I never forget to say thank you

I go jogging late tonight and, before leaving the hotel, I ask the receptionist, placing my room key on the reception desk, whether the party in the restaurant is gonna last long.

“Till morning”, she says, smiling while looking straight into my eyes.
“So… How do you suppose the other people in the hotel can sleep tonight?” I ask her, smiling back.
“Well… I am sorry… What floor are you on? Oh, the first… Yes… You see, I would change your room, but we are fully booked, I am sorry. It is not up to me…”

Then she adds something about some of the guests having to leave the country tomorrow and the party having been postponed from daytime to nighttime in the nick of time and other stuff I choose to ignore as I’m smiling and nodding.

I thank her and go out. And I am so tired and just want to go to bed but the least I can do is spend my time in a useful way if the noise is too loud to sleep. So I run. My legs hurt, my arms hurt and I yawn from time to time. But at least it’s quiet as I am moving further away from the hotel and I can listen to the crickets and the leaves rustling under my feet and I can see the full moon above, lighting up the sky like the sun at night up in the north.

I force myself to go all the way and, when I start running back, on the other side of the road, I stop from time to time to collect feathers from the ground, as I need them for the creative writing workshop I am teaching this week. So I end up running with this small bunch of black feathers closely tucked in my right hand. Listening to them whizzing as I am running, I make the decision to start working on my book in September and finish it before the end of the year. I have all it takes.

So I get back to the hotel, holding my small bunch of black feathers. The party is loud and quite a lot of people are dancing on the terrace or chatting in the parking lot. As I make my way to the entrance, three men standing in front of the main door, holding their drinks, sticking out their bellies and waving huge, imaginary dicks in my face, are quietly staring at my legs. I pretend not to notice and raise my chin, sticking out my chest as I walk past them and into the lobby. The receptionist hands me my key without a word. I say thank you and go upstairs.


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