As I lumbered through the lobby, a bunch of barefoot and giggling teenagers (yes, they still do that), flowed passed me, out the door into the hotel courtyard, aimed for the pool. I took the stairs and heard a man one flight up from me, bitching to himself, “F---ing tourists!” I passed him mid-flight. He wore a hotel maintenance shirt and forced a smirk on his hard face. Poor bastard—another man with a soul-sucking job.
A conference was in full swing on the 3rd floor just down the hall from my room. A Christian conference. Lots of beaming faces greeting each other. Standoffish, I parted the hall like a beaten-down Moses. Just wanted to get to my room.
And there, my beautiful wife and daughter were waiting with big smiles, while the pleasant aroma of a pasta dinner wafted through the room. All with the added bonus that my books had arrived: the final print proof of BEAT to a PULP: Hardboiled 2 and Ross Macdonald’s The Ivory Grin and The Blue Hammer. Macdonald’s Lew Archer is comfort food reading for me. The best detective the genre ever produced waiting to be read.
I started thinking ‘bout the hard-faced maintenance man on the stairs—hope he has something equally rewarding waiting for him.