FLUORESCENT LIGHTS, SMALL CITY
You pick up the receiver and slam it down without answering it. You know the voice on the other end is automated and telling you to wake up. There is a knock on the door. Instinctively you know who this is, too. "Can you come back in thirty minutes?" you ask the housekeeping lady, whom you know without opening the door, is overweight and dragging her feet every step of her five hour shift.
Here's a snapshot of your life.
You too drag your feet as you get up to go to the bathroom. On the fake, marble counter is an emporium of gels and lotions, none of which you can identify without reading the label. Your bed has more layers than a Faulkner novel. Despite the fact that you can control the temperature, the covers are suitable for anything from arctic to sauna. And it makes itself. Your pillowcases have "soft" or "hard" written on them to tell you the density of the enclosed pillows.
When you leave your room, a funny thing happens: you don't know where to go. Sometimes you squint and peer both ways trying to become oriented. Sometimes there are obvious clues like visible elevator banks. Sometimes not. Sometimes you instinctively turn right and walk a few steps and turn around. Sometimes you turn left.
Breakfast is a cornucopia of goodness: biscuits and gravy, waffles, cinnamon buns, cereals, yogurt, fruit. Or so you've heard. You have not once made it to the great feast before it's whisked away at 9:00. So you drink coffee from a push-button thermos. It is weak. And lukewarm. You down it as fuel in one gulp.
For one quarter of one year, this is your life.