A flashy guest.

I have a guest named Antonio. He is brighter than the sun. I kid you not. He wears jackets that I think must be visible from space. One of his trademarks is that he always wears sunglasses too, and I suspect that it’s because otherwise, he will blind himself when walking past a mirror. I’m not sure which self-respecting tailor makes his extravagant jackets, in typical Joseph techni-colour dream coat fabric, encrusted with gems and precious stones, always with a contrasting lapel.

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Antonio is a lovely caramel colour. I think his mom was Black and his dad was white; some fabulous mixed masala of Africa and Europe. Apart from the visual impact he makes you can also probably smell him from space. He drenches himself in au de cologne and his grey hair and beard must get trimmed daily.

He speaks just enough English to get his point across, but not quite enough to lose the sexy mystery that surrounds him like a cloud (which could easily be mistaken for aftershave mist).

My description hardly does him justice., His tall frame and John Wayne swagger make it seem that he can pull anything off. He is a feast for all the senses, and he is rich… as in rolling in it. It is obviously very new money, but who cares! He flaunts it and is happy to bequeath it on our humble facility.

He stays with us often when he gets treatment for a rare type of cancer. He loves women and is ever the charmer. Whenever he sees me, he is able to compliment things about me I have never known could be complimented. He will mention the vitality of my being, the clarity of my eyes, the plushness of my lips, the youth radiating from my every pore… you get the picture, all dripping in a liquid syrupy Portuguese accent. The sexiest of all for me is the fact that he never asks for a discount with that beautiful voice of his.

During his first stay I noticed that he got Mr Five (our driver – there is a whole blog about his name) to drive him round the area. He took note of all the photos of the beautiful estate agents and then phoned them, pretending to be house hunting. In the time he spent with me he got about 5 different agents to take him on tours of real estate in our area. You guessed it though – never once did he ask the best agent in the suburb to take him around, as she was fat and old and smelt of stale cigarettes. He also never got men to show him around………….. He also never actually bought a house.

After each stay Antonio would leave me with a healthy wad of US dollars for his “sister” to collect a few weeks later. There is a better chance that she was my sister than his. Whether I was a mule in some extensive trafficking syndicate, I will never know.

During one stay he called me to meet with him. I grabbed my sunglasses and waited in the office. He said we could not meet there as he needed total privacy to discuss a matter of grave concern… a devasting situation with my staff.

He opened the conversation with, “I am very sad to see that you fired the beautiful Bessie.” That one sentence contained two glaring mistakes, and neither was grammatical. Firstly, I did not fire Bessie. Secondly, Bessie was many things, but beautiful was not one of them.

I corrected him on the former but not the latter. Beauty, after all, lies in the eye of the beholder. “Yes, Bessie is no longer employed here,” I said. “In fact, she was only working here temporarily and after she proved that she was completely and utterly useless as a cleaner and prone to fighting with the other staff, we did not ask her to come back.”

Antonio contemplated this for a moment and then shared with me, that as a man, he is unable to pack his bag nicely, as God bestowed that particular gift on women (not this woman, but I did not burst his bubble) and as I know, (I didn’t) men need to pack their bags every night, and so he would ask Bessie to come after hours and help him with said bag. Every night she spent an hour or so with him to pack his bag and at the end of the stay he would always give her a few thousand Rand. Now, the other staff got jealous that she landed herself this extra income and he can see that this is the real reason that I got rid of her and he just wants me to know that he does not feel it is fair.

I agreed, that would be grossly unfair. I apologised that my staff were mean to the beautiful Bessie and sympathised that now no one was able to pack his bag every night. I however advised that our establishment does not offer those services.

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