Thanksgiving Day…we gather around a small table at the back of the kitchen. The cast of characters includes Sammy (of Mountains & Lullabies), The Ballerina in Room 1211, Night Manager Stanley Cooper and the others who had found their way onto the pages of my diary. There is an empty chair beside me, should you want to join us.
We will feast, enjoy…then go around the circle and talk about this day of thanks…saying what is in our hearts to say.
Emma Masterson goes first. White haired, black and soft-spoken, she talks about patience and hope…the music that brought her close to God.
Simon, the Hotel Chauffeur, follows, saying he is truly thankful right now, for anything that isn’t messed up.
Chain-smoking Night Manager speaks about his love for the old Hotel – how she’s bearing up well: the heat still working, food being served…the guests still coming in droves.
Sammy, the 15-year-old runaway, doesn’t say a word…leans over and hugs her mother.
The Night Manager spins a finger in a circle – and we go around again:
The Ballerina giving thanks for dance, the silent freedom to express.
Looking sheepish, humbled Billionaire Wayne Shilling offers appreciation for being given a second chance.
Again, The Night Manager’s finger twirls…and on and on we go into the night, taking our turns, following some unpaved road deeper and deeper into the secrets of our lives.
Each time around, less is spoken – more is said. Until we are simply sitting in silence – individual stories abiding with a deep sense of connection.
Moments later, Sammy stands up, tears in her eyes, nods to all of us and quietly leaves the room.