A dear friend recently reminded me that writing can be the most effective – and certainly the cheapest – therapy known to mankind. (I am forever in your debt, Michelle. But I’m also broke, so don’t get your hopes up, okay?)
And while I believe this wisdom to be true, I’ve been hopelessly blocked lately so this peek into my fractured psyche is the best I can do. Let’s hope it’s enough.
FAR TOO EARLY IN THE MORNING.
1) “I swear I wasn’t dreaming about Michelle Terry… I love you, honey!”
2) “Wait… it’s just the damn alarm! Again!”
3) “Can I afford to keep smashing these things every time they disturb my slumber? Jackie was pissed the last time she woke up to see me with my hammer in my hand.”
4) “And she wasn’t too happy about the fact I smashed the alarm either…”
As you are about to deduce, I am definitely not a morning person.
5) “Fuck.” (I like to curse preemptively, especially since I know they’ll be a good reason to do so later. There always is.)
6) “Damn, just remembered I have to carry the damn dog, the one with the Italian back, downstairs so she can do her business, then carry her back up… all without disturbing the still-slumbering wife and kid.”
7) “Don’t growl, Chelsea… don’t growl, Chelsea…”
8) “You’re growling… you effing dog.”
9) “Don’t you realize I’m doing you a favor? Nobody carries me down the stairs so I can do my business outside.”
10) “Please, please, don’t let me wipe out while carrying this damn dog down the stairs.”
11) “All right, get out there, Chelsea…”
12) “Seriously, get out there, I have to get ready for work.”
13) “COME ON, YOU BLASTED CANINE! GET OUT THERE AND PEE OR POOP!
14) “You had to whiz on the work gloves I left outside, didn’t you, you little nutjob?”
15) Sweet Zombie Jesus, could my knees crack anymore as I climb this seemingly-endless staircase?
16) “Now I have to deposit this crazy canine back onto the bed without waking my still-slumbering wife…”
18) “Great, now she’s going to wake the hell up, use her feminine wiles to beckon me back into bed, and I’m going to be late as hell for work!”
19) “Why the frak am I crawling back into bed?”
20) “Oh yeah… that’s why.”
21) “Now I have precisely four minutes to shower, shave, gargle, brush my teeth and head out.”
22) “I’m a horny idiot.”
THE WALK TO WORK. (USUALLY IN THE DARK.)
Early morning shifts don’t exactly turn my crank either. Not only do they require me to get up before the sun, the walk to work can be just plain creepy.
23) “Why is it so damn early?”
24) “Why can’t I stop looking over my shoulder as I walk to work?”
25) “There are over 200 songs on this phone, why can’t I find something worthwhile to kill the ten minute walk?”
26) “Why did I have to use the word ‘kill’?”
27) “Awful lot of dead squirrels around here… had no idea there was an active conflict in the animal kingdom. What species isn’t destroying itself these days?”
28) “Do I want something from Timmies this morning?”
29) “There’s a drunk passed out at a table with his face in his overturned double-double. Again. I’d ponder the path that led him to this moment – if I had the energy.”
30) “Mmmm, nothing like a freshly-baked chocolate chip cookie, I feel awesome. Life is good.”
31) “I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS… WHY THE HELL ISN’T MY KEY CARD WORKING… HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO GET INTO THIS GODFORSAKEN BUILDING… I HATE MY LIFE!!”
32) “I hope that Armenian housekeeper who let me in with her card was joking when she said, ‘You pretty Canadian boy…. you pay me back later…'”
33) “Is it considered cheating if I’m blackmailed into having coitus with an Armenian woman who outweighs me by a hundred pounds?”
34) “NOW I CAN’T SWIPE IN… WHAT THE GODDAMN HELL IS WRONG WITH EVERY PIECE OF HOTEL TECHNOLOGY I HAVE TO USE TODAY?”
ONCE MY SHIFT ACTUALLY BEGINS.
35) “This locker room still smells like someone did a piss-poor job of stashing a dead hooker in a locker.”
36) “Why is it so difficult for guys to flush the urinals?”
37) “DEAR GOD, WHAT DIED IN THAT STALL?”
38) “The walk from the side entrance, down the sixty-three stairs, through the basement hall to the punch clock and to the locker room, back to the lobby stairwell and up into the Bell Room is further than my walk from home to work… that is NOT a fun fact.”
39) “Oh look, there’s a hooker doing the walk of shame through the lobby. Though it really isn’t the walk of shame because she’s most likely walked through hell to wind up blowing strangers in a Niagara Falls hotel room at 6:30 in the morning. Or maybe she’s a perfectly well-adjusted person who simply enjoys having fat, sweaty Texans jump up and down on her for money. Either way, that used to be someone’s little girl… so the whole thing is just sad.
40) “It’s far too quiet in here right now. The calm before the storm sucks.”
Idle time in the morning means one thing in my hotel… catching up on the behind-the-scenes shenanigans/inner-political-wrangling/gossip.
41) “So-and-So got fired for lipping off to an owner? That’s like nailing Capone for not paying taxes!”
42) “Can’t believe it’s been so quiet around here gossip-wise. I almost miss the days when everybody was banging in the stairwells, empty rooms, on the folding tables in the laundry room, and basically anywhere two people could fit. I have to say, the fact that this place has collectively matured is boring as hell.”
While it’s true that the number of internal hotel affairs and other naughty hi-jinks have lessened considerably in the last few years, inner-office political shenanigans will never cease.
43) “Can’t believe they trucked in a hundred pounds of dirt just so it could be dumped on a red carpet, thus providing the “ground” for a ground breaking on top of a parking garage. Five minutes later they had to take it away. Of course, by then it was drizzling out and the dirt was becoming mud. I love this business.”
Normally, I’d share these tales of hospitality nuttiness with one of my best friends/colleague/brother-in-arms, but the state of my world shifted irreparably this summer.
44) “I still can’t believe Rockin’ Ronnie is dead.”
45) “Do those poor souls who choose to end their own lives ever have a moment, even a brief one, where they consider the people they’re leaving behind? I mean, picking up the pieces is next to impossible when you break apart on a daily basis. There are literally a million little things that make me feel like I’m experiencing that damn phone call all over again.”
Ronnie’s catchphrase rolls around my consciousness all day, rising to the surface of my thoughts for no particular reason at all.
46) “Yeah, yeah, yeah!”
47) “Damn it all to Hell… my eye sockets are filling up. Again. I hope you’re at peace, Rockin’… but you’ve made it next to impossible to move on, brother.”
Regardless of the inner turmoil I’m currently embroiled in, being a nerd, a male and a hack writer means my mind is never focused on one subject for long.
48) “There’s no way in H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks that Hollywood schmucks like Damon, Affleck and Clooney were oblivious to Weinstein’s reign of perverse terror. What’s wrong with these people? Are their careers so important to them that they’d allow a monster to intimidate them into silence? What does it take for some people to do the right thing? Does Hollywood even know what the right thing is anymore?”
49) “Can’t believe I finally got Netflix only to fall asleep every night as I’m watching The Defenders. Growing old sucks.”
50) “I actually threw my back out bending over to change the garbage bag at home? What, am I eighty? Now I have to walk around this hotel like I went ten rounds with Tyson? Or two rounds with Mercedes Carrera?”
And on that rather salacious note, I think we’ve reached a natural stopping point – something no one would ever do with Mercedes – so I bid you farewell, my friends.
See you in the lobby, kids…