Only Room

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Martin Hash
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Only Room

Post by Martin Hash » Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:19 am

After a long day of driving, my wife, Gwynne, and I were exhausted and just wanted to find a place to sleep for the night. We came into Cheyenne, capitol of Wyoming, about 6 pm, driving into town on an old blacktop road lined with rundown motels reminiscent of our stays in East Oakland except it was all White people. Lots of big trucks and rough looking guys lived longterm in the cheap units while they worked the oil fields for the season. I thought it would be easy finding someplace since there were so many but a dozen queries later, it looked like we'd be sleeping in the car. I finally started calling everyplace listed on Google Maps until I found a room; the only room in the city the heavily-accented Asian voice told me over the phone.

As far as I can tell, ours was the only Prius in Wyoming, but the number and size of the trucks was truly amazing, so our light green, odd little car real stuck out. When we pulled into the parking lot near our Second floor room and got out, a young guy walked over; “Are you from Washington?” he asked, his slight accent putting an 'r' in Washington.
He seemed friendly enough, reminding me of a young Kid Rock in speech, dress and manner; Gwynne said he looked more like Woody Harrelson.
“Somebody's got to live there,” I answered smoothly, my own voice carried a slight Country affect.

Prius at Firebird Motel s.JPG

We left the guy by the car and walked up to the room, past a fat gal cooking dinner on an outdoor BBQ, and another chain-smoking guy smashing cigarette butts into a paint bucket of sand next to our room. Jiggling the key this way and that, I finally got the rickety door open and stepped into the room. Immediately, I was overwhelmed by the smell, causing me to scurry back out the door, but before I could catch my breath and warn her, Gwynne walked through the opening.
“Wait...,” I said, excitedly, but it was too late; Gwynne got one sniff of that fingernail polish remover smell and she went into a paroxysm of coughing. It was so bad she doubled over and could barely make it out of the room with my help. Her fit continued unabated out on the walkway.
“Are you okay, honey?” the fat woman below us yelled, concerned.
Gwynne continued to cough her lungs out, her face beet read.
Turns out, Kid Rock was the building manager, and he showed. The fat woman told him, “something in that room is causing this lady to have the conniptions.”
Kid Rock went into the room, scurried out. “Whoa!” he exclaimed. “If I can smell it, it must be bad.”
Smoker guy, who'd been watching with expectancy the whole time, told us it was just cleaning fluid.
An overly-thin young woman with blackened teeth appeared; turned out she was the housekeeper and Kid Rock's wife. “It wasn't me!” she defended herself. “It didn't smell like this when I left.”
The Asian guy who'd answered the phone and gave me the key came in.
“Sun Yong!” Exclaimed Kid Rock. “Stop spraying shit in the rooms!”
I was becoming suspicious; they’d obviously gone through this spectacle before. Thinking about it because I'm not an expert, my guess is that the smell was benzene from free-basing meta-amphetamines.
Kid Rock continued with the charade in a practiced manner. He told his wife to change all the bedding, which she did forthwith, and he put a big fan in the back of the room, opened the windows and turned on the air conditioner. “It will be okay in a minute,” he assured us.
“It's going to take longer than a minute,” I doubtfully replied. “Where’s the closest bar? We'll wait there.”
Gwynne said we should get our money back and just sleep in the car but I knew my chemistry well enough to know the smell actually should dissipate quickly, if indeed it was the extracting agent for drug use, plus I could use a shot of bourbon, so we walked down the street.
We were just leaving the bar when a voice called from behind us: “it's me!”
We turned to find Kid Rock waving at us; he'd come through the back. “I thought I'd give you guys a ride,” he explained in his homey manner.
He seemed so sincere, Gwynne got in the front seat of his old Delta 88 and I got in the rear. We talked about Portland, Oregon on the way back to the motel.
Kid Rock led us up to the room. The fan was blowing like a tornado, and after standing in the room for a few minutes, I held my hand up for Gwynne not to come in. “It's 50% better,” I said. “But it's going to be another 25% before my wife can come in here. We'll come back in a couple hours.”
Kid Rock seemed disappointed but he didn't say anything.
Gwynne and I took a two-hour walk. Kid was waiting for us in front when we came back. He smiled, and followed us to the room, waited while I jiggled the door open and went in. After a bit, I motioned for Gwynne to come in. She was hesitant at first but eventually creeped in. Over the next couple minutes she coughed a few times but nothing significant.
Kid Rock was waiting anxiously; “How’s it now?” He asked, a look of expectancy on his face.
I didn’t want to disappoint him, so I gave him the Thumbs Up but really we should have slept in the car.

Room 134.JPG
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C-Mag
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Re: Only Room

Post by C-Mag » Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:43 am

You forgot to preface it with,
I spent a week in Cheyenne one night.
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Smitty-48
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Re: Only Room

Post by Smitty-48 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:39 am

That's well written, Marty, one of your best.

"Somebody's gotta live there" Now that's Americana.
Nec Aspera Terrent