Thursday, May 26, 2011

living out of a hotel

When I was a kid we moved a lot. There were times we would get to a new city and have to stay in a motel/hotel for weeks. Back then extended stays where not very common especially in the non tourist towns we were moving to. There was never a mini fridge or a microwave to reheat my Applebee’s leftovers. This week I have been living out of a hotel somewhere in the New South in anticipation of moving there. It was supposed to be a 3 day visit, find a place, go home and move. Well with two job offers in one week that plan changed then changed again. Currently I spend my days and nights in a 300 sq foot room, at least I have a mini fridge and a microwave.
Hotels have a certain mystique about them. They house people without homes. Travelers, business men, families on the move, celebrities, people like me. Who are these people and why aren’t they at home? Most of the time hotel guests revolve around business. During the day the halls of this place are empty. I get looks from employees that suggest they thought the hotel was empty, yet here I am.
It has been four weeks since I quit my job. The days start to blur without my day calendar to count for me. In a sense my cubical has grown in size. Now I have a coffee pot and a TV to distract me from working instead of co-workers and their problems. I turn on reality TV to feel more like an office.
My only task for the day is to write. I sit in the room staring at my computer and the blinking curser. I have written some and read some. The thoughts are churning in my mind, spinning a story others may enjoy one day. I find routines help. After the free breakfast I head back to the room with a cup of coffee and a cup of water. I sit and write something before doing anything. So far it is working. The progress is there but I find my mind wandering, forming a scenario where I’m in this hotel because I’m attending conference or con. While I’m in the elevator returning from breakfast I see fans. One gets in the elevator with me. How do I react? I don’t know. So I play it out, deciding to be gracious because I could use every fan I can find.
Reality seeps in as the bell dings for my floor and the shiny metal door slides back revealing the third floor. I walk the hall to my room and grab the ice bucket. It’s a long walk down the other end of the vacant hall to the icemaker. It would be nice to be closer but having worked in a hotel for years I recall that was a constant complaint. Then back to sitting and writing.
At noon I have lunch. Pick a place, any place. Reading fills my afternoon with some writing, a little TV in between the two. For inspiration I stare out my third floor window looking down over the office building across the street. I watch people come and go from their cubicles and offices. They rush back from lunch, trapped by a clock. After they have all gone back to work, I’m bored. I pace around the room or wander the empty halls. The idea I am someone famous like a rock star clouds my mind. Maybe this is how they live while on the road.
Trapped in a hotel room has been very productive for me. It has been conducive for my routines. Four weeks since I quit my job and I am finally starting to get this down. I still can’t tell you what day it is without looking at my cell phone. Despite my small success here in the hotel, I can’t wait to get home and see my dog.

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