Ye olde County Hotel,
Vestigial pride of the city.
No need for reservations.
Who comes here anymore?
Dark corridors, damp walls and mouldy furniture.
The door creaks open. A dingy little room.
A lumpy mattress.
A television set in the corner blinks to life.
The sound of traffic from the street.
A mini refrigerator rattles with a couple of sodas.
A packet of crisps, a carton of cookies and salted peanuts.
The electric kettle hisses steam.
The teabag rests in the mug waiting to become an infusion, exploding into clouds of golden light.
The steady hum of the air conditioner is comforting.
The evening palls the horizon.
Everywhere lights are switched on.
Pockets of illumination.
I lie on my back, my shoes kicked off.
My head hits the pillow.
I close my eyes.
on her one single holiday of the year,
I make the most of my shoestring budget.
I’m on vacation too.
No cocktails, racy fiction, harmless flirtation by the beach; moonlight, starlight, sunrise or sunset; frangipani, marigold and magnolias; canapes, lobster swimming in butter, eclairs; satin sheets, fluffy towels, scented soap.
Hello, room service…
I’ll have a cheeseburger.
Who are you to judge?