Diane was feeling claustrophobic at having to eat, drink, sleep and bonk in the same place. Her relationship was rocking. I gave her a sort of paternal hug which really meant ‘I’m here if you need me’.
The smell from the kitchen was now at fever pitch. The UN declared it a disaster zone. Even the cockroaches and fleas had buggered off.
That night I descended on a local watering hole and Dave was big time sniffing around 2 Danish girls. “As newts.” he told me.
Anya had sheepdog ringlets falling across her pale eyes. I love shyness in women. I asked her if she used Dulux but the joke was a bit obscure. She thought I said ‘Durex’ and told me she was on the pill. I told her an ex of mine tried it but it kept falling out. She did not get that one either. As she slipped from the stool I caught her singing, “Time after time.”
Just as I was aiming in nicely, Della butted in with, “Have you done the washing up yet?” I always describe people like her as a back of the queue job. When this cruel God was giving out his gifts Della was left so far behind it was embarrassing. She made up for all the inadequacies in her life by bingeing on chocolate. “Chucky says you gotta do it. The place smells like a sewer.”
“You have the advantage on me.”
“I don’t live in up North.”
She grassed me up to Diane as a way of getting support. I had nothing against Liverpool, no more than most people do.
Della, along with Ronald Regan and Englebert Humperdink, was one of life’s over-achievers. Her role as cleaner stretched far beyond her wildest dreams. It involved picking up a broom and pushing it in a certain direction, not easy. On the spot decisions such as whether to move a shoe or sweep round it were challenging to say the least. She doted on Anonymouse with compensatory passion, even feeding him some of her precious chocolate. I have rarely been cruel to dumb animals, but she was to prove the exception.
“I’ll have a look at the washing up later.” said I as I returned to parting the cute ringlets and planted a sample kiss delicately on her lips, Anna’s not Della’s. It brought back memories which were going to be short-lived as I had to return, Cinderella-like to work.
Hindsight is 20/20 and had I known what was going to happen I would have gone AWOL. I stepped, unwittingly, from the sublime to the ridiculous.
The stars were wrongly set that fateful night as all types of mayhem was to break loose. If love is blind then drunk love must be deaf as well as dumb.
The effects of alcohol brought out the devil in Steve. Surely, he could not be missing her? But for no reason he punched an inoffensive traveller breaking his nose. This was totally out of character for this lounge-lizard who claimed he was trained to thrill not to kill.
When he returned to reception, like an idiot, he sat and waited. The others came back and it kicked off- fists, tables, blood were flying everywhere. Everyone was screaming, nobody knew what was happening, it was truly wild-west.
At the end of it Steve had taken a sound pasting of Hammer Horror stature. It was a bit unkind of Dave to ask him if he was auditioning for the Elephant Man. As it quietened another group arrived, saw Steve, took his side, and they started on the regulars. It calmed and rose several times before an eerie silence fell and they all left for their bunks.
I was left with Steve and blood dripping from his eye onto the floor. I had sympathy with Wyatt Earp but he did not have to clean up by 8 O’clock. I looked in the first-aid box but it was completely empty. I tried to stem the flow but it needed stitches. There was nothing I could do as I found the only item of cloth available- Nicole’s knickers. It was a fitting gesture as he was able to stagger to bed. I have never known pheromones to do anyone any harm.
An uneasy quiet descended which was suddenly broken by the unmistakeable sound of breaking glass. I saw a figure sprint along the corridor.