Just as you’re thinking that, up ahead in the distance you see a building. It’s the first building you’ve seen for miles, and as you near it you can see that it’s a run-down place, perhaps even abandoned. There’s no signpost out the front, you have no idea what this place is or if anyone is even there, but you decide to take your chance and go up the long driveway -- after all, this might be the last building you come across for miles to come.
The grass around the building is dry, long and shivers in the desert breeze. There are a few dilapidated gravestones plotted around the grounds and the driveway you’re walking down is rocky and uneven, and looks as though it hasn’t been travelled on for years. The closer you get, the more sure you become that there’s going to be no one in this place; there are no lights on, and you can see as you near it that there are smashed windows, paint peeling from the external walls, mildew and mould growing on the walls, and the brickwork is cracked and lop-sided. This place looks like it’s going to fall apart before your very eyes.
You reach the front of the building, and when you do, you realise it’s standing atop a large hill. The sun might be fading from the sky, or maybe it’s rising, or perhaps it’s even at its highest time of the day, but you can see the desert all around you expanding into the horizon in every direction you look. It makes you realise how alone you are, and perhaps the state of this building makes you feel even more lonely. There’s something ghostly about it, something eerie, and maybe you feel a little afraid, or perhaps even very afraid, but it feels like you’re drawn towards this place; like the building is beckoning you.
You approach the front door: the steps leading up to it are covered in dead vines and small tumbleweeds, and when you stand on the porch you can hear the wind howling quietly; a ghost-like howling sound. You see a sign which has come off its hinges on one side by the front door and on the sign is written in faded black letters, Hotel California. You push the front door open, and it creaks loudly. You’re sure that you’re going to see nothing more than an empty, vacant place, as dead and haunting as the outside looks.
But when you step inside, you enter a whole new world. This place has everything you could ever need: anything you want, anything you need, the hotel will provide it. In the front entrance, there are crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceilings, the floor is laid with marble, and ahead of you there is a grand staircase that leads upstairs to a never-ending amount of hotel rooms. There’s a man with a friendly face, standing behind a rich mahogany desk in the front entrance, dressed in an expensive suit, and he greets you with a smile and says, “Welcome to the Hotel California.”
Once you enter the Hotel California, you belong to it. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.