It is a luxury unlike any other. Crusty-eyed you reach over to the phone next to the bed. You dial “44”, and a pleasant international voice, brimming with British politeness, greets you with a hearty “Good Morning”. The voice knows you, he calls you by some version of your name (Mrs. Manaster, for example. Mrs. Movie Actor.) You order coffee. Toast. Maybe eggs or porridge or cereal. “Would you like a bakery basket? Or some orange juice, perhaps?” Your brain, wet with sleep, reels with possibility. Sausage. Smoked salmon. Mueslix. You hang up the phone and smile.
You slink out of from under the cozy white covers onto the cozy white slippers placed next to the bed in anticipation of this very moment. You walk to the bathroom. You emerge swathed in a cozy white robe that matches your cozy white slippers. It is as if you have never emerged from your bed. Your hotel has simply made your bed portable.
You walk around, doing things. You turn on the BBC. You think about daytime.
Then a timid little knock sounds at the door. You squeal with delight and fling the door open, almost forgetting that the robe, while very staid and proper in its way, is nevertheless the only thing between your naked self and this painfully apologetic Eastern European standing in the hallway. He bears a tray covered in plates and cups and linens and glasses and jellies and butter and more forks than a person needs in a lifetime. The tray is on wheels.
“Where shall I set up breakfast, Madam?”
You are so cool. So nonchalant.
“Oh, by the window will be fine. Thank you ever so much”.
He rolls the cart through the room. You stand aside and watch him go. Look! He’s opening up the cart so it becomes a table. Look! He’s pulling plates of food out of a heated cupboard beneath the tablecloth. They’re covered in napkins and stainless steel plate covers. Look! He’s pouring coffee, he’s opening the curtains, he’s asking if there is anything else you might require.
The sun shines out from beyond the wrought metal detailing on the window ledge. You peer out, sipping on your hot coffee with steamed milk, nibbling on a pastry.
“Yes,” you think. “Another wonderful day for the empire.”