Writer sometimes must leave the safety and comfort of her home. And in doing so, must stay at unfamiliar and strange places where millions and millions of others have stayed, leaving behind their skin droppings and whatnot. A writer writes to empty the over-active brain of all the skittering jittering thought—there’s not a thought that hasn’t thunked inside that chaotic blob of stupid—but it doesn’t stop the “What ifs” from pogo-sticking holes in said brainicles.
Upon entering hotel, sniff. If hotel smells funny, the nitty-ass irritating squeaky little shitter in brain says, “Hmmm, are they not cleaning the hotel regularly?” Glance quickly around lobby and desk area and if clean and sparkly it’s safe to check in. While waiting, scan for Strange-Faced Men who will catch your name and room number and then follow you to your room where Mayhem and Murder and Much More abound. It can happen, that little squeaky-voiced bastard nastily whispers.
Hotel clerk hands you room card. As you turn, an engaging-grin dude says, “Evening,” and you smile, flirtatiously but cautiously and warily and standoffishly. You say, “Eve-uh-er-ning, haha, teehee,” and as you look at your feet, the squeaky voice says, “The handsome friendly ones are the maniacs!” You say, “Shut up!” and look up with hooded mysterious eyes to Engaging Handsome, but he’s lickity-spit outta there.
Elevator—it could plummet to the bowels of hell. You knew someone who knew someone who knew someone who said someone who knew someone was in an elevator that plummeted ten floors thus shortening their legs by five inches. (Heart Palpitations Until Elevator Reaches Your 2nd Floor Room—stairs next time, but then Maniacs hide in stairways—augh!)
Enter room and if fresh-scented, sigh with relief as a blissful air of comfort invigorates your innards. Luggage must go on top of wood desk in the case there are verminy critters running around the carpet/floor/chair; you don’t want critters climbing into your luggage where they’ll hide until they can make a new home in your home. Why, even if hotel is sparkly clean, vermin are sneaky. Suddenly!, a memory washes over your brain with sudden flooding thought! You remember reading how even five-star hotels with two thousand thread-count sheets have been cited for vermin. Yeah. And you heard it on the news! And someone told you about it. And Google did too. If Google says it, then it’s really true! Your stomach goes akimbo.
Bed is type where nothing can hide underneath—genius! Check closet—maybe Maniac is hiding in there. Try to ignore the thought that if someone is hiding in there, as soon as you open the closet Maniac will jump out and maniac your ass to a bloody pulp.
Pull back covers to inspect sheets. They are a crisp blinding bleachy white. Yay! But wait. There are six pillows on that bed. Maybe the cleaning staff only thought they changed all of the pillow cases—sniff test. Ewwwww! Two smell like someone’s head. Throw heady pillows (and you laugh at the word “pillow” because it suddenly sounds funny, like sometimes words suddenly will on a sudden whim even if you’ve been saying and thinking them for years: Pillow, pillow, piiiillooow-haha!) on the floor so won’t accidentally grab them in the night and hold them close (stop judging me! *sob*).
Take out Clorox wipes and happily hum a jaunty tune as you wipe: the light switches, the door handles, the remote—especially the remote! We all know why!—the faucets, the toilet. Dance about the room—swipity-swipe-swipe-swipe—but not with your bare feet, since everyone knows the carpet is full of five million years of gross.
Shower is in order after long day of travel. Is it clean? No matter, feet will tingle because you will imagine invisible nasties crawling onto feet and up legs (legs sounds like “laigs” in your hillbilly head). When in doubt, put towel in tub. You begin to feel exhausted from your own discombobulated thoughts. You gazingly look in mirror at your brown eyes punctuated by brown expressively expressive eyebrows and your messy hair and full luscious lips exposing pretty teefies and your high cheekbones that are gathered lusciously around some crows-feet and a mountainous zit by the side of the left eye: Sexy!
Come out of bathroom nekkid except for flip-flopped feet and no worries about someone seeing through peephole because you covered it with the hotel information card. Grin. You are so clever and so ahead of your time!!—you add another exclamation point because why not? In for a penny; in for a pound! Ha! Ha! Ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Right?!?!?!
Time for beddy-bye! Sleep restlessly until 2AM where you then stealthily grab your cellphone, gently lift the covers, and AHA! Somewhere you read, and saw on the news, and someone told you, and Google said, that the magical hour for bedbugs to feast on your tender skin is around 2AM. All is well. Sleep comes easy and well. Until—
—mattress moves and undulates! Mattress aliens! They squiggle and wriggle out, sinister and bent on probing you in all your secret places (and actually that sounds kind of intriguing and exciting—after all, you are lonely). No-no-no—
—wake with a start; sigh with relief that there are no hotel mattress-living high intelligence sexy aliens who really just looked at you askance as if you are “not quite right.” Dang. Even the aliens don’t wanna probe your secret places. Scribble an indecipherable note about aliens and lonely women on hotel notepad that you know you’ll never use in a book but it makes you feel writery to do it.
Place heady pillow over light coming from door, and other heady pillow over clock light. Finally fall into deep exhausted sleep.
Morning comes. You rise. No aliens, vermin, critters, or maniacs have entered the blissful sanctum of your hotel room. Skippity-do-dah!
Check out. Feel fairly confident nothing but your own personal germs leave with you.
Think, while flying down the interstate with the music blaring and wind tossing your hair: You are one cray cray bee-otch, Ms. Kathryn Magendie.
And really, you just don’t care.
I ask you, fellow writers and humans alike: where does your crazy choo choo down the weirdo-wondering-track brain take you?