Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Streak - 66

At last Evan snapped upright. It was time to act. To go somewhere. Do something. Anything to vanquish this torpor. He walked into the bathroom, splashed water on his face and looked up at his wide-eyed, wet reflection. He slapped himself twice, hard.

"C'mon Evan," he urged. "C'mon."

 Now, he thought. From now on. Starting now. Ready? Now. Everything's gonna change.

He strode quickly around the room, gathering up his things: wallet, phone, shades. Key. He'd take a nice long walk. That'd be good. Up and down those hilly streets in Bullitt. Steve McQueen. That's right, Steve McQueen. Everything was gonna be all right now. He opened the door.

Matt Gillis was standing there. Feet spread slightly. Hands clasped over his groin. Navy jacket as usual. Khaki pants.

"Joe?!" Evan exclaimed.

"Matt."

"Matt?!"

"Matt. Gillis. Joe's the other guy. Maines. Joe Maines. How are you this evening, Evan?"

Matt had a walkie-talkie on his hip. Every few seconds it emitted a staticky burst of incomprehensible speech.

"I... I'm... I'm fine."

"Were you just now about to exit your room?"

"I... I... uh... I guess."

"Wonderful, wonderful. May I recommend the Remède Spa? It's an exquisite sanctuary for hotel guests seeking to escape reality in the utmost comfort."

"I d–"

"Pamper yourself with a hot stone treatment or a micro-exfoliating pedicure. Male facial?"

"What?!"

"Male facial, Evan. Customized to address the specific skincare needs of men."

"Oh."

"Enjoy a glass of chilled champagne, a selection of artisanal cheeses, or some handmade truffles while you wait."

Matt's walkie-talkie went off again.

"Don't you need to get that?" asked Evan.

Matt rolled his eyes. "Blah blah blah. Chatter chatter chatter. Where was I?"

"Truffles."

"Hungry? ame restaurant combines fresh, local ingredients with a touch of Japanese know-how to create a casual yet elegant New American dining experience."

"I was just going to–"

"Exit the premises? Under no circumstances whatsoever."

Ksssssshhhhhh went the walkie-talkie.

"Still?"

"The heat is on, Evan. It's on the street."

"Terrorists?"

"We get the updated reports. Believe me, if you knew what we knew."

Evan sighed in exasperation. "I'm gonna go down to the bar."

"Don't hesitate to avail yourself of the twenty-four hour room service. Also the butler service. Laundry, pressing, wake up calls. Packing. Unpacking. Allow me."

"Allow you what?"

"No, no, Allow me. It's the motto of the St. Regis butler service."

Evan, defeated, stared dully at his overseer. The scrupulous guard of his gilded cage.

"We can also call you a hooker," Matt added brightly.

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