I print “Thank you!” on the hotel note pad and lean into the pen on the exclamation mark. Maybe I should add another.
I decide against it.
I count out the bills. And, Pause. Then I add a few more. They rest in my hand, feather-like and heavy – shackled to a ship’s anchor and dragging me down to Earth. These same bills passing through thousands of hands before me. Maybe I should add another.
I add another.
I stack the bills neatly on the Note below the Thank You! I place the pen on top of the stack. I pause to take measure, I’m unsettled.
I step away, taking one last look around the room for anything left behind.
I grab my 2-wheel carry on and step out the door, removing the ‘Do Not Disturb‘ sign and affixing it to the inside of the door.
I walk. The long, narrow, dimly lit corridor adds to the weight of my shoulder bag.
And there it is. Standing in the hallway. A four wheel cart. Laden with bottled water, towels, soaps and toiletries.
She, it’s always a She. This same scene replayed hundreds of times. It’s always a She.
She wears the company uniform, often white, sometimes powder blue, often too tight. Her wide mouth forces a grin offering bad teeth and a heavily accented “Good Morning.” She tries to stand straight but can’t find her way up, sclerotic bones have given up.
It’s a moment. The eyes, they connect. And Eyes, they never lie. It’s Soul to Soul.
I step around the cart and continue down the hall, pulling my suitcase and the full weight of her with me.
Just one moment.
Give me One Day. Just one day. Please.
Trade places with me.
- Post and post title inspired by Jack Kerouac, from Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954 (Viking Adult, 2004): “I wonder why our life must quiver between beauty and guilt, consummation and sadness, desire and regret, immortality and tattered moments unknowable, truth and beautiful meaningful lies.”
- Photo: Kari Patterson
- Quote: metaphorformetaphor
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