A maid

by Brendan Strong

#LibLit Number 2 (for me) A maid; Iniquity

More about #LibLit here, on Shannon Wendt’s blog (one of the best named blogs I’ve come across)

We were drinking in the room, having a bloody good time anyway. And anyway, the maid, she knocks and comes in.

“You can’t just come in like that!” Ted says, throwing a whiskey glass at her.

“Oh,” I said, “I bet she could make you come just like that!” I fell on the bed. She was shocked, left.

Later, she comes back.

“Are you leaving your room today?” she asks. “I must clean it”

“Yes” I say, “Yes you bloody must clean it. It’s a disgrace! Look at all these bottles! And there’s glass shattered all over there!”

She raises her eyes to heaven; leaves. Comes back moments later. She looks like she has been crying. It’s a real downer. Ted phones down and says something.

She takes ages. All the while, wiping her eyes; eyes that roll to heaven as we drink and joke and Ted at one point chokes on his liquor. Finally she leaves again.

Later, Ted and I go to dinner. We raise merry hell in the restaurant. The manager asks us to leave. “Glad to!” says Ted “And you can forget getting paid for this swill!” Me and Ted are rich; but Ted is better at it than I.  After a drink back at the hotel bar, the staff ask Ted to leave.  I go to my room.

In the drawer, there are envelopes. I take one out and put some cash in it.

She didn’t deserve any of what happened in here. And since I started looking people in the eye, I can’t stand it. I can’t stand doing whatever the hell I want. I think about moving out west. Somewhere quieter, near the sea. Away from the city. Where you can be a man again, not just Made to be pleased.

It is someone else. I go out.

The next day, it is someone else. I go out.

On the last day, it is someone else. I go for my late checkout, envelope in my jacket pocket.

“The maid who was cleaning my room on the first few days…” I begin

“Oh dear sir. Has she been bothering you? I am sorry. She was dismissed the day you asked. She had mentioned some kind of retribution. Has she been in contact?” I look blankly at the man cheerily telling me I have torn apart someone’s life.

He goes over to one of the bell hops. All I hear is him saying “About Maria…” then there is shaking heads and nodding. The bell hop looks at me. I take my bags and leave, not knowing what else to do. I get the envelope and put it in the bin. I wonder whether I could ask the bell hop about her. But when I turn around he is gone.

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