1. The mound view of the Mound View Inn has been obscured by a Wal Mart.
2. Entry to the room is gained via metal key. Not even a big, blocky, old-school-but-still-of-this-generation-albeit-pre-plastic-swipey hotel key, but a regular old toothy key, a just-like-my-house-key key.
3. The dead bolt can’t be turned from the outside. Only just barely from the inside.
4. No little bottle of lotion? C’mon.
5. Flapjack pillows, two per bed, tucked into hunnert-percent polyester sheets and blankets.
6. The tag hanging from the inside doorknob reads: “MAID PLEASE HAVE THIS ROOM MADE UP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.” I.e., if you want your room cleaned, you have to execute the extra step of laying out the tag – the default is: NO SERVICE. After fortunately noticing this text this mid-afternoon, I put the tag out as I left , only to realize upon my late-night return that it was two-sided. The opposite reads: PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB.
(p.s. how I love the declarative of this sentence: “MAID!” Not an impersonal address to any and/or all maids but an irontight, hands on the back of the neck “HEY YOU! (who happens to be passing by) YEAH YOU! CHOP-CHOP WITH THIS CLEANING!”)
7. The last guest to inhabit my room covered the peephole (a peephole. in a hotel room.) with a corner of ruled eight and a half by eleven. To avoid, I suppose, being peeped from without. Though one can never be sure it wasn’t the without that he was protecting himself from casually or paranoically peeping. Third hand, could have been a she.
peep me not
All of this I could happily tolerate were it not for the sadness that seeps from the walls of the long narrow unbroken hallway outside my room and pools in the murky green shadows of the compact florescent lights ensconced on the dinghy used-to-be-white walls.. Thanks to the abovementioned seven signs I am now (at last) tuned in to and – as ever – averse to the sadness that I couldn’t at first smell. Mayhaps by next time I will have learnt my lesson and will see (or hear, or smell) that whatever distance between my destination and the nearest five-star is “dudes, totes do-able.”