I pulled into the motel parking lot carefully listening for the crunch of syringes and crack vials. Didn’t hear any. They must sweep the place. Classy joint this Comfort Inn. Can’t see why Expedia only gave it two stars. Maybe at night it becomes a stable for hookers. Better get the top floor. Don’t want to be hearing a bed creak every thirty minutes. Unless, of course, I’m in it.
I parked the car and went inside the office to register.
A gentleman with a southern Mumbai accent processed my reservation, then directed me to a room on the first floor. I thanked him and went out to get my bag from the car.
Wow. Plastic key card. Free buffet breakfast and WiFi. Dish TV. Little refrigerator. Coffee maker. Call me the King of Siam. I was ready to settle for windows without bullet-holes and free local calls. And I get all this. The gourmet shit. The Creator is too good to me. Spoils me rotten.
I went in. Nice enough digs. Didn’t smell too funky. A dark room. Always like that. Especially after I make it darker.
I dragged the blackout curtain across the window. Unpacked some rags. Put away the soda and beans. Checked out the bathroom. Didn’t get the vibe anybody had ever died in it. Cool. That’s worth at least half a star. I got some ice from the machine and filled the sink.
Still feels a little weird not sticking in a bunch of beers. But not as weird as waking up in a Mexican jail. Here, see if you can put in cans of soda instead of beer and somehow still survive.
I did. And did.
Spent the next twenty minutes trying to figure out the remote for the bullshit Dish TV. Got to the point where I just started pushing buttons randomly. That’s what finally worked. I don’t know why I didn’t just do that right off the bat. Don’t try to figure it out. Just keep pushing buttons, baby. Let mathematical chance work for you. If you’re not hung up on any particular number–every one is a winner.
Wound up tuning into some football. Two teams I didn’t give a fuck about. Perfect. A stress-free sporting event to kill some time. I can relax a little before getting my eardrums punctured with punk rock. I leaned back into my stack of pillows and exhaled. Exhaled everything. My previous stress. My present apprehensions. My future concerns. Just gassed them out.
I don’t know what particular meditation technique it is, or from which tradition, but I like to make myself disappear. It’s easy. Just let the boundary between self and surroundings blur a bit…and poof. I cease to be. At least for a little while.
Now and then, I need to dissolve into the arms of Nuit. “Oh, holy Eternal Void, I fling myself into Your infinite potential. My fate to You I trust. Redeem me, if You must. But I don’t mind being dust. Amen.”
Sweet inky oblivion. It’s very relaxing. And I’ve learned how to obtain it without a motel bathtub filled with beer.
I woke up– if not entirely redeemed–certainly more refreshed. I decided to take a shower. Already talked to Gurz and he said the bands were still on their way to the show. That meant I had time to stand under the hot water and realize some things.
Like as long you don’t put any expectations on the evening, you can’t be disappointed. Don’t feel bad if you don’t feel like you’re twenty years old again. You didn’t feel so great then either.
And even if the music doesn’t somehow erase all your hard-earned wisdom, you can still make bad decisions. It’s a choice.
And there’s nothing wrong with mellowing. So what if you’re not the reckless monster you used to be? Who cares if you don’t pull down the scenery around you in an operatic gotterdammerung anymore, or make a hobby out of endangering the safety of others? In fact, everyone is pretty okay with it. You’re really the only hold-out– the only one giving yourself grief.
Huh. Fucking me. It’s always something.
Well, that’s where you come in. You’re going to take care of you.
Me? Why me?
Since you already have an in with old boy. You being him and all. You can put in a good word. Get you to call the dogs off you. You know, cool it.
Hmm. Maybe. I’ll see what I can do. But you know me.
I do. And I know you know you. And if you’re cool to you, I know you’ll totally be cool.
Yeah, I know.
So we’re cool?
I got dressed. Laced the Martens. Ate my salami and beans. And Brazil nuts. Washed it all down with a can of diet ginger-ale. Put a key card in my wallet. One in my sock. Left the TV on. Closed the door.
Okay, let’s see if the kids have anything on this old dog.
(to be continued)