I work at a hotel. As a night clerk. At the reception desk. One night a week. On Mondays.

It's 11:30 pm. Two guests walk in. One I know and wish I didn't. I recognize the other as his friend.

—Hey! How ya doing? It's me again! From last week! Remember me?

Of course I remember you. You were the one that made a point of finding out my first name so you could call me by it. You were the one who threw a tantrum about having to pay for your room.

Good to see you again, sir! How are you?

—You know those two girls down the hall from me?

I haven't the faintest idea which females have the misfortune of being talked about by you this time.

—Girls down the hall from you, sir?

—They work really hard. Heh, if you know what I mean. I think they're, uh, escorts.

Oh God, we're taking about `know' in the biblical sense then.

— (blink) You, uh, do?

—Yeah. Can you, uh, get me their number?

Do I fucking look like a pimp, you bastard? Oh wait, I left my fucking purple hat and gold chains under the fucking desk!

—I'm afraid not, sir, I don't have their number.

—Oh come on. They're staying here, right? You got to have their number. Here, give me that booking schedule and let me look.

— (blink) Have a look if you want, sir. Their number isn't on there.

Nor are their names. See, they're staying in a semi-permanent apartment. And I don't even rent those. Go ask my boss, pervert.

—Let's see... Simone! That could be one of their names!

Illiterate asshole.

—No sir, that's Siemens.

—Siemens? What kind of a name is that?

His friend, silent until now, pipes up. —He means the company, Siemens. They probably have some contractors staying here.

—Well, I don't want their number! I'm not a fag, ha ha!

—Indeed, sir.

What Would Jeeves Do?

—Come on, get me their number. You got to have it somewhere. I'll give you these five euros if you get me their number.

—I'd be glad to help you, sir,...

...I lied, starting to steam slightly,...

...but I simply don't have their number.

He started to wave the five-euro bill in my face.

—Come on! I'm sure you have it somewhere! Look again! ...etc.

After five minutes of this:

—I guess I can put this money back in my wallet then.

—I guess you can, sir.

—You really don't have their number?

—I really don't have their number. Why don't you ask my boss tomorrow if it's that important to you.

—No! Don't tell your boss. All this is just between the two of us. Uh, the three of us. Ya got a girlfriend?

Come again? Maybe if I mumble short answers you'll go away.


—Ya like women?

—They're okay.

—So, no woman for you tonight either, huh?

—Guess not.

—Ya like fucking?

Now this is getting weird.

—You're asking a really personal question. Now if you'll please leave, I'm about to close the hotel.

A lie; it doesn't close until twelve, but he doesn't know that. And even if he tries to call my bluff, they won't care if I knock off work twenty minutes early. There aren't any rooms left to rent.

—Yeah, okay, okay. See you next week.

I hope not. God, am I underpaid.

He puts his hand out to shake. I shake it. He's missing half of his index finger. I shake his friend's hand. They leave. I close the hotel. The moment I get on my bike to go home it starts pouring rain without any warning. After the twelve-minute ride I'm soaked to the bone.

→ T E H     E N D... ←

...for now

Ack! I forgot to softlink this for a full twelve hours! Oh well. TEH END. Really.