We’ll Leave The Light On
August 7, 2009 in Wordsmoker Short Fiction
I slash a quick glance at the switchboard display. Fuck, it’s an inside call. I have to take it. I tuck the phone under my chin, “Front desk?”
I look at the guest in front of me, so that he knows I’m still paying attention to him, and keep banging away at the keyboard.
“Hi, this is Mike. I work for Baker Shoes, you know our shoes don’t you?” He takes a single breathe and continues, “Our shoes have a hiiiiiiigh platform, and hiiiiiiigh heels. You’re familiar with them right?”
“Sir, I have seven guests in the lobby standing in front of me. I need to know exactly how I can help you?”
“Nevermind, I’ll call down later.”
Fuck you. Better not.
It’s check-in time and I’m the the high-priestess at the front desk of one of those motels that has a number in the name – 6 – 8 – 12 – lucky 7/11. These establishments usually have the cheapest price you can pay for a room were you won’t run too high a risk of picking up an accidental infestation of fleas, pubic lice, or worse.
Our place is not cheap (isolated tourist town) but not really that expensive (right, isolated tourist town). We draw a mixed crowd to say the least. Twenty-year-old townies that just want to get trashed, without too much interference, blow in, “Ya gotta room?” Seniors will shuffle in and peer over my counter. “I just want a bed.”, they’ll plead.
Oh honey, I know what you mean.
The fuck-ups pull themselves together enough to remain erect and enter the lobby. Check-in procedures keelhaul all their best intentions. They’re tired, off their meds, and with all the fog outside, they’re not real, real sure where the fuck they are. Then there’s me demanding that they cough up a driver’s license and credit card. Jesus-christ-on-a-crutch-riding-a-bicycle, it can all be a little too much to bear.
“Fuck, man, give me a minute.”
“Sure, would you mind urinating outside, Sir?”
I have my asshole-alert detection system running at all times, but most people don’t set it off. The ones that do will have the full benefit of my subtle powers to fuck with their life.
“You want a non-smoking, king bed, with an ocean view, and two extra pillows?”
“The only room I have Sir (dramatic pause, look of concern), is a smoking, twin bed, with a view of the dumpster, and I am, just now, all out of pillows.” I’ll then bang a few random keys, and slowly shake my head. I’m doing that just to fix the way my hair falls.
“Yeah, sorry, that is all I have.”
I’m the bastard operator from hell with a plastic key encoder.
God damn phone. “Front desk. How may I help you?”
“This is Mike. With Baker Shoes.”
Oh fuck me sideways.