Do not disturb
Something to Declare - Sam Delaney
The room is dark and cool. I am standing in my pants by the Venetian blinds, peering through the slats at the resort outside. “Look at those fools,” I think to myself. “With their clothes and their smiles and their generally sunny demeanours. They’re wasting their lives. Best I just stay here, all cosy and alone in the comfort of my air-conditioned room.”
Only I am not alone.
“Ready for breakfast?” my wife asks, suddenly emerging from the bathroom and violently pulling up the blinds. Sunlight floods in; I turn away from its aggressive glare and hiss like an injured cat.
I regard her through narrowed eyes. She too has clothes and a smile and a generally sunny demeanour. She’s one of them now. “The others” I call them. They sit beside us in the hotel breakfast room, muttering to each other about the buffet. We see them at the bar later in the day. They nod and smile with friendly recognition. It’s awkward. I don’t want to make polite chit-chat and exchange uncertain smiles with complete strangers when I’m on holiday. I want a holiday from social interaction of all types. That’s why I’m proposing to stay in our bedroom for the entirety of our three-day Easter break.
“What are you talking about?” asks my wife when I raise this admittedly radical suggestion. “We’re going for a walk in the mountains! And then to the beach! What about that historical church up the road? And the table tennis? Come on, get dressed!”
Historical church? Table tennis? Walking? I’ve hardly got the energy to pick up the room service menu. This is the first time we’ve been alone together since we had our daughter. With her safely in the hands of her grandparents back in England, this is surely a golden opportunity to stay in our pants all day doing sod all?
“We paid a lot of money to come here,” my wife reasons. “We can’t just sit around indoors the whole time!”
“That’s exactly why we should sit around indoors the whole time,” I counter. “What’s the point of forking out for a nice hotel room if you’re not going to spend any time in it?”
In the end we decide to compromise. Which means we go to the historical church but I sulk the whole time we’re there. Plus, she lets me win at table tennis.