The German Hotel

the German hotel was very strange and expensive and
had double doors to the rooms, very thick doors, and
it overlooked the park and the vasser tern and
in the mornings it was usually too late for breakfast
and the maids would be everywhere changing sheets and
bringing in towels, but you never saw any hotel guests,
only the maids and the desk man and the day desk man was
all right because we were sober during the day but we
had trouble with the night man who was some sort of snob
and not very good with getting the corkscrews and ice
and wine glasses up to us and he was always phoning us
saying that the other guests objected to our noise.
what other guests?
I always told him that everything was very quiet,
nothing was going on, that somebody must be crazy, so
will you please stop ringing?
but he always kept ringing, he became almost like a
companion to us through the night.
but the day man was very nice, he always had little
messages of importance that either meant money, or
a good friend coming to see us, or both.
we stayed at the hotel twice during our two trips to
Europe and each time we checked out the day clerk
bowed over so slightly, he was tall and well-dressed
and pleasant and he said each time:
“it was nice to have you with us.   please come here
again if you return.”
“thank you,” we said, “thank you.”

it’s our favorite hotel and if I ever get rich
I am going to buy it and fire the night clerk
and there will be enough ice cubes and corkscrews
for everybody.

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript