• Leon de Leeuw

Hotel reflections


The dark hotel hallways started looking the same. Yellow walls with paintings of the countryside. Or just plain posters. Cold staircases and old carpets. Flickering bright lights on the ceilings. The small rooms. Windows overlooking the cities and towns, dark roofs and chimneys blowing out smoke. I walk up and down the hallways sunken in thought.

No matter the place I am, the thoughts are the same. I write and write without end. In the early morning with the curtains drawn. Crows hanging around the balcony. Ridiculing me for not pulling up the curtains, embracing the sunshine. Alone with the crows and the image of Christ over the bed. The cheap hotel rooms and watery coffee. Sometimes the phone rings. I’m asked if I’m alright. Or when I will check out. I extend my stay. I take the elevator down and back up and finish the coffee. I write another story.

The empty shelves, the empty wardrobes, the lonely phone on the desk. The lonely writer at the desk, winding the phone receiver cord around his finger. I open the doors and stand on the balcony. Chimneys still smoking. People in the streets, still smoking. Cars driving up and down the streets, going somewhere I’m not going. People running errands and working their gardens. Sweeping the pavements. Trucks driving in and out the factory. Empty supermarket bags blowing around in the wind.

I wash my face, pack my bag and slam the door behind me. “I left the key in the door!” I say as I walk out. “See you next time” says the friendly man at the reception desk. The grey bus station, some more coffee. The melancholy and emptiness. I like it. The trees in each season, colorful or just bare branches. The pensioners on the bus, with eyes that saw a lot. The hilly landscapes, some more towns. Time to get off and find another place to stay. Another town and another central square. And I feel so good, each time I go.

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