Melissa Bellovin

This is a new work entitled GREAT HOTELS OF THE WORLD.

We aim to inform you, the discerning reader, about GREAT HOTELS OF THE WORLD.

GREAT HOTELS OF THE WORLD is not limited to one region, aesthetic or state of mind. GREAT HOTELS OF THE WORLD is open-minded. We at GHOTW understand that you, the discerning reader, want many things. Sometimes you want a cracked yellow wall and a single purple flower with which you will sit on a sagging bed which was last inhabited by a frolicking couple of carpet sellers from Dubai who entertained one another with lascivious tales, cock tugging and tiresome drunkenness on duty-free wine never meant to be shared with their stolid wives, and not knowing the joys entertained you will simply stare out at the grimy wall and wish you could afford to see the sea. And sometimes you will want a room off an outdoor walkway in a chain motel with a restaurant downstairs where nobody goes, because you're in America and all the people are someplace else, especially if we send you to New Mexico, where every person in the state has his own motel, it's so large, and when you get bored and lonely you’ll sit in your car and turn on the radio and maybe you’ll drive into town or to the next town and then go for some spicy food in a bag and a glass of ice water and wait a few hours with a book about the history of the town, the gold rushers and dirt diggers and that kind of thing, and then you’ll go back to the hotel past the bright lights of the highway- it’s never a side road around here- and turn on the TV and go to sleep, and in the morning before you’ll go you’ll contemplate stealing the ashtray, because it’s heavy and looks like it should be useful for something. And whether you steal it or not we shall not say, because it is our little secret here at GREAT HOTELS OF THE WORLD.

And additionally we know that sometimes you crave more than a cracked wall, a film of medieval oil wafting in from a decrepit lighthouse built by the Aramaics or Thessalonians or Ionic Skies, and you want that little squeeze of the hand provided by a gentle soul inhabiting a body, complete with dark eyes, a trail of hair below the belly, and a mouth that says only what you want to hear. We here at GREAT HOTELS OF THE WORLD know how to appeal to you, the discerning reader. We know that love is all about the hunt, and our catalogue contains many, many rooms. We have mouths that say “Shall we order room service?” We have mouths that say “I can’t believe you brought that up again, you little bitch.” We have mouths that say “Pork future shares are going up up up and this is your time to sing, my sweet little vendetta.” Please speak to our audiophonics specialists for more information on this service. There are at last count over 400 from which to choose, enough to satisfy the most experienced connoisseur of underlined whispers and last lines.

Rooms at GHOTW need not be cheap. They may be built in glass bottles, hidden away from the world, awoken by a single word from a djinn. Is this not what imparts a room with special value, dear discerning reader? The ability to hide it inside your pocket, and leap inside when the world becomes too much?

Come with me, dear reader. Place your dry, ringed hand in mine. Such slender fingers! How admirable is your taste in jewelry: a slalom of red glass is as beautiful as a diamond. Let us hold our noses. The streets are pungent on this hot day. Yes, I know where we are. We’re already gone.

Melissa Bellovin grew up in Long Island.

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