Day Four: Kate
She smiled as the bellhop woke her up and was somewhat daydreamy as he brought her down to the first floor. She had enough presence of mind to open the door but forgot to see if the “Do Not Disturb” sign had been moved back outside of the door. She was determined today to have a conversation with her roommate about the sign if it came to that. She didn’t feel the need to sleep, and she wondered how she was going to spend her day. Of course, she wanted to spend a great deal of time with the bellhop, but she knew he had a job to do and she wanted to let him do his job and not get him into trouble with whatever people were looking at the goings on. She wondered about all kinds of things, like whether there were cameras in the rooms or how much the management of the hotel was aware of what was going on. She didn’t want to dial the information hotline and get more cryptic and not very helpful messages, after all. So if she didn’t want to go and bother the bellhop at his desk, and she did not want to call the unhelpful line again, that left her at a bit of a loss as to what she could do during the day. She figured that she could call the front desk during the mid-afternoon to discuss her plans for the evening.
Speaking of which, she should probably figure out what it was that she wanted. She thought that it would be interesting to see how the bellhop lived. She knew he might be a bit shy about his personal space–he was certainly shy about entering the space she shared with Ashley–but she supposed that she could convince him that he should show her around his room. She did remember him saying that he liked to read, so perhaps there were some good books available for her to borrow. She didn’t know Esperanto, the language that this shady hotel was titled in, but at least she was mildly interested in reading and it would likely be a lot better than whatever was on television. Today she was stuck watching what was available on the television but she hoped that she wouldn’t have to do that for very much longer because she was really getting bored. When one had a good night’s sleep and good food and felt like one had a bit of energy, one did not want to sit in bed and watch television all day. One wanted to go out and do things, but what was there to do? Maybe she could walk around in the grounds, she thought to herself, but if she did that she needed to feel a bit more fresh and clean first. Okay, so she pondered to herself that she know had something to do, at least, and maybe she could watch a few hours of television if there was something entertaining on. That would be an acceptable way to spend time, she thought to herself.
She looked around in her closet and found a nice floral dress. That would do nicely, she thought as she found some clean undergarments to go along with it. She went to the shower and sang to herself while she used the body wash and then washed her hair. Perhaps it was odd to clean up before one went outside, but she was the sort of person who knew that it was best to be clean when one was making a trip outside, even if no one was there to see her. It was the preparation that counted. After all, one never knew when one’s moment would arrive, when one would have an interaction where it mattered that one took care of oneself and noticed the details about self-presentation. One never knew who was watching, and though she had not been the recipient of the amount of male gaze that her roommate had, she had drawn the attention of enough guys to know that one always had the potential of drawing either admiration or censure, and that was not even including the judgmental looks that one got from other women who were constantly trying to evaluate the competition. They should make documentaries about that, she figured. They should be narrated by the same people who did all those nature shows on public television, where the mean girl was in her natural domain, glaring at any who would attempt to invade her space or something equally droll or deadpan like that. It was a pleasant thought to her and it made her smile to herself. After she finished washing and rinsing herself she turned off the water and dried herself and then put on her dress. She found a cute pair of shoes to go along with her dress and even a nice hat and smiled as she walked out of her room. She looked and saw the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the outside of the door, and resolved within herself that she would talk with Ashley about why her roommate didn’t want her to have fresh linens. She was not sure it would be a happy conversation.
As she walked her shoes made a satisfying sound, especially when she got to the area of the lobby with the hard surface of the floor. She looked at the lobby to see if the bellhop was at his station, but he was not and there was a little sign saying that he was not there and would be back as soon as possible. She wondered what he had to do that would take him away from his desk, but she supposed, rightly so, that he had to look over the rooms and that it took a fair amount of time to do the inspection that was required. She wondered if he had to work around in the garden at all and it was a pleasing thought to her. She walked outside and found it to be a cool but mostly sunny day. It was sunny enough outside to cheer her up but not too sunny that she would get a sunburn from enjoying a walk around the grounds. She looked at what sort of flowers were available, trying to see if it would give her any clues about what region they were in, since she had at least some knowledge of flowers and plants. One thing was sure, and that was that there was a lot of grass and not a lot of plants that would give away the location. She did see some dahlias though, and she knew those flowers, at least in her limited experience, to be the sort of plants that enjoyed temperate to cool climates and could spread quite heavily. Some of the most feared words for anyone taking care of plants were words related to the spreading habits of plants that could take over any open or available space and choke out any other kind of life. Some people were like that too, she pondered to herself; it was not a satisfying reflection to make.
She walked fully around the hotel and saw that each room appeared to have windows, and that from the outside one could not tell that the windows were merely decorative, although one could not see into the rooms at all. She wondered–it was only natural to wonder–what was between the windows and the interior walls of the hotel, as the bellhop had been pretty insistent and she had no reason to doubt him that the only ways one could see outside were to either go outside through the lobby or go up to the roof as they had done last night. She wished that the roof had been made up like a planetarium where one could look into the sky and know what one was looking at and even use telescopes to see. She bet that without the light pollution that was all around in the city or the suburbs where she had spent her life that one could see a lot in the sky that was usually too dim to notice in the haze of artificial light. She saw the dark forests on the other side of the fences and gate–there was only one entrance and exit, and the road for vehicles made a loop of sorts to the gate. The rest of the grounds consisted of a few plants of the mostly perennial variety or the volunteer variety that could grow up again year after year. This did not surprise her, as it meant that the grounds would require minimal care. She did not take the bellhop to be the sort of person who was passionate about plants, but then something caught her eye. It was not something she would have seen had she been casually looking around, but she was being somewhat through about it, and she saw that there was indeed space that was kept for an herb garden. She thought she could recognize some basil and some vegetable plants. She wondered if this garden was where the bellhop grew his food crops for some of his salads. She was sure he did something of the kind for himself, as he definitely enjoyed that kind of plant. Of course, he would be practical, she thought to herself, and then she saw the sun in the sky and realized it would probably be good for her to walk back inside before she had a sunburn. She knew at least that even if this was a lonely sort of place that it had at least a little bit of home in it.
She looked at the clock when she got back, as the bellhop was still not back at his desk, and it was only about noon, leaving her plenty of time to spend before she felt comfortable giving him a call. She turned on the television and saw that there was a Judge Judy marathon. That was definitely something that would pass the time agreeably, she said to herself. She loved the way that judge shows were formatted. There was a structure to the drama that was appealing, and that gave plenty of opportunity for the judge to uncover holes in the claims of the parties involved and to try to regulate justice of a sort. She remembered that the court hearings themselves were a form of binding arbitration, and not strictly civil litigation of the kind that took place in actual courtrooms, but still, it was a form of theater that she understood and appreciated. She felt more comfortable watching the drama than being a part of it, though she could tell that the judges on television generally enjoyed the drama. Why else would they have chosen their profession if not to be a part of the scene and to be above the drama while involved in it at the same time? What did it mean that she was the sort of person who enjoyed watching a courtroom scene but not being a part of it either? There was a lot more stress and pressure when one was in the scene rather than merely watching and observing it. The sense of distance to the drama was something she found comforting. Maybe it was because she was a bit more shy and timid than the people who relished the drama were that she felt this way. Before she knew it, it was about 3PM, and she had watched half a dozen episodes of the show. Now would be a good time to call, she said to herself. She picked up the phone and dialed his familiar number. “Hey, It’s me, Kate,” she said a bit uncertainly. “Did you want to go out again this evening?” “I would love to. I think I’m hungry enough for a full meal tonight.” She really was that hungry after her walk around the grounds. “That sounds good to me.” She paid a bit and then asked the question that was on her mind. “Would you like to show me your room afterward?” He paused a bit in reply. “I’m sure if you want to see it I can show you around. There’s nothing particularly remarkable to see there, though.” She felt it necessary to appeal to her interest in him at this point. “It’s personal, and it belongs to you, and I’m sure it would be enjoyable to see a more personal side of you than your normal bellhop self.” “Fair enough,” he said to her. “What time would you like me to be at your room?” “How about five o’clock?” “That sounds good. I’ll see you then.” She gave the sound of a kiss and then the conversation was done.