Monday, August 31, 2009

Checkout is at 11

I did something special for myself Saturday night.

I stayed in a hotel in town.

I helped Keith move to their new place up in Diamond Bar, from Ladera Ranch. After humping couches, beds and dressers up and down flights of stairs and driving all fucking day in 114 degree heat I decided I had earned a wonderful night of air conditioning, clean sheets, a scalding hot shower with unlimited water and silence.

I sleep good in a hotel.

I checked in after haggling $35 off their single room rate DO know to ask them several times if that is their "best rate", right? If they ask you what you wanted to spend, tell them "Hotel whatever down the street is offering ( their rate minus $30) " Usually they'll match it without batting an eye. The extra $5 was what the clerk lowered off their regular rate, before I started schmoozing her.

Anyway- checked in, set the AC to arctic, closed the curtains, piled all the pillows on one side of the bed, took a 45 minute skin-blistering shower, did some internet, got dressed and went to the pub.

I put a few pints of Bavarian Black Market Heff in me, had a great evening making friends, then headed back to the hotel.


The room was festooned with icicles and there was a penguin with frostbite under the bed. Skinnied out of them clothes, jumped into bed and lights out.

Pitch beautiful black. Freezing cold sheets. That isolated, sound deadening feeling of really good insulation in the walls. Sure the A/C cycled on and off with a rumble and a sigh all night, but that's like white noise to me, baby. I slept for 10 glorious, uninterrupted hours. I owned that bed. I used every inch of it, rolled around on it, did my best starfish impression most of the night. I built an empire out of pillows and dreams.

When I woke up, the only way I knew it was morning was by the clock on the nightstand- it was still pitch black in the room. I took another 45 minute shower and used all the towels just because I could. The coffee sucked and continental breakfast was carbo-riffic, so I passed, thanks anyway.

But man, I love me some hotels! Must be all that travelling as a kid- no matter where you go, a hotel is a hotel is a hotel. It's the sameness that gives me comfort. You can count on that air conditioner, the firm mattress, the ultra black out curtains and the smell of bleach on the sheets and towels.

I think it's the only place away from my own 'home' that I can sleep comfortably, relax completely, let my guard down and be free from worry. I haven't felt that way since I lost my house. It's been nearly 3 years.

In a way, a hotel room is home.


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