Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What they Loved

They loved the motel and they loved standing by the check-in counter, hands around the other, sometimes standing behind the other, hands on an ass.

They loved the motel bed, how crisp and neatly made it was, and they loved the fresh sheets and the fresh starts, they loved the little glasses, always two, with sanitized paper around the lip as if they were the first two, Adam and Eve, to drink from the cup.

They loved the clean, white towels, and they loved the ashtrays and that they were allowed to smoke, that they’d pay extra for that, and the big windows that opened wide and let them puff that smoke out to the bay

They loved the sound of cargo boats, the loading and the unloading, the sounds of commerce because they were a part of that commerce

had passed credit cards and photo IDs, triple A cards over the counter to the young Asian girl at the desk. Yes they said eagerly and nodded their heads, yes to the king sized bed and the ashtrays. Yes to the continental breakfast, the HBO and the complimentary morning paper.

They loved that the concierge never met their eye, never scrutinized, never even said goodbye as they silently slipped through the lobby three hours later and returned home, leaving beds un-maid and towels only slightly used.

They loved the privilege of being anonymous, of not having to answer questions. They loved the freedom of not needing much; a bed, an ashtray, a view of the bay; a window that opened, a working heating vent.

They loved the privilege and the freedom of not needing to answer to each other, not needing the details of where the other had been, what they had said and what they were going to do next.

They appreciated instead the sensible simplicity of a button, a zipper. Tongues were magical, there was nothing to lie about. Curfews were vague. Yes there were people who cared about them a few miles away but they would return to them soon enough.

They loved the peace of this and especially the relief after buttons came undone and boots were tossed and thrown.

They knew how to make the sounds and they knew some dirty words too. They would come hungry but they didn’t care what they cooked up, it was always what they wanted.

They never noticed the terrible brown fabric curtains or the funny little notes left on bathroom counters about forgotten toothbrushes and q-tips at the front desk

They appreciated the hotel’s concern for everything they’d brought and everything they’d forgotten, everything they’d leave behind after their three hours, after they’d mussed the bed and made the sounds, after they’d squeezed out every last bit of tension and stress.

All the things of the day.

The edges they walked, the money they owed, the people who loved them who they could not always properly love back. The lies they told and the people they paid to listen to those lies at $145 an hour. The silent prayers they uttered, the pills that helped them sleep, the tiny goodies they littered throughout their day to get them through.

This was their chance, their time

And they never wasted it

Never tried to fix the other, and if talk of a son’s basketball game went on too long or a story about a remodel glitch went on and on, one would silence the other simply with a smile and a hand placed on a hand, that might slip up to a chest or inside a blouse, and they would remember where and who they were and why they had come to the Extended Stay Hotel or the Phoenix Motel or the Comfort Inn or even the Red Couch.

Time was of the essence, there were bridges to cross and spouses to return to, surely a carpool to drive in the morning, and they loved those things too.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

i wonder if you have not gotten more than you bargained for. this connection you have with the other man in your life seems to have focused you in an intense way outside of your marriage which seems to me to be diminished instead of enriched by the energy you expend there.

dweezila said...

interesting. When I posted this last post after the one that came before I thought, wow, these two together are going to look bad. It's going to look like I don't love hubby.

but the truth is that it's so much more complicated than that. In many ways hubby and I are closer than ever. And yet, like in all marriages, there are these moments, these schisms, these looming gaps where we two just don't come together.

That i connect so deeply with the lover is partly because we mingle so briefly and don't rely on one another for much. We satisfy each other simply.

Hubby and I, after 19 years, lead a more complex existence. There is much love there and it doesn't always look Hollywood. A doesn't nec. equal B, which is to say, while the great ideal of having a lover and bringing all that love juice home is the optimum, the thing to strive for, it doesn't nec. mean it's always going to be beautiful.

much to say about this, wish I could say it perfectly. I appreciate your thoughts and welcome them. This is a huge experiment of the heart.

Dale said...

It's funny how compelling it is when it's my own story and how empty and ominous feeling when it's someone else's. Or possibly I'm just jealous (ah, well, let's say certainly I'm jealous.) Hard to parse things properly. I can't imagine it, really. I have been so broken and exhausted by my own misadventures -- how much of that was the dishonesty, and how much was inevitable? Anyway. Doesn't really matter. Hugs.

sonyalea said...

This and a post before, on writing the book about it make me realize something about these kinds of stories: they're better in fiction form. (And creative non fiction too, such as yours.) I resist all the terminology, (primary/secondary partners), all the to-do's (isn't that why I'm like this?) but the stories made to work like a story just tell more of the Truth. That's why I love your work sweetest heart.

Oh, and a great book I think you'll like, with so much humanity -- Joan Silber's "Ideas of Heaven".

Loving you,

Sonya

dweezila said...

what dale said, "how much was dishonesty and how much was inevitable." That's always the brilliant edge. And to Sonalea re: fiction. Yes, that too. Today is the last day of National Novel Writing Month and I've been writing about this all month. I thought to try it as fiction, but stuck to non-fiction, all the while trying to take a real look at the where were the lies and where were the true gems. It's been a good investigation.

Anonymous said...

i just love how true this is....
jen gray

Capitol Cougar said...

just wanted you to know you've got a shoutout on my blog. stumbled across yours and love your writing and bravery.

Naive Melody said...

Fucking brilliant. And that last line kicks ass. Very Hemingway-esque in a bad-girl fuck-bunny kinda way. Love it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I have to be anonymous. I wish life like that were possible for me.

It means something entirely different if there's no agreement/knowledge from a spouse and there's lust and craving and sex with someone else. And a little bit of love.

What a tangled web. One who has the agreement/ok from a spouse but will of course never share the experience. And another with a spouse that would never agree.

Dale said...

oops, that was meant to be here. that "psst," I mean.

Hugs, on the off chance --

xoxo