At the Fountainhead

A writer can find her way here, in these wonderful in-between spaces; the hotel foyer, a great writers nook. I’ll take the far corner, snug end, of the Ambassade Hotel, sat on a deco lounge chair, looking at a few framed Karel Appel prints, and surrounded by a cacophony of glass encased first editions. All signed by the multitude of authors who’ve stayed in the hotel, no doubt on publicity tours to launch the Dutch translation of their books. I spy Isabelle Allende, Angela Carter, A.S. Byatt, Alan de Botton, among thousands of others. Gabriella Cilmi’s Nothing Sweet About Me thrumming along as the bartender promptly attends me with a Hendricks and FeverTree tonic, curled cucumber for a garnish. Nibbling on some overly dried-out bar mix with a side of olives. These little well-springs of opulent retreat are perfectly conducive to imaginary transpositions – fuck the library! It’s just not grand enough. I need the gilded cage of a hotel foyer; a simulacrum of a lounge room, with much more suave faire. A place of wonderment – full of naives taking in the revelry of place: new place. Souls are open – on a precipice of renewed enquiry, or no not precipice, more like a hinge of self exploration. Fate is thick in the air. The whiff of it feeds my writing. I scribble away in my journal, willing to absorb the aura of all of that auspicious-economy-of-desire, which wafts about like heady perfume. So, even if libraries are the real front lines of culture, offering an accurate indication of the true demographic of a society, betraying it’s many failings, it’s saving graces – I’ll take the hotel foyer. I’m done with the library, after all I worked in one for years. I want the fairy tale – the one that ends well! I want the vainglorious troposphere of a below street level hotel foyer. I’m in a subterranean mood, but with a halo on it. At the vanguard of post-humanism and global ecological disaster – oh shut it out a moment – I’m drawing on the blood jet, letting its fountainhead stain the page. This is my new lair. Then Sade comes on – Your Love is King – and I’m sold. A soundtrack to live by. The Conservatorium foyers another great nesting place for writers I’ve uncovered. Sitting underneath that opulent high ceiling on a Le Corbusier sofa nourishes my soul! And, after draining the wellspring it’s a perfect spot to sip on a fine glass of Tempranillo, eat roast almonds, soak it all in. Ah, the feted joys of continental chirography.