Poetry Friday: The Word is TEA (Part Deux)
I had more to post on Friday, but was hampered by this statement from the boss: “The lawyers are DEMANDING we make all changes by the end of business TODAY.”
La-de-doodly-da, Mr. LawyerPants. Thanks a heckovalot for hijacking my day.
So. Here’s another little thing, start of something fictional. Not entirely fictional...the Mount Royal Hotel really exists across from Hyde Park, albeit under a new name now, and they served excellent tea.
Mount Royal Hotel
Every morning at 8 o’clock, it came. Noiselessly. Just a light thumpthump of feet on the carpeted hallway. I’d open my door and waiting there on a huge silver tray were the spoils of breakfast…a pot of freshly brewed tea, and a plate of hard crusty rolls. Always with a small pitcher of milk, and a willing pot of sugar. I’d hoist the armful into my room, and place it on the table near the window. Sitting in the red upholstered chair I could see Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, and I’d watch the flapping of raincoats and briefcases as I stirred two spoons of sugar and a healthy dollop of milk into my tea.
The tea smelled like the city. Somehow old and somehow bitter and yet sweet and like spring.
It got so I couldn’t wait for morning. Just to sit. Sip and watch, break the crusty roll open and find the softness inside. It was my solitary pleasure.
In the bar one evening, I met John. I shouldn’t call it a bar. It was far more palatial. Thickly carpeted, curtained, comfy chairs, dark-stained wooden tables. It smelled of money and quiet. I sat reading “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” in a leather chair, nursing a really nice scotch. John worked at the hotel, manager of something-or-other, and he approached me in the typical “Is everything to your liking ma’am” fashion one would expect of a man used to seducing.
Usually I was the one who seduced. It was my nature. It was effortless. This time, I let John think it was his idea. At first.
I smiled and purred and pointed out the especially delicious bits of my novel. We chatted about the city, the theatre district, the Tube stations, the weather. At closing time, I let John walk me to my room…open the door for me…and close it behind him to show me the “additional amenities”.
We didn’t sleep together. Strange, that. We waltzed around and around bedding the other, and found that neither would succumb. We chatted til morning, often drifting off and awaking to finish a sentence.
At 8 a.m., the padding of feet brought the tray. It had two cups of tea, more rolls, and marmalade. John stirred me a milky sweet cuppa, and we stared out the window, the sun aching to burn the mist away, staring at Hyde Park, and the coming rain.