Read PART ONE here
Read PART TWO here
Read PART THREE here
So I left. I just couldn’t deal with the idea of staying overnight in a hospital. If I’m ever required to be in a hospital, again, than I hope I’m in some deep-coma state so I don’t know where I am. Anything other than on-life’s-brink is not enough for me to stay in hospital.
Yes, I know what you are thinking. Are hotels not just plush versions of hospitals? No. No, no, no, no. They can jazz up hospitals all they like. They can put fancy wall treatments in the private rooms and put actual fabric on the chairs rather than plastic. They’re still hospitals. In hotels, you can tell people to leave you the fuck alone. You’re not checked every hour by people doing a shitty job for a shitty wage. You don’t have the indecency of a group of white-coated people standing to have a good gawk at your vag. This allowed, because they’ve all been to university. You tell me in what other situation this would be acceptable? None.
The only people in hotels allowed to see my vag are the odd bell hops I ‘welcome’ into my room. If you know what I mean.
Ewan had to leave to go and speak with admissions. I took my chance. Sneaking down corridors like I was in some spy mystery. Practically leapt into one of the waiting taxis out the front, ordering the driver to go, go!
As the cab pulled away, the driver looked at me in his revision mirror. Getting a good look at the bossy little bitch in the back of his taxi. I saw his eyes widen as he took in full view of me. I hadn’t really seen myself at this point. It wasn’t good, from what I could see in the mirror. A red line running diagonally across the left side of my face, a swollen, purple eye, a line of gauze above it, protecting the stitches beneath.
‘You look like you’ve been in the wars!’
‘Yeah, yeah,’ I replied.
‘What occurred there?’
‘Gang fight,’ I said.
The driver glanced at me again; face suspicious. ‘Gang fight?’
‘Yes, a gang, fight,’ I replied, affronted.
‘Sorry, love, is just that you don’t look like the type to be in a gang.’
‘What, ‘cause I’m ginger and little?’ I wondered.
‘I think that’s called discrimination.’
‘Fair play, you’re probably right.’
Thank goodness the conversation ended there. I’m guessing the driver didn’t want to say anything to offend me in anyway, not wanting the wrath of my gang and all. With the silence I was able to rest my head against the door frame and close my eyes for the remainder of the journey. My head felt like the worst hangover imaginable. The morning after when you wake up with absolute no knowledge of the night before, in a house you’ve never set eyes on before. When you have to ask someone who you find asleep in the bath where exactly it is that you are.
That kind of pain.
I had no money to pay the driver, and couldn’t imagine the journey all the way to my room and all the way down again. I offered the driver ten quid to come up to my room with me in order to pay him, and with a shrug he agreed.
Once alone, my first stop was the mini bar, taking out all of the baby bottles of liquor and transferring them to the bedside table. Medicine. Anything Panadol can do, alcohol can do better.
I then got out my Filofax, and called the next two hotels I was due to stay at. Whenever I inspect a hotel, I’m required to inspect every aspect of their service, which includes booking. No-one at the actual hotel are aware of who I am or what I do. So I had to put on my heaviest New Zealand accent and pretend whatever tour I was currently on was delayed. Two hotel stays I’ll have to make up on my weekend off. Looks like I won’t be getting back to Manchester any time soon.
With work taken care of, I decided to run the bath. It’s the best thing about hotels; baths. It’s not like at home where to have a bath means spending half an hour cleaning out the hair and thick layer of dust that always seems to gather on the surface. After all the scrubbing, polishing and rinsing, you then run the bath to find at least six errant hairs floating on the surface. At hotels there’s someone else doing that backbreaking work, and if you do see a hair, you’ve at least got someone other than you to blame.
I added a full bottle of the complimentary bubble bath. The smell of frangipanis filled the air, and a cloud of foam rose high above the rim of the bath. I undressed and stepped into the bath. It was hotted than I expected, and I walked back and forth, trying to acclimatize myself to the heat. But my legs were burning and I was required to run the cold tap for a minute before I could settle myself in. Once immersed, I decided the water was too cold. For five minutes I adjusted the hot and cold taps, trying to find the ‘just right’ Goldilocks temperature. With that done, I finally relaxed.
What I didn’t know was that I had relaxed too much.