An Ode to Hotel Rooms

Always diverse, often the same. Which is to say, regardless of what the dimensions or…

Always diverse, often the same.

Which is to say, regardless of what the dimensions or mood or condition of the room, whether there’s hair coiled blackly in the bathtub or an orchid in a vase on the table, what greets you as you open up the door, each and every time, is a neutral waft of likelihood. A feeling of your self-in-waiting around. Who are you heading to be in here ? As you mingle with this very careful anonymity, as you drift and flippantly settle into this fancy or not-so-extravagant non-place, what could materialize?

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Not a lot, most likely. The previous gravity asserts by itself, the old you-ness you unfold out your matters, you establish your shrines, you start earning your small conventional messes. You arrive, and then you get there. Somehow the resort place, in the mystique of its banality, maintains the invitation. Especially if you allow housekeeping in. An additional day. One more opportunity. Clean, crispy sheets. Your crap politely rearranged. Maybe this time.

Even before you get up to any genuine mischief, the resort space encourages a minor moral collapse. Your intuition here is to loll, sprawl, degenerate, generate crumbs. Unseen fingers have labored for your comfort—that’s not fantastic for you. The citrus-scented bodywash and the robust Wi-Fi will make you a little vicious.

I do love the noises. The whine or wheeze of the bathroom enthusiast bovine thuds in the hallway the fridge clicking on as you lie there in bed, and then that odd breathlessness in the air soon after it clicks off. These muffled voices as a result of the wall—the small, honking, incomprehensible vowels the cellolike groans—surely they remember the working experience of currently being in the womb? They put me, at minimum, in a condition of child-minded suspension. Not long ago, in a lodge in the San Fernando Valley, I turned certain a porn shoot was heading on in the home following doorway. It could just as easily have been a quite committed match of Trivial Pursuit.

And then it’s about. Checkout arrives galloping, often as well rapid, and now all of a unexpected you have to get it alongside one another: your exploded luggage, your exploded brain. You’re trapped in a time-lapse film about you, packing. Did you adjust in below? Progress, wallow backwards, go sideways? Hustle, hustle, and don’t overlook to depart a wonderful idea. Propitiate the hotel place, mainly because you will be back. You will pop in on yet another day, in yet another town, somewhere else in the eternally hanging dream-honeycomb of resort rooms. Wide-eyed with expectation, practically innocent, you are going to open yet another door.


This article seems in the May possibly 2022 print edition.