b ~ Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels

If these walls could talk, what would they say? Would they speak of
lust or loneliness?  Would there be stories of betrayal, or tales of
cleaning women catching five minutes peace upon the newly cleaned
sheets?  The nameless faceless couples who inhabit the rooms for just
one night, does anyone remember them?

The furniture itself longs for more, families that will stay and put
them all to use. Maybe there would be books to be piled onto the one
nightstand that resides between the beds. There is that one lamp with
its burlap shade that isn’t often turned on. (Clandestine meetings and
kissing in the dark don’t require illumination.) If only someone would
come and stay up all night playing Go Fish or Monopoly. A wish for a
family on par with a puppy under the tree on Christmas morning. How
beautiful they both might be. If only… Instead words like tawdry and
transient are tossed around. There is no one to admire the industrial
stain proof carpet, nor the cheap paintings that somehow look just
like those in every other room.

Maybe these rooms would speak of a family cloaked in their grief as
they made their way to a beloved’s funeral. More than twelve hours in
the car, then many more hours on the road before reaching their
destination. This one-story motel as good a place to stop as any.
Closing lids dictating the need to stop, more than a planned place to
rest. Once upon a time there had been days of mirthful laughter when
the child could close his eyes and point to a place that would be
visited, hotels researched for reservations. But those days are long
past. Now it is all about hurry, hurry hurry; ties that tighten and
pantyhose that loosen and fall. Sport coats that extend past little
fingers, shoes that pinch chubby toes. Yet no clothes could possibly
be right for such a sad occasion.

The serviceable shower cannot give even a hint of luxury, only a
chance to sluice through the sorrow and watch it slide down the drain.
A bed that cannot provide comfort, but offer only a restless night’s
sleep. Mother, father and child tossing and turning until the sun
peeks through the thin curtains, signifying the start to the
unimaginable day.

Still there was a time when this room was a respite from the rest of
the world and for a moment it wasn’t quite home, but it gave the
family what it could before they got back in that car and journeyed


About andi

Writer, editor, wrangler of small boys and dogs.

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