it was crazy for a bit, then they took the body away.
Manny, my boss, told me that i was cleaning the room by myself on this one, that no one else wanted to go in there. he knew i didnt mind, besides, i was the best cleaner anyway, it shouldnt take me long, he said. one of the suites, number 1301, he said, so i took the my cleaning cart into the elevator and punched the button for the 13th floor. there are only two suites on that floor, and the other room, 1302, wasnt occupied, so i knew i had the room to myself.
there were so many gifts untouched in the room, so much food laying around and lots of unopened bottles of wine. some of the food was already opened. i saw that gooey stuff that call pate, some cheeses, fancy-looking crackers, olives, fruits, shrimps, and that was only at first glance. there were stacks of all kinds of food all over the place, the table, the nightstand, even in the bathroom! shrimps i stayed away from but i paused and ate some smoked cheddar with some nice rye crackers and a few pitted cherries, so delicious!
there was a certain smell or fragrance in the room too that swirled around and trailed away, following my nose in currents and eddies. The doors to the balcony were closed and I kept them that way, instead of opening them and dispelling that wonder. it gave me a nice shuddery twinge deep inside, that smell did.
that guys death hung over all of this. he had been some old author or something like that, had written a lot of books, i heard all the other girls talking about what a big shot he was. big deal, thats what this place catered to, all the big shots, big shot authors, big shot businessmen, bigshot actresses, even bigshot jockeys, if you can believe that. i would never have been able to set foot in a swanky hotel like this if i wasnt employed there to clean up after people like these. but it doesnt matter. i am the best cleaner in this hotel, and thats no secret, but i am even better at picking out the leftovers and detritus these people leave behind. and they leave behind so much, just like this guy. i feed my grandparents so much stuff that others leave behind. there is never a day when i dont fill up the backseat of my little honda with something leftover from some bigshot who couldnt care less. that is all the better for me.
anyways, the guy that had died in this room, this bigshot author guy, his heart had burst or the inside of his head gave way or something like that. he was old, so, i mean, that wasnt surprising. looking around the room, i could see that his health wasnt exactly his top priority, if you know what i mean.
maybe as i was chewing some of that duck liver on a fancy stone ground wheat pumpernickel cracker i was eating some of what that guys death had left behind, a bit of him, a few thousand atoms of skin that had flaked off his dying body, or some spittle that had sparayed out of his mouth as he coughed while he choked on death. if that was so, i couldnt taste it, not yet. and what i was eating, well, that was some good stuff, so i took it slow and savored each bite. whenever anyone checked out of a suite it would take a couple hours or so longer to clean up than our other, cheaper rooms on the lower floors, and i knew that i could stretch out my time and no one would bother me. neat-o.
what was this, a pack of cigarettes, laying next to an open carton. lucky strikes. yeah, no doubt, i thought to myself as i lit up a square and surveyed this room. i stashed the rest of the carton in my cart, grampy likes those kind, and i can stash the rest to sell somewhere, like outside the clubs on a saturday night, or maybe in the park up the hill from my families house.
i like to dance in the big rooms before i clean them, and ive got my little radio all strapped up to my cart. i usually listen to HITS 92.5. those pop songs get me revved up something fierce, let me tell you and after a few minutes of listening to those dance songs, im ready to get to cleaning. i was dancing all around and loving all that extra crazy food that the dead author guy had laying around. it isnt very often i get a chance like this. i hadnt been around a death like this since i worked at the funeral home.
and i was ready for it, so very ready. i couldnt wait to creep out on the bed. they said that was where they found his body, right there in the bed, with a huge purple face and his eyes rolled up into his head, tongue stuck out, rigid and lifeless, the works. i wish i could have seen THAT!!! but my shift started just as they were loading him into the ambulance or hearse or whatever it was. i didnt even get to see that part.
but, i got the best part right in front of me. the sheets were all rumpled and thrown back, and i saw the stain that covers half the bed. when i see those kinds of things, it really gets my juices flowing, if you know what i mean. i get this warm pit in my stomach and it kind of grows and flutters and reaches down lower into my fundament, where i get all squishy and sort of hard there in the middle. i cant help myself. its like no other feeling, to be alive inside the aftermath of a death. and to wallow in that.
i stripped down to my birthday suit and stood there shivering a second, completely exhilarated that i was going to be able to do this. i inhaled the smell, the sweet aroma, of this mans final day from the soiled bedsheets. oh, was it refreshing. i got these tingles, see, from smelling that. my privacies got all twitchy and inflamed. just by standing there in the aura of the old authors demise. oh OH OH!!!
and i rolled myself up in those bedsheets, and wound them around me and in between my legs and around my neck and i got off on that smell, that sweeeeeet almost noxious odor of the death of the fat author man and his weaknesses, kinda like macaroni and cantaloupe. i almost shredded the sheets with my teeth, i was clutching at everything so hard, i could feel the burns of the cloth on the underside of my fingers, i was melting all over the place, red hot and juicy, creaming like a melting margarine cookie, i really got DOWN. IN. IT. hardcore. i almost never came back from that one. it was just like old times, before they took away the funeral home. i was LIQUEFIED, i was all lathered up and stroking, and the smell gushed into me and i pushed out into a deliciousness that rocked me with wave after wave of ecstasy. i almost couldnt stand it. after i was done there, and i lay in the bed not thinking, just being at one with that event and looking at the ceiling, i slowly returned to this earth, and to the humdrum existence i had to pay for thru drudgery, and cleaning up after bums and shitheels for little compensation.
the world was dim and gray. it hung over me, this world, and left me feeling cast out and alone. the day became gray and a cloud followed me everywhere. i wanted to douse the room in kerosene and light a match. i felt abandoned, alone, and isolated. there was no more joy. i was absent, alone, all alone. lonely. lonesome. gone. out to lunch. i took a long time to clean up that room, and yes, i did steal one of those sheets to take back home. when i got back downstairs, no one talked to me. or maybe they did. i couldnt hear them. all the joy had been left upstairs, with the memory of the smell of the ghost of a dead purple faced man. i couldnt cope. i left early, with all my stolen goods. manny said he understood, but did he really? it didnt matter. nothing mattered. it took all my strength not to swerve into oncoming traffic on the way home. nothing could ever be as good as that wallow i had in room 1301. nothing ever would be as good as that minute of being perched up on the rim of death, looking down and fucking that shroud.
maybe i could get that feeling back, some other day.