no tell motel
Sunday, February 27 2000
In the middle of the afternoon, a completely unplanned gathering spontaneously occurred in our living room. Jenna the German Girl and the neighbor Lisa dropped by, soon followed by another of our blond female courtyard neighbors, the Dave-Matthews-loving Michelle. The buzz going around the courtyard this afternoon concerned a couple of unattractive young men who had just made a tour of our apartment, which is back on the market in the aftermath of Kim's and my recent decision to break our lease. Nobody knew anything about the two unremarkable men aside from the fact that one was fat and the other one wasn't, yet already there was a sense of outrage among the residents of the courtyard. Most upset of all was Michelle, who wanted to move out of her tiny studio and into our big two-bedroom apartment. But in his typically unsympathetic, condescending manner, our unfashionably mustachioed building manager John had told her that, since she has no job, she is ineligible to upgrade her living situation. The fact that she can rely on parental assistance makes no difference to him at all.
Of course, Michelle's trouble with building manager John pales to our own. We're in the process of learning that breaking our lease is going to be expensive. Not only must we pay to have our apartment repainted, "possibly including the ceilings," but there's a whole half month of rent we'll have to pay in April beyond the time we told him we'd be gone.
Indeed, it seems that John has been systematically pissing off all the tenants of the compound. As another example of his evil, Lisa says she only got back $80 of her deposit when she moved out of her apartment, and she's not exactly the sort who can afford hundreds of dollars being stolen by a Peeping Thomas of a building manager. (Lisa is currently living in redneck surfer Jason's apartment while he's out at sea.)
While we were hanging out, suddenly Lisa's erstwhile potential beau, Joel, appeared, along with one of his sidekicks, a Peruvian expatriate. Since we were having a party and the only refreshment was marijuana, they decided to go out and picked up some beers, including a 32 ounce Bud Lite for Michelle. Having once worked for Budweiser, Michelle drank those 32 ounces in record time.
I noticed that Joel was a bit more relaxed and at ease with himself today. In the past, he's sometimes seemed a little shy. But today, the wryness and impeccable timing of his humor rather reminded me of my old college buddy Alex Guldbeck.
The plan for the evening was for Kim and me to drive up to Los Angeles so we'd be there come tomorrow morning in time for a job interview I was to have with an online music-based community in Santa Monica. Kim also had plans to do some goddess-related stuff with Corynna of GoddessTemple fame. We'd actually done most of the preliminaries for the trip earlier today: taking Sophie to her boarding place in North Park and Kim getting her hair extensions removed (they were proving impossible to maintain and in any case she looks much better without them). The only snag was that we had none of the information we'd need in case we wanted to sign a lease on a place to live. So Kim decided to bother John the heartless building manager and have him loan us our lease forms so we could copy the information off of them. While I was off making copies using an imperfect system consisting of my scanner and Kim's printer, Kim was out in the courtyard having a dreadful conversation with John. Concerning prospective landlords in Santa Monica, John told Kim, "Well you know I'm going to have to tell them that you broke your lease." He went on to jealously add, "You people [Easterners with lucrative skills] come here and you think the roads are paved with gold, but..." It was too much for Kim; she had to cut the conversation short.
Once we'd driven up to Santa Monica, we started hunting around for a motel in which to spend the night. But we didn't have much luck. It turned out that the "American Film Market," an international purchasing convention for American films, was taking place in the city and (what with all the fashionable foreign film purchasers needing places to stay) there were very few rooms available.
In desperation we ended up at a place called the Ocean Lodge Hotel, a slightly seedy-looking motel a block south of the Santa Monica Pier. While she dealt with the car, Kim sent me ahead to fetch us a room should there be a vacancy. As I approached the office, I realized Kim wasn't going to be happy with the place. The office had one of those outdoor security windows with a little gap underneath to slide keys, money, drugs & condoms. But the guy on staff, a zany, nervous, skinny older man, let me in and soon had me hooked up with a room at $79/night for two nights. He felt the need to tell me that the room I was getting was off a balcony with a view of Malibu and that it was a "clean room," further raising my apprehension. But he was friendly and unnecessarily outgoing. When, for example, he learned I was interested in moving to Santa Monica, he told me his recommendations for good places to live in the city.
Predictably, once Kim had shown up, she was standing there with a little dark cloud over her head shaking it no, that this room was unacceptable for the regal likes of her (it's important to note that the last hotel she'd stayed in was the Ritz Carlton in Detroit). For some reason I felt sorry for the zany nervous man and just wanted Kim for once to be agreeable and have a little fun with the situation. Sure, the room had a cheap and indescribable creepiness to it, but it had what we needed: a teevee with lots of channels, a bathroom, and a seemingly orderly bed. After the zany nervous man was gone and some further argument, Kim finally caved in and said it was okay to stay there for one night, but not two.
We soon found ourselves watching some mindless television while wondering if the tickles we felt were really tiny little bugs. I jumped up at one point and twisted myself into a pretzel to look at my rump to see whatever it was I could feel crawling on me. I thought for a moment that I could see a tiny white fleck moving, but I wasn't sure. It's quite possible the bed was crawling with mites just on the verge of tangibility.
One thing that's good about "no tell" motels and their cheap squeaky mattresses is the carnal abandon of the sex one can have there. Something about the setting made me into a wild horny beast, and the sole beneficiary was Kim.
During the night and into the morning, it seemed as though we were the only people in the entire hotel; aside for the noisy sounds of the street, we heard no other sounds. For example, there were no galloping newlyweds next door. And there were no drunken arguments out on the walkway.
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