Hotel Internacional, Mars

People’s dreams of “The future” are never as mundane nor inconvenient as the reality. I find myself having to head back to Mars, yet again on business.

The first year or so after the war, every soldier was treated like a hero. The drinks were free. Now, a new generation of student activists who viewed the whole thing in less heroic terms. The root of which often was just a contrary streak in regard to their parents’ politics. We all took our medals off the lapels of our jackets, except a few of the older guys. In their eyes, to do so would be tantamount to a defeat.

I pulled my boots off, it served no purpose, it was safety theater for the less well traveled. Inevitably the line would hit a snag, everyone held up as prohibited fruit was confiscated from someone who didn’t want to pay those Mars prices and thought that they were slicker than the TSA.

The bell at the front desk. I appreciated that they managed to not only still have such an archaic device but that somehow even after all these years, they had prevented its theft. My fingertip hit the small nubbin atop the shiny silver dome.

“Ah Mister Wesley, welcome back. We have your usual room ready; Business or pleasure bring you once again back to us?”

“It’s Mars.”

I knew he would appreciate the subtly of allowing each eavesdropper to ascribe their own meaning to my answer.

I adjusted the strap on my bag and headed for the lift. I cast a final glance to the desk, we exchanged nods and I kidded myself that this time would be different.

Text & image W.Wolfson 8/18/21

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