Today’s words: Forgotten, anniversary, spartan
Pulling into Grabster’s Hotel was always a risk, a gamble and never without an element of adventure.
Grabster was one of life’s forgotten characters. An ornery man on any good day and almost pleasant on the other ones.
The OPEN sign at the entrance to the Hotel was often deceiving as Grabster didn’t turn it off at any time whether he was full or not.
Hotel reception was a tiny space with a worn desk, spartan you might say save for the key board above his head, and that always seemed like something he has grudgingly conceded to in the reception design. There was just enough space for him to turn around and that became more and more a challenge as he aged and his girth expanded.
The reason for my visit this time was the anniversary celebrations organized for Carl and life long friend who had reached the grand age of eighty years and his long-suffering wife, May, had invited me down to help spread a little cheer as Carl was not given these days to being cheerful. His new mantra, “Life sucks, getting old is worse” had become a daily pattern of behaviour and May was hoping we might be able to show some love his way.
“Yes?” asked Grabster, shaking me out of my memory of Carl.
“Good evening Mr Grabster, a room for the night if you might be so kind,” I said sounding my cheery self.
“Just one? No midnight visitors? No gambling games at one in the morning?” he asked as if that was some kind of common practice.
“No just the one room, one night,” I replied. Respite my regular visitations to the town and my loyalty to Grabster’s Hotel he never treated you as anyone he recognized from earlier stays. It was the same old routine, same old inane questions, a grubby key shoved your way and a grunt of thanks as you took your leave. I was convinced Grabster disliked his job but found himself in one of those situations where the eternal OPEN sign meant he was locked in with nowhere to go.