31. What A Crazy World We're Living In

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Oh, Dad's gone down the dogtrack, Mother's playin' bingo, 
Grannie's boozin' in the parlour, you oughta see the gin go, 
No one seems to notice me, isn't it a sin? 
What a crazy world we're livin' in

'We love you, Beatles! Oh, yes, we do! We love you, Beatles, and we'll be true! When we're not near you, we're blue! Oh Beatles, we love you!'

There is a brief moment of silence. I take the pillow from over my head and listen, holding my breath.

'We love you, Ringo! Oh, yes, we do! We love you, Ringo...'

The singing starts again in earnest and I roll over onto my back with a frustrated groan.

I am very much regretting not sleeping on the plane now. I'm nearly regretting not staying in Houston when I had the chance. The hotel we're staying at - the O'Hare Sahara - have announced, proudly and stupidly, that The Beatles will be in resident for the next two nights, and there are tons of fans outside. Deranged, adoring, shouting, singing, noise making Beatle fans. Holding up banners that no one can read in the dark. Singing 'We love you Beatles' to that tune from Bye Bye Birdie, clapping their hands along with it.

The hotel is near the Chicago O'Hare airport, like Maurice said. Unfortunately, after what happened in Houston yesterday, they wouldn't let us land there. We had to land at Chicago Midway instead. By the time we'd found our way to the hotel, it was past three o'clock in the morning and there was already a vigil of fans outside, shouting for the Beatles and singing their inane love song, over and over. It's making my head spin. It's worse than any stomach flu or migraine. It's like a form of torture.

Getting out of bed, I slip a jumper on over my pyjamas and go to find Maurice's room. I hope he's got some more of the yellow pills he gave me yesterday. It will be the only way I'm getting any sleep tonight.

I knock on the door and wait. Then I knock again, a bit harder. There's no reply. I can still hear the Beatle fans out here. I wonder if Maurice has swallowed some of the pills himself.

This hotel is not as big as some of the others we've stayed in. We're all on one floor here. We have this end of the corridor, and The Beatles have the other. I can see light spilling out of the bottom of most of the closed doors down there. 

I knock a third time time and lean on the wall, trying to listen for any sort of movement inside. One of the doors further down the corridor opens and Minnie steps out.

'Hannah? What are you doing?' she asks.

'Looking for Maurice.'

'He's not there.'

'Why's he not there? Where's he gone?'


'Out? Out where?'

'I don't know. He went out about an hour ago. What do you want him for?'

'I wondered if he had any more sleeping pills. I can't sleep with that racket outside.'

'No one can sleep. We're all in here.'

She goes back into the room. That was more of a statement than an invitation. Yesterday I would have just gone back to my bedroom. Now, I'm don't know what to do. I'm surprised George said what he did. I feel a bit guilty. I'd been thinking all these mean things about him, since I found out about his girlfriend, and then he came and apologised to me.

I'd like to join in more, but I was keeping out of his way. He said he wouldn't ignore me anymore, but it was hardly a, 'Hey, lets hang out together,' was it? He would probably still prefer me to keep my distance.

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