“How did you know what time it was?” he asked.
She looked at him sideways, tired and exasperated by his questions.
“How did I know what time it was? I knew because everything in the damn place was taking way too long and I was kind of pissed off about it. So I was checking the time every few seconds. First, we ordered drinks to be sent to the room and that took forever. Then, we ordered dinner and that took forever, too. So, I knew when we ordered extra towels, it was going to be forever. I was tired and I really wanted to take a shower before I went to bed.”
She and her girlfriends had booked a room at a hotel in town for the weekend. It was to be a fun girls’ weekend, all four of them jammed into a room, ordering room service and staying up late drinking and talking and laughing over life’s adventures. They selected a hotel they could all comfortably afford – a hotel that looked decent on the surface of things, but that was, upon closer inspection, pretty worn down: the decor was outdated and showed signs of heavy use, the rooms were shabby and in mild states of disrepair and the hotel staff moved slowly from defeat and fatigue.
When the hotel attendant finally arrived with a handful of towels for the room, she raced to the door and opened it. While she was holding the door open and waiting for the hotel guy to drop off the towels, she noticed two men in business suits entering the room across the hall. They were talking in earnest, a little bit aggressively. One man, short and balding with a few finger tips missing, handed his business card to the other man. The other man fumbled to take the business card and then slipped his key card into the slot to unlock the hotel room. While he was juggling the business card and the key card and the heavy door, the short balding man quickly slipped his business card into the key card slot. Their door closed and the little white business card peeked out of the key card slot. She watched all of this with mild interest before closing her own hotel room door. She took a long hot shower and then rejoined her girlfriends for wine and deep conversation that went late into the night.
The next morning, one of the men in the room across the hall was dead – murdered – and a detective was knocking at their hotel door asking to speak to all of them. She had a terrible hangover and really had no desire to speak to anyone, let alone be grilled by a detective for a matter that was completely unrelated to her. Even if it meant finding the murderer. All of her friends vouched for her general unsympathetic grumpiness. Her reluctance, however, raised the suspicion of the detective. In fact, the more they tried to persuade the detective of her callousness toward humanity, the more suspicious he became, and soon she was in the back of the detective’s car on the way to the station for further questioning. She was fuming and her head hurt. When it came time for questions at the station, she was hostile and uncooperative and the detective tried to arrest her on grounds that she was a curmudgeon.
And then she woke up. Alone. In her own bed. With a throbbing headache.
And she felt super grumpy about that dream murder and that dream detective.