Jason put down his pen again, and tried to put a friendly smile on his face. “Hello sir,” he said. “Welcome to The Hotel Motel. How can I help you this evening?”
A man with a large mustache put his phone in his pocket and smiled back. “I’d like a room for the night. Do you accept pets?”
Jason shook his head. “I’m sorry, sir. We do not allow pets in our rooms.”
“Hmmmm. Okay. That’s fine.”
Jason waited. The man looked at him and straightened his moustache with a finger. “So, we don’t allow pets,” Jason said.
“Yes, well, that’s fine. I’d like a room, please,” the man said.
Jason sighed and checked the man into a room. Then he wrote a note for his manager. The man took his bags and room key and left. Finally, Jason could get back to his poem.
Let’s see. An Ode to My Pen. My pen writes tirelessly for weeks on end. It goes into battle for me…
The phone rang. “Hello, this is Hotel Motel. My name is Jason. How may I help you?”
“Hi, I’m calling from room 119. The people in the room next door, 121, must have dogs or something, because I can hear lots of barking through the walls. Listen to this.” There was some rustling, and then Jason could hear muffled barking. Then the angry voice was back. “Do you know what time it is? I thought this hotel didn’t allow pets.”
“I’m so sorry, sir,” Jason said. “I will call my manager right away.”
“Good,” the person from room 119 said. There was a click and a dial tone.
Jason dialed his manager’s number. “Hello, Patricia? I’ve received a complaint from room 119. They said that room 121 has dogs that are barking loudly.”
“Thanks, Jason,” Patricia said. “I’ll call security and we’ll go see what’s happening.”
“Thanks, Patricia.” Jason hung up and picked up his pen again.
Where was he? Oh yes. Hmmm. Something about a true friend. the pen is in battle, so maybe it saves his life? No, it should be sharing his thoughts. Maybe he should start over. My pen writes tirelessly for weeks on end. It hears my complaints like a true friend. It helps me remember things I’d hate to forget…
The front door opened again. A very tall man walked in. Jason put down his pen and smiled. “Good evening. Welcome to the Hotel Motel. How can I help you?”
“What’s your cheapest room?” the man asked.
“We charge competitive rates and include a complementary breakfast in the morning. Here’s a brochure with more details,” Jason said. He handed over the brochure.
The man opened it and scanned through it. “Do you charge less if I don’t eat the breakfast?” the man asked.
“No,” Jason said.
“The night is already half over. Shouldn’t I get a discount for that?”
“I’m sorry, sir,” Jason said. “The rates are decided by our corporate office, and I’m not authorized to change them.”
“Fine. Do you have a public restroom?” the tall man asked. Jason pointed the way. The man left.
Jason picked up his pen again. All right. Is the next line going to rhyme with forget or end? Oh, here’s a line. With a pen in my hand, my day is se… And the pen ran out of ink.
The elevator opened. Jason looked up. The mustached man from earlier was leaving the hotel, carrying two bags and dragging eight dogs along on leashes. The security guard was scowling and following close behind.
The tall man came out of the public restroom dressed in his pajamas. He watched the door close behind the security guard. “What was that all about?” he asked.
“We don’t allow pets in our rooms,” Jason said. “Have you decided that you want a room after all?”
“No,” the man said. “Can I have one of your free toothbrushes? And a comb too, please.”
“Those are for our guests,” Jason said.
“Can I buy them then?”
Jason sighed. “Here. Just take them.”
“Great!” the man said. “I’ll see you in the morning.” He started brushing his teeth as he walked out to the parking lot.
Jason looked down at his pen. He scribbled a bit on his paper. The ink was definitely all gone. He threw it in the garbage and pulled a new pen out of his drawer. A Eulogy For a Dead Pen. My pen died today… he wrote. Being a poet wasn’t easy.