Just Another Motel Morning

When I walked into the lobby, my first impression was that the woman was mentally deficient. The second was that she was emotionally unbalanced. The third was that she was chemically unbalanced.

Valentine’s Day is not all sweetness and light. According to the woman behind the desk, the biggest bunch of drunks you ever saw checked in late last night. She said she got it from a note left for her when she came in at six.

The unbalanced woman was hard to understand. She said she’d had a miscarriage. No, not just a miscarriage. She’d lost twins. A man at the hospital gave her a ride here. She steadfastly refused to give her last name, or his. At first she said she was from New York and didn’t know anyone down here. In the next paragraph, she said she worked at the House of Pizza in Fountain Inn. She introduced herself to me and said her name was Elise. She acted like she knew me. She didn’t. She asked me to give her a ride. I told her straight-up I’d be crazy to do such a thing. She said she had a house. I asked where. She said it was on Clark Street. I said I’ve never heard of Clark Street. She said it was near Sullivan Street. I said I didn’t know that one, either. I asked her what city. She named one. I told her this was another. She finally gave up. She bummed a cigarette from somebody and went to the desk to ask for matches. She was holding a lighter in her hand at the time. Finally she left the lobby with a maid because her stuff was still in the room and she didn’t know what number it was.

The head maid came in and said, well, this morning, that woman opened her door and asked if she could “have that one,” meaning the other maid. All laughing and tore up. It was the maid now gone with her to look for her stuff.

The woman at the desk said she had made several calls for the crazy woman: left messages, been hung up on, wrong number. The woman apparently found her stuff because she called the front desk, where I could hear the woman at the desk tell her she had 13 more minutes to vacate the room or she’d have to call the police.

A man from Georgia checked in and we traded stories about the earthquake last night.

The head maid called in and said that crazy woman was going to stay another night. She said the other maid said she’d pay for it.

The only reason I stayed for all this was that the woman behind the desk is my mother.


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