The Room at Prestbury
From deepest Carshalton and Epsom
We had met at Euston Station.
Through Stafford to Cheshire we’d made our way
To our hotel destination:
The vicarage, converted, of my forebear who’d died
In Seventeen Sixty Six,
But no parson could prepare two autistic souls
For the words on the receptionist’s lips:
“Your room hasn’t got any water
And we can’t say when all’ll be right.
But, don’t worry, because there’s our sister hotel,
Over there you can both stay the night.
So when are yous gonna be off then?
I’ll just be takin’ your key.
Just lettin’ you know it’s all ready,
Is your room at Prestbury.”
“We’ve come to this vicarage from London
Neuro-diverse, with everything planned.
This hotel, to our schemes, is quite central,
With all ancient towns close at hand,
And it’s nearby the Twemlow Viaduct;
Poetic, we’re sure you’ll agree.
So, no we won’t move to your sister hotel;
To a room at Prestbury.”
“But the other guests, they’re all movin’,”
The receptionist girl seemed to sneer,
“You won’t have no shower or toilet,
And you’ll be all on your own over ‘ere.”
“You will send, from your pub, bottled water,”
We said calmly, though slightly annoyed,
“Which we’ll boil and pour over each other.
Our program will not be destroyed.”
“And if nature should gently come call us
In the night, then it isn’t that far,
Your drinkers will admire our pyjamas
As we walk to the loo near the bar.”
But next morning the memo’d gone missing
As we descended for bacon and tea:
“Just lettin’ you know all’s ready,” said the girl,
“With your room at Prestbury.”
“We don’t know how you neuro-typical folk
Do these things. Is there something we’ve missed?
But Aspergics plan every last detail
When conducting an adulterous tryst.
Read Plato: Zeus rent us asunder
Before time, now the two halves agree:
As one we concur that we will not transfer
To a room at Prestbury.”
Our plan unfurled with few hitches:
The villages, then Budworth Mere,
Though the hyper-sensitivity we happen to share
Meant my driving caused serious fear.
So we abandoned our daytrip to Chester,
And dined by the viaduct on brie,
Then returned to the hotel to be told by the girl
“You’re just the people I wanted to see!”
Our mild brain-damage-caused intransigence,
In which circumstance has no right to alter,
Had somehow worked out! A room was now free
In the half of the hotel that had water!
The older part of the vicarage, no less,
Had my ancestor slept on this spot?!
If he’d washed there, he’d still need his kettle, though,
The H2O in our room was not hot!
But even tepid, a shared bath together
Beneath a ceiling held up by oak beams
Is superior to ten bottles of water,
This was (nearly) the room of our dreams!
In the end we received a reduction,
We paid only half the said fee:
If you’re two autistics Up North for a tryst
Never settle for Prestbury!
If you have any thoughts about this poem, Lucius Falkland
would be pleased to hear them