I've always had a fondness for motels, their ease of arriving and being in a room with little fanfare—your car parked outside of the door, easy to load, easy to hideout.
The lanky boy from Florida and his cousins or brothers (who knows) invited us to come party with them in some motel on South Broadway across the street from a mall whose name escapes me—a typical stretch of outskirts with multi-lane thoroughfares on cities across the US—landscapes littered with chain restaurants and stores, places of familiarity and comfort to most. Go with what you know—it keeps you content enough, teeter tottering in a void of not knowing that it can be different, that the mold can be broken.
We partied and like most moments of my years spent in Kentucky, it is borderline unsafe. There is never a way to pinpoint exactly what it is, but there is always a feeling that something big is about to go down, that at any moment, a slight turn can create a mass explosion. Living on the edge but too numbed out to realize that chaos is spinning all around. I guess I was lucky.
I guess I was unlucky. The pain trickling and ramming through my body kept me numb.
The partying in the motel felt like we were expected to perform sexual favors in exchange for the booze and possible drugs. I don't know if there were drugs or not, but it seemed like they were dealers, because they had obscene amounts of money, so it never made sense as to why they'd be hanging out in a motel room. With that kind of money, they could've stayed downtown in the Hyatt or the Radisson. Why here? Drugs, I'm sure.
My sister liked to drag me to places that oozed seedy danger, but I know I was a judgmental, fearful prick at times, but I still feel like there are places she likes that I'd never go, but now I know how to say no.
We partied. Nothing happened. We were invited to return the next day. I didn't go.
We stayed in The Crystal Inn, a motel in Eatontown for about 5 days. It was an easy getaway. I chose it for its free Wi-Fi and pool. The pool for the kids, Wi-Fi so I could work. I love having maid service and being able to eat in bed watching TV. It's decadent in a way. I don't do this at home, because well, there are other things to do. It's cozy and easy. A no pressure sort of place.
It occurred to me that many of the motel's inhabitants lived there, not just I'm-here-for-a-few-days-kind-of-living like us, but the we-are-living-here-or-a-few-weeks-to-indefinitely-kind-of-live here. The motel implies that living in such a place that you have no choice, that this is where you go right before you are flat out homeless, whatever that means.
When I worked as a travel agent, we took a trip to Fort Lauderdale to tour Norwegian cruise lines. I remember our tour guide / sales representative telling us about a woman who chose, after her husband died, to live on cruise ships all of the time. Sparks of hell yes crossed my mind as they do when people find a way to travel and live in a way most people would judge. Her choice exudes freedom with little ties to possessions and things to tend in order to maintain. Maintaining sounds like a trap to me. I honor that sameness and consistency to most represents stability and safety. Stability and safety to me is having more than enough money to go and do as I please and to live in ways that excite and stimulate. I want adventure that runs the gamut. Lazy sprawls on chairs that recline above powdery sand that with nonstop service of snacks and drinks, to hikes in remote places, to whirlwinds of culture in cities familiar and unknown—laughter and delight at every turn, no matter what.
Motel life shouldn't be any different. At the Crystal Inn, I never felt more welcome in my life. There was connection among strangers in nomad tendencies and a love of clean sheets and desire to order take out and just be responsible for what is right in front of us. Maybe it wasn't the luxurious adventure I always imagine, but it’s just as good and full of life and laughter.
Happy writing, beauties! xoxo
Please join me on July 22nd for our most popular class for FREE! Go here to register: http://www.writeforhealing.com