By the time the wee hours of Sunday morning appeared, I had lost my group. I found myself sitting dejectedly near the piano, shouting things across the room to Alejandro who replied in muffled Spanish. I couldn’t leave because there were too many of our things strewn about, so the second I saw a familiar face I traded places and took off. As I flew out the door I almost smacked into a very tall, very attractive man I hadn’t yet met. I stepped back to apologize and saw the deepest V-neck I had ever witnessed outside of an SNL sketch. Without knowing his background or home country I took a gamble in the “Gay or European” game and told him we needed to discuss the impossibly deep V. He laughed and said, “Oh, yes. I am from France. Zere we can wear zees and eet eez fine. Here eet eez, how you say…zee gay.” (European).
I was instantly amused and a little flushed. He was hot. And about 6’4″ with the perfect amount of chest hair and tan. Ridiculous. I asked what his name was and was a little disappointed when he didn’t say Pierre. His name was Arthur. Yep…Arthur. It sounds a little better in French, but not much. I asked him if I could take a picture of his V-neck and he obliged, much to the delight of all of the women who look at my photos on facebook.
Arthur was very nice and evidently had lost track of his friends, so he hung out with us while the sun came up. We were outside most of the time (even though we weren’t supposed to be…) and I watched him smoke and talk. Throughout all the ogling, a tiny, tiny Irishman had attempted to instill himself in our group. He was popping up in random places and trying to start conversations. I believe he tried to introduce himself several times but, I mean…we were staring at Arthur. I still don’t know what his name is. At one point, it was me, Arthur, Tiger, one of my friends and the nameless mini-Irish. Mr. Mini had fallen asleep/passed out on the stoop and rolled into the flowerbed. Once we got him up, he bent down to pick up his stuff (or something) and my friend mimed kicking him in the rear. Sweet girl. Ok, ok…I would have done the same thing. He was harshing our game.
Around this time I got a text from someone I knew in high school and had been trying to make plans to meet up with in the city where we both live for a couple of years. He was in Chicago, in the same neighborhood and was up and drunk. He walked over to the hostel and I took that time to go find my sister and have one of our needlessly emotional-drunken chats in the bathroom. I emerged, teary-eyed and puffy to my HS friend and everyone I left outside chatting mysteriously. It seems that Mr. Mini had taken Arthur’s backpack before he went inside. Or, that was the story we were going with at the time. Poor Le French was distraught since the bag had his passport and all his money. What was a super-hottie to do?! Sit back and let the Grand Rapids girls fix it. That’s what! We were on the case. After some sleuthing (but mostly just consoling Arthur with hugs…and beer) it was confirmed via security video that Mr. Mini had indeed stolen the bag. (I knew it).
We spoke to the hotel staff and tried to remember his name. Nobody knew it. Silly names like “Jordy” were thrown around but we were all just guessing. Literally nobody had listened to that tiny man when he introduced himself. Nobody. Police were called after the hostel staff was finally able to pinpoint the room number of the thief and we all waited in the lobby like overly stimulated Clue pieces. There was a crime afoot! So, here we are, sitting in the lobby of the hostel as the morning sun peeks in the windows, swilling beer from the “dairty tairty” and waiting for the Chicago police. They arrived, full of smiles and a small, roundish bald one looked right at me and said, “What, you couldn’t do the whole thing?!” (He was referring to the small, shaved portion of my head…I hope). I laughed and knew he was going to be some fun. Mr. Policeman and his ogre-like partner headed up to the thief’s room to procure the backpack and took Arthur with them. When they emerged to escort the thief off the premises we all applauded and followed them outside to continue the jeering. We had adopted a strong allegiance to Arthur for some reason…some reason I’m not sure of. Once we were all outside we started to laugh again and Mr. Policeman suggested that “we were all the same height laying down” and other seemingly inappropriate (but hilarious) things. He left us with the advice to drink responsibly, laughed and moved on.
Arthur was very happy to have his backpack again but continued to leave it unattended. We took this opportunity to get some more face time and teach him a lesson. Meaning…we stole it a bunch more times. But then we gave it back and hugged him reassuringly. A lot. Once the drama was over, we realized that it was around 7am. Tiger and company were still drinking and Arthur was eating a banana. I’m not even sure why I found this unsettlingly erotic, but I did. Homo-erotic, I suppose. We made jokes that he didn’t understand until someone mentioned a “happy trail”. He pulled up his shirt to reveal his own and attempted to explain what it was. But we knew. We let him talk about it in his sexy-sexy French accent and he went on to say, “Zee treasure trail. Eet eez, how you say…zee way to zee pleasure. No?” Uh. Yes. Shortly after this exchange, one of the helpful female staff sauntered up to laugh, whispered to my sister and me that he was only 20 years old and prompted us to go to bed so as to avoid any further blatant sexual harassment. He begged us not to go to sleep, to stay up and go watch him play soccer (oh man), but it was coming up on 9am and we knew when to quit…eventually.