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  • I arrived to the hotel late.

    The bedspread hid the lives which had lived on top of it, under it, using it as a cover, a tent, a weapon, a castoff.

    The lives of the maids who washed it, unwrapped it, made it, made it up every day, also hidden.

    There is this moment when you walk into a small hotel, into your private bedroom, which, oddly is also a public room, a pubic room if you will (and many will), your living quarters, your dining-in set, your travelling for work abode; yet all along it is a bedroom, purposed and repurposed.

    It is as if your home life, so commonly now lived in bed to phone, to write, to view, to stream (in all senses and sensibilities of the word) comes with you when you travel. No extra rooms, no guest quarters. You are the guest; these are your quarters. Principally the executive office being the bed.

    The bedspread is anonymous. You decline to buy one of those fluorescing devices seen on the many CSIs. You do not want to see the blue shine blood at you.

    The spread, the towels nicely piled, your shoes. My shoes.

    The bedroom is one large yaw of possibilities. Will the work work out, will you, will the bed have its solo occupant...and after all, in certain lines of work, and journalism and writing are one and two of them, you have spent, I have spent a good deal of my adult working life out on the road, and my bedrooms, my hotel rooms, were also, oddly, shared by ghosts.

    Who was just here?

    Did they fight?

    Did they make up?

    What did they watch on TV?

    Everything? Nothing?

    Were they sound sleepers, did they sound like foghorns, breathe easy, sleep with nose devices, toss, turn, squabble, kiss and make up?

    The maids make up, the couples make up, the bedspread has heard it all in person, on phone calls, the bed is your table, your lounger, your couch, your bed, and when you leave and it is all mussed, fluffed, ruffled, a mess, you look at the room untidy in the extreme, and you think: no one knows. No one has any idea. No one knows the life I lived in this room, the thoughts, the bed in the day, the creative naps, the naps of no creation, the endless hours of thought, the bedroom, no one.

    The next people to come in....????

    Why, I will be the ghost haunting them.

    They will arrive late, as I did, they will be starving and cranky as I was, they will see the towels all piled as possibilities, they will wonder about the Hazmat question regarding the efficacy of hotel bedspreads, they will stretch out, wash up, and living ghosts, they will begin.

    One last look into the room: that was your life, writer. Right there on that bed, you rewrote that chapter.

    Will the next bedmates have weird dreams inhaling my castoffs?

    What cutting room floor bon mots will the everyday vacuum suck up to room trash?

    What confetti edits will float in the air, to enter the lungs of the next hotel room writer?

    (Photo by Susan, 2012)
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