Monday, August 13, 2012

Hotel contents clearance sale

says the A-board, propped up all
jolly and wrong in the hallway.
The hotel was dying, now it's dead.
A small man starts to pick up the corner of the hall carpet,
rolling it back,
is this going too?
Everything mate,
says another man. Everything except in this front room. That's all sold.
We creep further in.
It is a rabbit warren of deceased rooms,
empty of everything but
fitted wardrobes, stripped beds,
and the odd flatscreen TV.
There is a patio out back -
dead plants in plastic pots for 20p.
A slimy watering can.
Rotting wicker garden furniture; everything must go.
The bar is empty, of course. The stools hold no-one.
Crates upon crates upon crates
of Carlsberg glasses; pint glasses, halves. Ashtrays,
a fondue set, beer mats, drip mats, table mats.
Oxo cube tins, "the original beefy cube" - we laugh.
A griddle pan, slick with grease.
A Gaggia, the only thing that's clean and
gleaming, £1,000 ono.
Bundles of cutlery snick against each other in
metal dishes; bound in the postman's red elastic bands.
Nobody speaks, they just rifle. We rifle.
I go upstairs. The bedrooms are too spare:
even a fitted bedside cabinet has been pulled out,
and the bathrooms are echoed and cold.
I could go up, higher and higher,
but I think about the twins in The Shining,
and hurry back down.
We poke around,
looters of this final resting place,
feeling cheap and thieving,
wondering who ever stayed here.
People swim in, and swim out, a quiet tide of shufflers.
A man calls after us.
If you see anything you want, we pack up tomorrow, so.
We nod, and say thank you.
But there's nothing here we want. It's all too used.
Two enormous televisions walk out before us,
legs in sports shorts.
We don't want anything from here.

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