Notes From A Walkman Junkie: Relax, Have Some Breakfast, It’s The Hospitality Inn
Who is ready for an adventure? Me neither, but these sorts of things are often out of our hands. A few years ago I agreed to help transport some of my sister’s paintings for an upcoming show she had in Colorado. It seemed like a nice opportunity to visit my father who happens to reside there and also presented a nice chance to get in some solo-sister road trip bonding time as well. My sister, Jane, was pregnant with her first child at the time which meant that this would probably be our last chance to take this kind of a jaunt for a while (roughly eighteen to twenty years.) We set out on our journey equipped with standard road-trip accouterments, snacks (an attractive nut mix) and plenty of good traveling music which included Guided by Voices and other various favorites to sweeten our travels.
I can recall the moment when the first glimmer of ‘crap, this is going to be a creepy adventure’ first presented itself. Jane and I were on about our third stop at one of the gas stations along the way. We were standing in line for the restroom when a man stood next to us ( a little too ‘next to us’) and said, “I’ve been watching you ladies, we seem to be making all the same stops..it’s almost as if I am following you.” He followed this statement with a wink. This was disturbing to me for a couple of reasons: 1. I hate to be observed by close-talking-slime-ball-winky men and 2. I hate when said close-talking-slime-ball-winky men point out the fact that they have been observing me. This minor run-in at the gas station with Mr. Slimeballwinky man, however, was to be vastly overshadowed by our hotel experience soon to follow.
The hotel creep-out weirdness started the moment we approached the front desk. The woman behind the desk was chatting with another girl and seemed incredibly indifferent to our arrival. The man leaning against the desk while clutching a bloody rag to his face, on the other hand, was not and greeted us with a, “Welcome to The Hospitality Inn, ladies” and a broad (bloody) smile. We noticed that he was donning a ‘hotel maintenance’ name tag and assumed he had been in some type of maintenance man related battle with plumbing gone awry or something and continued our check-in. We were given our room number and keys after which, the following series of unnerving events occurred.
As we were opening the door to our room, Mr. Bloodyragface man mysteriously appeared in the hallway behind us saying, “Have a nice stay, ladies” and then slowly crept down the hall and out of sight. Jane and I scurried into the room, promptly locking the door behind us and had a ‘sit down’ to mull over what had just happened. It was within mere minutes that a strange man with his luggage in hand unlocked and entered our room. It appeared that the woman (obviously plagued with severe short-term memory loss) at the front desk had been handing out our room key in true ‘willy nilly’ fashion. Naturally, we went down to the desk to straighten out this room confusion and then decided to go out on the town for a bit. Upon returning to our room later that night, we saw that the message light was flashing on the phone. I watched as Jane listened to the messages and her eyes slowly widened. The first message was a man who simply stated, “I met you in the lobby earlier” in a leering tone. The second message was seemingly the same man, this time just laughing and then blurting out ominously, “IN ONE HOUR.” This message, understandably freaked us out as such a statement strongly beckons the question, “WHAT THE CHRIST HAPPENS IN ONE HOUR?”
At this point, we thought it would be best to call the front desk and report all of these unpleasant ‘mind fucking’ events that had transpired since our arrival. The front desk attendant said that they would look into the matter and politely offered, “If it makes you feel any better one of our hotel employees is actually staying the night in the room across the hall from you.” I responded back, “No, in fact, that makes me feel decidedly worse.” I was assured that a security guard would be sent up to pace our floor and that we should call the front desk immediately if anything else happened. My sister and I spent the rest of the night huddled in bed together, shaking in fear like a couple of jackasses; listening to the howling wind outside (which happened to be particularly horror movie howl-ee that night).
We eventually made it through our long night of sleepless terror and got up to make some coffee. I began to search through the drawers in the hotel room’s small kitchen for a spoon to stir the cream in my steamy beverage. There was no spoon to be found there was, in it’s stead, a giant lone complimentary butcher knife placed in the drawer for our convenience. I picked up the knife to show Jane and appropriately (watch this clip for clarification on level of appropriateness, you won’t be sorry) crooned, “Body massage…who wants a body massage?” Ah yes, Jane and I shared a truly memorable night at The Hospitality Inn where you come for the blood-soaked reception and stay for the harassment. It is where hospitality meets potential murder and inevitable discomfort. I shall now attach this haunting and pretty tune by The Antlers for your enjoyment and hopefully very little to no discomfort.