I’m just home from a few days in Los Angeles, going to meetings related to my TV series, and because my trip was short I did what I’ve done before, and stayed roughly on UK time. This meant having no meetings after 4pm, and going to bed as soon after that as possible; so simulating a late night at home. So far so good. However, as a consequence, I wake at 1am in my hotel room with eight empty hours yawning before me before my day’s business will begin.
A perfect opportunity to catch up with writing, of course. Except I don’t. Something about hotel rooms renders me floppy. And the surprising truth is that I’m capable of doing lots of nothing. So I decided to jot down a list of the various forms of nothing that occupied me one night. Here it is:
Phone home and catch Virginia up on my day gone by, and learn about hers.
Look out of the window at the city at night.
Eat chocolate raisins from the mini-fridge.
Read emails. A sofa is to be delivered shortly, back in England. Can I say to John Lewis that I’m overseeing this event from LA?
Ponder the sad truth that I’m not doing something more exciting.
Order room service: granola with whole milk, coffee, and a jug of hot milk.
Watch part of old movie on Turner Classic Movie channel about a wealthy widow from Marshovia going to Maxim’s in Paris where she falls in love with a playboy who likes girls called Fifi.
Wonder whether to ask the waiter who brings room service to come back again, this time with hot milk as requested.
Watch part of movie about killer bees with Michael Caine.
Clean teeth. Shower. Shave.
Read scripts to prepare for meetings. Stop reading scripts out of boredom. After all, I wrote them, and have read them before.
Watch part of movie about hostage rescue with Russell Crowe.
Lie on bed and doze.
Realise the dawn is happening outside the window.
Think about the future.
Watch TV news in which pundits explain at length that all Donald Trump wants is attention.
Watch sun rise.
Go down for breakfast in hotel dining room. Read New York Times. Wonder why every article stops in mid-sentence, to be continued nine pages later. Wonder why the NY Times is so tall and thin. Order croissants.
Regret ordering croissants. They look like croissants, but are in fact crescent-shaped bread.
Order bacon and eggs. The bacon is streaky, crisp, excellent. Why can’t we have bacon like this at home?
Try to work out just how early it will be acceptable for me to go to bed tonight.
Sign bill. Ponder the tip. I’m not paying, but on the other hand, is it fair to my employers to oblige them to cover my surges of generosity?
Return to room. Lie on bed. Think about nothing.
And so the day begins…