I pull into the hotel after too long driving, too tired to continue. The instant I walk through the door, I realise this is a mistake. The décor is 1960s, worn brown carpet, faded wallpaper. The place looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in a decade. I’m about to turn around and leave when the owners appear, a pale old couple as decrepit as the hotel they run.
So, seeing as I’m so polite and British, I can’t possibly leave now.
I find myself in their hotel lounge, the thick brown shag carpet put down before man landed on the moon and never changed since, the panelling on the walls wood, the room dim. The male owner regales me with an endless, droning monologue from which it’s impossible to escape. And since (for some reason) my room is in the lounge, I can’t go to bed until they do. Clearly this man hadn’t had a conversation since 1970 or so, and tells me every flat and dull detail about everything he’s experienced since then in exquisite detail. Including the affair with the barmaid and that thing with the chicken, thank God they didn’t press charges and he was drunk anyway.
And being polite and British, I smile and nod at the right places during this endless threnody and don’t reach down his throat and rip out his tongue like I really want to just to shut him up. That would give him something to talk about (or not talk about, as the case may be) when the next customer mistakenly arrives.
Then the dream starts to fracture, and I start to wake; it’s then that I realise that this man’s endless drone is actually my minds interpretation of my wife’s snoring. Bless her.