We checked in to the Day's Inn off Exit 278 In Lost Hills California along the grape vine on March 4th 2011. It was just about 1am and we had been driving for two thousand hours through the pitch black nothingness of North California.
You were staying in room 127. In order to deliver our dogs, luggage and booze to our room on the second floor we had to walk past your room several times.
The first thing I saw was the glow of the TV screen. I remember thinking that it was odd for someone to watch TV with the blinds completely drawn wide open. At 1:09am. Perhaps the person had fallen asleep and forgotten to pull the curtains. Everyone always pulls the curtains when they are in a hotel room which faces the parking lot. I usually pull the curtains before I even set my stuff down.
No one wants pill popping truck drivers and migrant workers looking in on them while they sleep, right? Except you.
For unexplained reasons that still burn in my mind, you had chosen to leave your curtains open. There you lay, propped up on your elbows looking right at me, presumably naked. You were covered barely to the waist by a sheet. Your pasty, pale skin bathed in the blue flicker of infomercials you were not really paying any attention to. No, your focus was riveted on my face, soaking up every ounce of awkward disbelief I could offer.
At first, I felt like the violator, the pervert, the voyeur. But then I saw the satisfaction twinkle in your eye as you tried to act caught off guard, maybe even offended. I thought perhaps after I had dropped the suitcases and grocery bags in our room and returned down the only available staircase that I would find your curtains closed. Alas, such was not the case. It turned out I would be forced to walk by your little theatre of weirdness at least 5 more times that night. Each time I hoped, prayed that you would have shut the curtains, or shut off your TV, turning your window into a forgiving void of darkness, thereby saving me from the inevitable knee jerk reaction of glancing over at the room 127 train wreck.
Each time I was confronted by the same sparse, dark chest hair. Those thick bottle cap glasses blinking impossibly bulging eyes at me. Your droopy man boob nipples. The look on your face was enigmatic. Each time you reached down for the sheet as if to cover yourself up in a moment of modesty. Each time you fumbled with the sheet, but ultimately left it in the same spot, perhaps a bit lower.
Who are you, room 127? What's your name? Is this ritual common for you? Do you travel the grapevine, renting cheap motel rooms in high traffic areas? Subjecting unsuspecting lat night lodgers to the sight of your partially naked figure? Does it arouse you, or does this play to some ancient childhood wound of humiliation?
Do you imagine yourself as the victim and me as the tormentor? Do you curse my name, or think of me fondly, appreciating my sacrifice of mental tranquility for your own personal gratification? I hope you do. I hope that at least one of us thoroughly enjoyed our little encounter. It sure as hell wasn't me.
Also, a few of our first road pictures.
|Mt. Shasta. A really high mountain in Weed California.|
|Black Butt Coffee Roasters in Weed California.|
|Road Trip dogs.|