embrace the lifestyle of the suffering poet, writer and artist. Fast forward over my years spent living in the ghetto and not wanting to have anything to do with money. Fast forward over my rage towards my mother and father. Fast forward over all the miserable blue collar jobs I worked. Fast forward over my addiction to alcohol and marijuana. Fast forward over my years spent suffering from deep depression, anxiety and panic. Fast forward over my years spent working as an underpaid inner city high school teacher. Then you will arrive at a place where I am 40 years of age sitting by the side of a beautiful pool in Palm Springs, dressed in only swim trunks and sun glasses, sun tan oil all over my aging body, an expensive glass of sauvignon blanc in my hand and a book on the table besides me.
You may wonder how I got to where I am. How did I go from riches to rags and then back to riches again? Well one has to be clever in this world if they want to keep up with the Joneses without working full time. I am not sitting by the side of this beautiful resort pool sipping a glass of white wine, surrounded by people who make more money than 99% of the earths population because I too have a lot of money. No this is not the case. I am still just as broke as I was ten years ago. Instead as I have grown older I have become more ambitious in pursuing the luxurious that are still innate in my predisposition. Even though I no longer live a lifestyle that could be considered glamorous by any stretch of the imagination- I often long for the luxuries of my youth. So what I do is I pack a bag filled with a change of clothes and swim trunks and I head off towards a luxury resort or hotel of my choice. I then sneak in through the back door.
I am lucky to live in California where there is not only a good amount of warm weather but there are also an abundance of five star resorts and hotels all around. These resorts and hotels have rooms that usually start at around $800.00 a night and spas and pools that look like they were ripped right out of the pages of a designer magazine. There are enough luxury hotels and resorts around where I live that on warm days I have gotten into the habit of going to a different one each week. I have the good fortune of being a rather handsome and well adjusted man, which often allows me to avoid any kind of suspicion from others that I am indeed a freeloader. As a result of being raised in a country club and surrounded by the aroma of people who possessed a lot of money, I can blend in rather well with this crowd. I can walk the talk and talk the walk so to speak.
You might be wondering if I pay for the several glasses of wine that I drink and the gourmet food that I order. The answer no. What I do is before going to the pool I will find a particular room number. I will then tell the poolside server that I am staying in say room 54. I will then give my last name without any hint of hesitation. Often times the server will come back over to me and say something like: “excuse me sir but we have listed a different last name staying in that room.” I will then tell them that yes indeed that is my wife or father-in-laws last name. From then on I am able to drink and eat what I want for free because I was clever and confident enough to believe my own lie. I am grateful to whomever is staying in room 54 because I imagine that they are picking up the tab.
There have been a few times when my fraudulence has been discovered. Upon ordering food and drink and signing it to “my room” the staff will discover that I am giving them the wrong name and demand proof that I am the one whose last name is assigned to the room. When I can not produce proof I tell them that I will go get my wife or father-in-law and then come back. I gather my things and never return to that particular hotel or resort. But this does not happen often. I am rather good at what I do.
I will spend an entire day sitting by the side of the luxury pool. I will read my book, drink wine, watch women in bikinis, sun tan, swim and sleep. But none of this is what I enjoy most about sneaking in through the back door of these luxury hotel and resorts. What I love most is that when the day is done I get my bag of clean clothes from my car and go into the spa area of the hotel. In these areas there is always a mens and womens area. I sign a fraudulent last name on the sign in sheet at the front desk of the spa and then I head into the mens area. Inside the mens area there is a sauna and a steam room. There are very clean shower stalls, which have containers mounted to the walls filled with shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Besides the clean sinks there are razors, deodorant, hair spray, body lotion, hair brushes, hair dryers and fresh folded white towels. It is in this area that I feel like I am back again in the luxury of my youth. It is in these mens areas where I can feel pampered again.
I will find a locker that is open and put my bag of clothes inside. I will then undress until I am nude. I will then wrap a freshly laundered white towel around my waist and head into the steam room. I will stay there for twenty minutes or so until I am drenched in my own sweat. I will then take a sauna where I will allow the dry heat to rip the toxins right out from my skin. I will then shower away the stink and sweat and shampoo and condition my hair. I will then come out of the shower and walk up to the sink with a large beautifully lit mirror behind it. With a clean towel wrapped around my waste I will then shave, put deodorant on, comb and blow dry my hair and cover my body in lotion. I will look around at the other men who are doing the same. I try and talk to no one but often I can not help but wonder what these men do for a living. It is obvious to me that they are most likely not sneaking in to these mens spa areas like I am. The one thing that is fundamentally different between these men and myself is that they are actually paying a lot of money to be there.
Once I am showered, shaved and fully dressed I will put my wet swim trunks into a plastic bag, pack up all of my stuff and leave whatever luxury resort or hotel I have spent the day at. I will then drive back to my studio apartment in the barrio where I will make myself dinner and spend the rest of the night reading a book in bed. Such is the lifestyle of a man who sneaks in the back door of places that were created for the rich and famous. Tomorrow I am looking forward to going to the Ritz Carleton in Beverly Hills. I read on-line about their pool and spa facilities. Sounds luxurious enough for me.