Then, loud knocking.
I ignore it.
More loud knocking.
Go away! I silently scream.
Are you fucking kidding me?
More knocking, more name yelling.
Another smug look.
What? What was that about?
All the questions are asked in such a way that you can actually see them putting together a mental picture of who you are and what they think of you based on your marital status and the profession of your parents. You are being interviewed. It’s as though they are sizing you up for themselves, their brother, their son, whoever…
On the taxi ride there he’s bear hugging the driver from behind asking him if he knows where Bubbles is. (Everyone knows Bubbles, by the way. And, no idea where the name Bubbles O’Leary came from.) The driver gives me a look. I’m up front with him. I had sidestepped Tom holding the back door open for me. The driver seems to have sized up the situation in about two minutes. And, I think he’s wondering what I’m doing. So, I am, buddy.
Then he says, “I like you. You’re simple. And, homely."
That’s really nice. Thanks. I make it clear that I have a strict bedtime of 10pm. And, luckily the bar closes at 10 on Sundays anyway.
“Language barrier,” Tom says as he comes out much later.
It’s now 5am. I move to sitting on the small side table. It’s wicker, and sags dramatically as I’m sitting.
5:30am. I awaken suddenly. A bed bug! I jump up. OK, it’s just a chip in the wall paint. I risk it and sit on the floor. I research new hotels – the more luxurious the better – on my Blackberry.
“I need my credit card run. I would appreciate my last two night removed from my bill as I was eaten alive in my sleep,” I say as I shove my hideously disfigured arm in the manager’s face.
“Oh, I see.”
It’s 1:30pm. I’m walking to the full size swimming pool. I lie down on a cushioned chaise lounge in the shade. I make eye contact with no one. Slowly, I start to feel human again.