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A Diary from the Night from Hell

May 1, 2015

There is an old Donald Duck cartoon in which poor Donald, weary traveling duck, stops at a motel to get a good night’s sleep. As you can imagine, his sleep is anything but restful. Advertisement signs flash into his bedroom and the bed isn’t the most comfy. But his true nemesis is the faucet. The faucet dripping, that maddening, slightly irregular sound of a drop of water falling into a porcelain sink. That distinctive ‘Drip tink, drip tink.’ In the still night, this sound resonates and grows and slowly drives him mad.

Oh Donald, I feel you, man.

11:20PM

Admittedly, there was a thermostat on the wall; its blazingly bright blue LED screen, a beacon in the darkness of the room, informed me it was 77 degrees in the room. I set it for 68 degrees. The thermostat was like, “Oh honey, that’s cute, you think you control me,” and proceeded to raise the temperature of the bedroom a degree per hour until it settled on a nice 80 degrees. Oh I know! The window.

11:22PM

I try to open the window. Why is a 6th floor window locked shut?

11:26PM

Are they afraid of jumpers? Is this hotel that bad?

11:33PM

Shift. Shift. Plump the pillow. Throw the other pillow on the ground. I look at the double bed next to mine. Where is Zeke anyway? I lost him to the drinkers earlier, but he knows we are leaving at 7:00am tomorrow morning. He’ll be back soon.

11:40PM

Perhaps I should read? No. Must try to sleep.

11:45PM

I want to sleep naked. But I don’t feel comfortable sleeping naked because of Zeke- there is a certain distance you want to keep between yourself and a male colleague. I roll up my pant legs and the cuffs of my shirt. I throw the comforter off of the bed, and curl up under the sheet. I put a cup of water on my bedside table so I can wet my brow occasionally as need be. Maybe I can cover up the bright light of the failed thermostat with paper?

11:47PM

Don’t have paper in the room. Where is the little pad of paper with the name of the hotel on it?

11:50PM

Found it! It is in the lowest drawer under the TV.

11:51PM

Just realized I have no method of attaching said piece of paper to the thermostat. I add ‘scotch tape’ to my mental list of future packing necessities, along with Valium.

As zen as a leaf on the wind.

I attempted to be as zen as a Bedouin in the desert that she loves.

12:00AM

This isn’t so bad. I can manage to fall asleep. I’m sleep deprived for god’s sake! I have slept in airplane seats! This is nothing.

12:09AM

Guided meditations it is then. I choose one called ‘Peace.’

12:15AM

And then one called ‘Mindful Breathing.’ It can’t hurt. I focus on my connectedness with otherness and the eternal truth.  Whatever that is.

12:30AM

Yes! I am sleepy! This whole Zen malarkey is working!

12:45AM

Drifting off….

1:00AM, 2:00AM….

Zzzzz.

2:32AM

Blurgh? Something wakes me up. I hear someone moving around the room. Zeke must be back. That’s good.  I look at the clock. I look at the thermostat.

2:34AM

Zeke is deciding to take a bath. Okay. Maybe he has a weird bath fetish this is his third bath in less than two days. I hear the water running, and through my slitted eyes see a crack of light emanating under the door of the bathroom.

2:38AM

Zeke is talking to himself. I can hear his murmurs from behind the closed bathroom door. Why is Zeke talking to himself? Oh wait, maybe he called his sister again. That sounds right, I think I almost hear a girl’s voice on the line. He said they were close.

2:39AM

But he called her earlier today.

2:40AM

And it is almost three in the morning.

Found at the Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

My usual mantra wasn’t working.

2:41AM

Wait a second! My sleepy self attempts to be logical. Why would he call his sister while taking a bath? In the middle of the night? As Ms. Clavel from Madeline would say “Something’s not right.”

2:45AM

Suddenly I hear a girl scream. And moan. And pant. And hear Zeke saying shush. There is splashing. More moans and giggles.

2:46AM

Well then. This… sucks.

2:47AM

Can’t they go to her room?

2:48AM

He grunts. She makes a low keening noise of pleasure. Where are my headphones?

 2:49AM

Headphones, headphones, why did I pack everything up earlier? Must I be such a girl scout?

2:50AM

Much better. Let’s listen to some Nickel Creek. Yes, soothe me, ye delightful Irish chords. I can’t hear anything untoward now. Doo doo doo. La la.  ‘When you come back down….’

2:51AM

I am totally not taking a shower tomorrow morning.

2:53AM

I might not even pee again until after we leave.

2:58AM

I can’t fall asleep. I finally see a downside to bulky headphones that prevent me from sleeping on my side. Plus, I was never good at falling asleep to music.

3:00AM

Damn it. I can still hear… things. I jack the volume up higher. Trying to fall asleep to loud music, even better idea.

3:01AM

Top volume. I’ll just listen to music until they are done, and then in the quiet of the night I will take off my headphones and go back to sleep. That’s a good plan. I like that plan.

Do not mess with the madness face.

I. AM. GOING. MAD. See my madness face?

3:05AM

God, it is hot up here.

3:09AM

I am so making him drive most of the way back tomorrow. I won’t even feel guilty.

3:12AM

One last scream and a masculine moan. Apparently top volume on my Iphone is not loud enough when listening to Celtic music. Should have chosen Metallica or something.

3:13AM

I don’t like Metallica.

3:20AM

Oh goody. They are coming out of the bathroom. I close my eyes almost all the way as the brightness of the bathroom light suffuses the room. Zeke is wrapped only in a towel. God, this whole thing is so gross.

3:24AM

Lady, just leave. There is no need to keep kissing him. Stop lingering just outside the door in the hallway talking to him. The light is hurting my eyes. Lady, if you have any mercy, please go.

3:26AM

Girl, I can’t hear what you are saying due to the damaging decibels of “Green and Gray” that are now ringing in my ear, but I am sure it isn’t that important.

3:30AM

Thank fucking God. Zeke shuts the door to the hallway. In anticipation, I take off my headphones. If I fall asleep now, I’ll get one more solid REM cycle in before we need to wake up.

3:35AM

Yeah, good luck buddy, fiddling with that thermostat. The bitch plays hardball.

3:40AM

Zeke flops down on his bed, wearing just underwear. He sleeps above the sheets. Blissful silence. Finally. I nestle down.

3:46AM

And then Zeke starts to snore. Not little adorable baby snores either. I am talking full blown I-have-sleep-apnea-and-may-die-any-moment snores. They increase in volume.

3:52AM

Maybe he will stop snoring. It could happen.

I don't even want to tell you where this photo came from.

I’d even take this murder mattress. Please, as long as it doesn’t come with a roommate.

3:57AM

Why karma? What have I done recently that was so bad? The snoring continues, mixed now with whuffling and snorting. Kinda like a pig snuffling for truffles. Okay, what I, a city slicker, imagine a pig snuffling for truffles sounds like. Regardless, it is unpleasant.

4:02AM

I almost feel that I should record this, for blackmail purposes. But too tired for active malice.

4:10AM

With a heavy heart and hands, I put the headphones back on. I switch to Jalan Jalan, as their music is meant for meditation, sleeping, or getting high and talking about important (but not really) things. There are no lyrics. I can fall asleep to this, I have to.

4:31AM

I cannot fall asleep to this.

4:35AM

I can still hear his snores through the music.

4:36AM

At top volume. Should have chosen Metallica or something.

4:37AM

Fuck Metallica. Fuck Zeke. Never mind, Bathtub Girl had been there, done that.

4:40AM

Somehow the music and a pillow on top of my head doesn’t do the trick either. I could sleep out in the hallway… that probably would be frowned upon. They have a 24 hour gym! I could lie on the mats there.

4:42AM

This idea is alarmingly appealing.  But… man sweat on the mats.

5:01AM

Oh no. I do need to pee. I could try to hover over the toilet. I try to tell myself not to be silly- they were in the bathtub, not on the toilet. No one has sex on the toilet. I can pee normally without getting diseases.

5:07AM

Man, I don’t want to do this. I could go to the lobby, find a restroom there. Wander in there in my rolled up PJs with a crazy look in my eye.

Okay, it's just Chicago being Chicago.

5:08AM

Sleep on the lobby’s couches. Probably more comfortable than the gym mat. Definitely cooler than my room.

5:15AM

Okay, I really, really need to pee.

5:19AM

I pee and try not to think about it.  I don’t attempt the hover because given sleep deprived state would probably fall. The bathroom smells like… well, it is obvious what it smells like. I start to go back to my bed and then stop, and look out the window instead. Look at the skyline, the faint hazy moon, the lights illuminating the streets below. The city is still. Zeke is still snoring loud and proud. I turn and stare at the clock. I sigh. It isn’t happening.

5:20AM

I unpack my laptop. I open it up, on my lap, in the bed. I switch my music to Leonard Cohen’s ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’. I start.

7:00AM

And, just as dawn breaks, illuminating the snowy city below, I finish writing ‘Diary from the Night in Hell.’

I dedicate it to Donald Duck.

Potentially minus the cat.

What I plan to do as soon as humanly possible.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 10, 2015 4:37 PM

    *hugs*
    And I thought I had it bad with the combination of jetlag and too hot. You definitely win!

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