‘Smith. Two nights. Double room,’ says the receptionist.
Before her, a thin man nods, sniffs and fidgets on his feet.
‘Breakfast, Sir?’ she asks.
The receptionist smiles – Mr Smith clichés are commonplace, though this specimen appears notably unkempt for a five-star establishment.
‘Credit card, Sir?’
Such a wedge seems incongruous. She imagines his dead mother affording a good inheritance – and precipitating a spiral of self-neglect. ‘Room 326.’
Smith takes the key, gawkily, losing grip on his plastic Grandways bag. Upon the floor, the receptionist spots amyl nitrate, silver tequila, and lube.
She blinks. ‘Enjoy your stay… Sir.’