“The landscape is best described as ‘pedestrian hostile.’ It’s pointless to try to take a walk, so I generally just stay in the room and think about shooting myself in the head.”
― David Sedaris, When You Are Engulfed in Flames
Hotel World, by Bill Chance
There are many worlds right under our noses. Worlds separated not by time, nor by space, but mostly by point of view. We move alongside, drive right by, back and forth flowing, unaware of each other, lost in our own perspective.
Today I entered
Not the Bates Motel
No single line of cheap rooms and faint smell of mold, tired truckers and travelers and clandestine passionate meetings.
no, this is the
Business Hotel World
Fighting dawn traffic to the
Tarmac Sea ,
parking lot landscaped with islands of flowers, shredded bark, popup sprinklers.
Parking lot walk – looking around, briefcases and shoulder bags
Hispanic maids with beige skirts
Staff in Maroon Sweater Vests
in Blue Suits with Big Plastic ID Badges
Perfect Strangers going the same place as me.
I enter, come closer to the heart, smell that
A hodgepodge of art, Copies of Oriental vases next to huge Faux Impressionist Landscapes next to chunks of Fake Aztec Friezes
Colors green gold navy, mottled patterns, mixed chairs couches marble coffee tables.
What focus group picked these fabrics, combinations? What corporate meeting spawned this look?
Banks of pay phones – most empty nowadays – replaced by groups of men talking on cell phones, pacing back and forth.
The tall lobby giddies overhead
Rows of identical rooms fronted by identical balconies identical planters of plastic ivy
a demonstration of perspective
an expensive frame to a huge hexagonal skylight high overhead.
Breakfast dishes clank, a background hum of conversation
my pager buzzing even though it’s barely seven,
here sitting hear, I’ve heard at least five languages
Along the Perimeter
Rooms with odd British names:
maybe meant to add at touch of class here on the blasted prairie
Warwick, Churchill, Windsor I, Windsor II, Windsor III, Windsor IV
Signs announce Mysterious Meetings:
OMGI Training Formation
Quality Systems Training
TRII Sales Meeting
Fortune Twelve Management
Inside the Room
The instructor says hello at the door, I can tell he wants to hear my name, “Bill” I say
I know he has memorized it, he gets paid for this.
Rows of long tables covered in white cloth
Candy dishes, glasses arranged upside down, Steel pitchers of ice water
Condensation Beading attractively on the curved flanks.
Piles of Danish
I choose an apple and an unexpectedly stale bagel
wait for the seminar to begin.
I choose a seat on the
I’m the first one there
Everyone else fills up the back
The last late arrivals fill up my front row
sit next to me
Trade names, cards, tales of awful traffic,
surprisingly friendly, genuine smiles
it’s nice to talk to a real human here
In the Hotel World