BrooksLooks @ Delirium

DELIRIUM
Brooks Bradbury

YOU TRIED TO LEAVE
YOU SOLD YOUR SOUL
NOW IT’S YOU WHO’S IN THE HOLE
SEEMS YOU WERE JUST A BRIDGE FOR US
A HERE-TO-THERE WITH TOO MUCH FUSS
YOU TRIED TO GET THE SHIP TO SINK
NOW IT’S YOU WHO’S SUNK, ‘S WHAT PEOPLE THINK
YOUR MACHINATIONS WORE MIGHTY THIN
NOW YOU’RE OUTSIDE LOOKIN’ IN
LET ME GET MY VIOLIN
NOW YOU’RE OUTSIDE LOOKIN’ IN

WATER RISING IN A SHIVER
YOU HELPED US CROSS A LITTLE RIVER
YOU ROSE AND PEAKED A SHORT TIME LATER
WE SMILED AT EACH ALLIGATOR
AS WE REACHED THE OTHER SHORE
YOU TAPERED OFF TO BUT A SLIVER
OVER SUCH A SLOW AND GENTLE RIVER
BOTH SIDES OF YOU ARE NOW MUCH CLEARER
TAKE A LOOK INTO THE MIRROR
HOLD OFF ON YOUR FINAL BOW
YOU WERE BUT A PATH FROM THERE TO HERE
A BRIDGE ACROSS THEN AND NOW

YOU TRIED TO LEAVE
YOU SOLD YOUR SOUL
NOW IT’S YOU WHO’S IN THE HOLE
SEEMS YOU WERE JUST A BRIDGE FOR US
A HERE-TO-THERE WITH TOO MUCH FUSS
YOU TRIED TO GET THE SHIP TO SINK
IT’S YOU WHO’S SUNK, S’ WHAT PEOPLE THINK
YOUR MACHINATIONS ARE MIGHTY THIN
NOW YOU’RE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
HOLD OFF ON THAT GREAT BIG GRIN
NOW YOU’RE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
I’LL ROSIN UP MY VIOLIN
NOW YOU’RE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN

LIFE’S HARD ENOUGH WITHOUT TWO FACED LIARS
PERHAPS THEY SIMPLY CROSSED THEIR WIRES
BUT LIFE CAN BE A LOT MORE FUN
NOW THE BASTARDS ‘R ON THE RUN
CAN FINALLY SEE THE SHINING SUN
NOW THE BASTARDS ‘R ON THE RUN
TRAPPED IN THE SILKY WEB THEY’VE SPUN
BASTARDS ARE FINALLY ON THE RUN
AND OUR SPIRITS WON’T COME UNDONE
NOW THE BASTARDS ‘R ON THE RUN

© 2014 Brooks Bradbury | Brooks Looks

BrooksLooks @ Additional Therapy Required

Additional Therapy Required

They were the matter-of-fact, high-wire requests every local innkeeper and inn-team fielded and responded to over the course of a frenetic summer in the Berkshires.

These were life’s serendipitous brushes with greatness in sweet and personal ways. People serving people. If we took too much time to think about each of these moments, we could have flirted with even higher levels of stress knowing that if we screw “this” up, the whole world would surely know!

On this day, Mary Tyler Moore might request a brownie sundae in the wee hours of the morning. Or Ann Jackson would require an impromptu ride back to NYC for husband Eli Wallach, who wasn’t feeling well.

Martha Argerich would require a well-tuned piano in her guest room. Such sweet sounds! Or Garrison Keillor could be stamping his feet because he was unhappy with his room.

Or Shimon Peres might prefer a bottle of Bordeaux this morning. No matter that his personal time zone was out of synch with Eastern Standard Time and local liquor laws.

Or Lyle Lovett and his band would prefer that our New England chef prepare huevos rancheros for breakfast at noon. Or Marlo Thomas might need some help setting up her off-premise suite this morning.

There was the moment James Taylor simply asked to purchase a newspaper. Or the night Ray Davies came to dinner. Or the time Buzz Aldrin required some technical help with his laptop.

The answer to such requests was always yes–of course–right away in the same way “How high do I jump?” was followed by “How long do I stay up there?”

There was that one day in particular when Marge Champion’s massage was the day’s top priority. That is, until Senator and Mrs. Ted Kennedy called from the road to request a massage therapist be ready on standby for their imminent arrival.

Oh, by the way “our limo is just passing through Worcester now.” This could be loosely translated as, “We need two massages the moment we arrive in order to make it to the grand opening in time.”

Yes. Of course.

It really was all very simple. Making it happen was what we always did. After all, a career in service is just that–a ministry of serving guests well and the daily dispensation of The Platinum Rule–serving guests the way they wanted to be treated.

It really isn’t WHAT you know at moments like this but WHO you know! In this case the Kennedy’s were well on their way and my loyal assistant Pam began the process of calling all the licensed, high quality massage therapists on our list.

All too soon, we arrived at the bottom of the list without success. Pam already knew it was time to bring out the big guns—for instance leveraging area massage therapy coordinators. I had to leave a message for my friend “LL”. She had her finger on the pulse of local massage therapy, although on this day she was busy like everyone else. I had to leave a message for her.

Minutes began passes like seconds as Pam had to resort to the “phone book”—we were approaching that desperate territory now somewhere between the rock and hard place. But at last, Pam found a therapist who WAS available right away.

About this point, I found myself taking a gulp of air—it was a male therapist who was available. Was he our only option? Yes. Did we know anything about him? Not enough.

In a moment of loneliness at the top, I gave the ‘go ahead’ not feeling quite settled with my decision. The therapist would arrive in 15 minutes and the Kennedy’s would arrive moments later. For better or worse, this die was cast.

Just then, the front desk reported the massage therapist and his portable massage table were arriving at the front door right now. I met him at the door and personally ushered him to the suite. It was show time.

I was cringing inside that the therapist’s appearance was not quite spa worthy as I walked him to the Fire House suite. There, I introduced him to the arriving Senator and Vicky Kennedy. It was a joy to see them as always, but now there were massages to attend to and their schedule was quite tight.

I left the three of them in the suite and I returned to my office still on pins and needles. Then the telephone rang. It was my friend LL. “Now you call!” I said, and she asked if I was able to find someone.

I told her who we found, and a deafening silence commenced on the other end. “What is it, I asked?”

“He was terminated for reports of improperly using his hands.”

More silence–as my entire career began passing before my eyes…

“What do you mean?!?”

“I can’t say anything more.”

As I hung up the phone, a feeling of dread cast its pall over my very life.

As happened frequently Kennedy family members would enjoy enjoyed a full and high profile stay and in this case, two days later they left before I could say goodbye. The uncertainty was unbearable!

At a chamber of commerce meeting a few days later, I had a chance meeting with a key Kennedy politico who provided my first chance to ask how the visit actually went. “Brooks, they had a wonderful stay as always!”

Not satisfied, I pressed for more feedback relative to the massage therapy. I was able to exhale when I heard: “The massage therapist was fabulous! Thank you for arranging this on such short notice! Ted and Vicky loved him because he was such a staunch democrat!”

A handwritten thank-you note followed from the Kennedy’s as it did after each family visit. I was breathing a little easier. A few days later, an article appeared in the local newspaper detailing the charges against the massage therapist. Somberly, I faxed it to LL. I don’t know about the massage therapist’s career, but mine would happily go on.

Somehow, a bullet was dodged! Joyful moments of service to others have always provided amazing dimension to life. Such is the pleasure of hospitality and a life spent serving others well.

© 2014 Brooks Bradbury | Brooks Looks

BrooksLooks @ Innkeepers

INNKEEPERS LIKE SLEEPERS
Brooks Bradbury
15 November 2013

IT’S NO SECRET
INNKEEPERS LIKE SLEEPERS
ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO RENT ROOMS
AND THOSE WHO DRINK WINE
AND THOSE WHO NEED TIME
FOR ROMANCE
LIKE BRIDES & GROOMS
AND THOSE OVERDUE FOR SOME VACATION
AND A LITTLE PRIVACY
ONE ASSUMES
THE DESPERATE FOR RELAXATION
AND RELIEF FROM CITY FUMES
THIS ABOUT COVERS
OUR WHOLE NATION

INNKEEPERS ITS TRUE
CAN REALLY VARY
BUT ALL GENUINELY OFFER
SANCTUARY

INNKEEPERS LOVE TO WELCOME EACH GUEST
THEY REALLY LOVE A FULL HOUSE
AND DREAM OF THE DAY
WHEN THEY CAN REST
IT’S THE GUESTS WHO COME BACK
FOR WHOM THEY ARE BLEST
INNKEEPERS OFFER ESCAPE
FROM LIFE’S TESTS

INNKEEPERS THOUGH
ARE A LITTLE OFF KILTER
PERHAPS ALWAYS BEING TOO NICE
MEANS THEY LACK SOME PERSONAL FILTER
OR THEIR UPBRINGING TAUGHT THEM
TO ALWAYS BE GIVING
OR THAT REAL JOY
COMES FROM HELPING OTHERS
WITH THEIR LIVING

THE WORLD’S INDEED A MUCH BETTER PLACE
BECAUSE INNKEEPERS WELCOME
THE WHOLE HUMAN RACE
THEN SEND PEOPLE BACK HUMAN AGAIN
TO THE PLACE THEY BELONG
AND BACK WITH THEIR FRIENDS

INNKEEPERS PERHAPS CONTRIBUTE
TO A LITTLE LESS TENSION
A LITTLE MORE LOVE
LESS APPREHENSION
MORE UNDERSTANDING
AND A REDUCTION IN STRESS
WITHOUT INNKEEPERS
THIS WOULD BE
A MUCH BIGGER MESS

HERE’S TO THE INNKEEPERS
A RATHER UNSUNG FOLK
MAY THEY SLIP INTO THEIR HOT TUBS
TONIGHT
FOR A WELL-DESERVED SOAK

IT’S NO SECRET
INNKEEPERS LIKE SLEEPERS
ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO RENT ROOMS
AND THOSE WHO DRINK WINE
AND THOSE WHO NEED TIME
FOR ROMANCE
LIKE BRIDES & GROOMS
AND THOSE IN NEED OF REAL VACATION
A LITTLE PRIVACY ONE ASSUMES
THOSE DESPERATE FOR RELAXATION
RELIEF FROM STRESS AND CITY FUMES
THIS JUST ABOUT COVERS OUR WHOLE NATION

INNKEEPERS IT’S TRUE
CAN REALLY VARY
BUT EACH OFFERS
A WELCOME TO SANCTUARY

© BROOKS BRADBURY / INNSPIRED HOSPITALITY

BrooksLooks @ Innkeeper Nation

INNKEEPER NATION
Brooks Bradbury

WE BUILD OUR BUSINESS SERVING GUESTS FIRST
WE ATTEND TO COMFORT HUNGER AND THIRST
THE GO-TO PEOPLE FOR RELAXATION GETAWAYS AND CELEBRATIONS
SOMETIMES SPEECHLESS AT WHAT WE BEHOLD
AT WHAT WE SEE AND WHAT WE’RE TOLD
AT TIMES CLUELESS, AT TIMES AMAZINGLY WISE
AT TIMES SO QUIET WE HEAR THE OVERHEAD RISE

WE CHECK LEGIONS IN, CHECK LEGIONS OUT
WE’RE PLEASANT EVERY DAY, NO DOUBT
WE SERVE CANAPÉS AND WINE AND CHEESE
WORK ENDLESS DAYS AND AIM TO PLEASE
TRIP ADVISOR CAN MAKE OUR DAY OR TURN IT ROUND THE OTHER WAY
GOOD REVIEWS MAKE US SEEM BRILLIANT, THE BAD GIVE US HELL TO PAY

IT SURE BEATS LIFE IN A CUBBY OR THE TEDIOUS NINE TO FIVE DRAG
WITH MORE WEEKENDS OFF WE’D BE EVEN MORE CHUBBY
PROBABLY HALF IN THE BAG
ALL OF OUR GUESTS BRING JOY TO THE HEART, SURE:
MOST ALL AT ARRIVAL AND A FEW AT DEPARTURE
WE’VE GOT HOLES IN OUR ‘TAPE CHARTS’ WE’RE DESPERATE TO FILL
THIS AIN’T FOR THE FAINT-HEARTS NOR THE OVER-THE-HILL

WE’VE GOT PLENTY OF SECRETS WE COULD GET OFF OF OUR CHESTS
ALWAYS GRACIOUS UNDER STRESS, APPRECIATIVE OF RETURNING GUESTS
WE CARRY BAGS, SHOW THE WAY, POUR THE COFFEE, CLEAN THE LOO
OFFER ADVICE–RECEIVE OUR SHARE TOO

WE SEE OUR GUESTS NAKED WITHOUT INHIBITIONS
AT TIMES LOCKED OUT IN AWKWARD POSITIONS
IN-TUNE WITH OUR GREASE-TRAPS, WE BRAVE THE OCCASIONAL MOUSE
WE KNOW THE DOUBLE EDGE SWORD OF A COMPLETELY FULL-HOUSE
WE CLEAN UP MESSES AND SPILLS, WE PAY HEAVENLY BILLS
WE FLASH MILES OF SMILES, VACUUM HAIRS OFF TILES
WE SILENCE BEDSPRINGS, FORTIFY WALLS AGAINST SNORES
RETURN LOST AND FOUND THINGS, SETTLE CHECK-OUT TIME WARS

WE POINT TOILET PAPER FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON
IS THIS IN THE HANDBOOK? ARE WE OVER-REACHING?
WE STRATEGIZE ON RENTING BEDS–DIAMONDS AND STARS DANCE IN OUR HEADS
WE SPEND LONG HOURS AT LABOR AT OUR INN VOCATIONS
WE “LIVE WITH” OUR CUSTOMERS AND HAVE QUITE A FEW RESERVATIONS

PERPETUALLY IN NEED OF A LONGER VACATION
WE ARE THE FAITHFUL OF THE INNKEEPER NATION
WE’RE GIVEN ONE CHANCE TO MAKE FIRST IMPRESSIONS
WE LOOK ASKANCE AT INDISCRETIONS

BECOME AN INNKEEPER—AND YOU’LL LIVE LIFE EVEN DEEPER
AND FLY BY THE SEAT OF YOUR PANTS
IT’S OUR GUESTS THAT WE TREASURE AS FRAGILE AND RARE
OF COURSE! MY PLEASURE! WHY YES, BE RIGHT THERE!
IT’S UP-CLOSE AND PERSONAL–WE ATTEND TO SYBIL-LIKE ROLES
SOMETIMES WE COULD BITE OFF SOME HEADS JUST TO SPIT IN THE HOLES…

BUT WE SMILE THROUGH OUR ANGER RESISTING THE URGE
WHEN WE’RE OVER-THE-EDGE AND OUT ON THE VERGE
THIS IS OUR CALLING WE ARE DESTINED TO SERVE
WE’VE GOT THE MANNERS, THE BRASS AND THE NERVE
GUESTS RETURN JOY AND LOVE US IN TURN
THEY RESPOND TO OUR KINDNESS, THEIR LOYALTY WE EARN

SNOOZING AWAY, IN THOSE EARLY MORN HOURS
WHEN WE AWAKEN FROM DREAMS OF FRETTE AND FLOWERS
REMEMBER THERE’S ONLY ONE CHOICE WE NEED MAKE
IT’S NOT WHAT ROOM TO CLEAN FIRST NOR WHICH MUFFIN TO BAKE
NOT THE QUICHE OR FRITATTA NOR THE GLUTEN-FREE CAKE

NOR WHICH POTPOURRI YOU’VE DECIDED TO USE
OR IF YOU NEED PADDED HANGERS OR JUST PADDED ROOMS
FOR THE HEART OF THE MATTER, THE REAL CRUX OF THE THING
IS WHEN YOU WAKE UP TO AN ALARM BELL RING
A MOMENT OF TRUTH ARRIVES EACH DAY IN YOUR LIFE
A DECISION YOU MAKE THAT CUTS LIKE A KNIFE
YOUR ONLY CHOICE IS THIS ONE, TO GET BY:
ARE YOU GOING TO LIVE? OR ARE YOU GOING TO DIE?

IF YOU’VE DECIDED TO DIE, PLEASE — FALL DOWN QUICKLY
LET’S SPARE ALL THE OTHERS FROM THE NEGATIVE AND PRICKLY
BUT IF YOU’VE DECIDED TO LIVE: THEN BY ALL MEANS FLOURISH!
GROW JOY IN YOUR SOUL, LOVE AND BE NOURISHED

IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS, IT’S THE GIFTS WE GIVE
THE TIME WE SHARE, THE WAY WE LIVE
THE GIVING BACK, THE BEING THERE
THE FRIENDS WE MAKE, THE WAY WE CARE
TIME GETS SHORTER, NUMBERED DAYS WHIZ BY
PLENTY OF WORRIES, TO PONDER WHY
IT’S AN INNKEEPER’S LIFE, A STRIVING TO SERVE
IN SPITE OF THE GRIND AND THE OCCASIONAL CURVE
WE ARE THE GIFTS WE GIVE TO THE SOULS WHO ARRIVE
EACH AND EVERY DAY IN AN INN, WE KNOW WE’RE ALIVE

© BROOKS BRADBURY | INNSPIRED HOSPITALITY 2013