Monday, February 25, 2008

Road Trip Nightmare

No. NO. NO! Must. Stay. In. Fetal. Position.

It was awful. I think the only way it could have been worse was had we been slaughtered and ground up for sausage.

I speak of this past Saturday night in Fayetteville, NC.

Let me back up. My cousin is being deployed to Iraq in the next few weeks. His wife and family planned a get together in Maxton, NC. Two of my cousins (cousin #2 and cousin #3) and I planned and were excited about the road trip down. Let me say right now, we had a wonderful time! Lovely home, truly beautiful people, terrific barbeque and you can’t beat getting together with family, reminiscing, and just laughing yourself stupid.

We had originally made reservations at a hotel room more south than we thought we needed to be and so at the last minute, decided to book a room further up the interstate to ease our Sunday morning haul back home. We thought Fayetteville seemed like a good spot. We prudently passed by roughly eleven barren lifeless motor hotels and responsibly decided to engage a reliable and established motel chain. I refuse to name the chain here, but will give you a hint; it rhymes with Flowered Schmonson Hexpress.

We made a few mistakes. #1 In our naiveté, we never thought a billboard advertising “Recently Renovated” could possibly be a lie. To be fair, it might not have been a lie...back in 1972. #2 We also did not weigh heavily enough the fact that a Juvenile Detention Facility was located nearby. Had we applied sufficient import to those two issues, we may have reconsidered. But this was Flowered Schmonson Hexpress! Surely we could trust the name and its newly renovated status!

We hopped out of the car, booked and paid for the room, then drove around the buildings looking for our overnight accommodation. Scary Motel Clue #3; when they place you waaaay in the back and on the bottom floor, it is probably so they can’t hear your screams.

Our non-smoking room smelled. But not of smoke. We were unable to identify the smell; it might have had something to do with the rotting tile in the bathroom; or perhaps with the dirt on the walls in the front area. We did not have time to think about it; we were already an hour late and still had about a half hour to go to get to the party. We were only going to sleep there, so we maneuvered around the streaky slime covered mirror to apply our makeup, freshened ourselves and got out on the road again. Not before I noted the staples located near the ceiling around the circumference of the room, however. I thought that maybe someone had a little birthday celebration in there and stapled up some festive, brightly colored streamers. Cousin #2 decided it had something to do with tarps, donkeys, and video cameras.

We couldn’t get out fast enough. But as I said, once we got to the party, we were able to forget about the room, spending a few wonderful hours with family.

Clue #4 when curious family members ask where you are staying, it is not a good sign when their skin becomes sallow, the back of their hand covers their mouth and they whisper; “Not Fayetteville!. In fact, before leaving, when we mentioned to the assemblage where we were staying, an uncomfortable quiet settled upon the room. Hindsight being what it is, I imagine they didn’t expect to ever see us again. Telephone numbers were exchanged, promises to respond to emergency calls were committed to.

We got back to the Hexpress at 10:30 pm. I neglected to mention that when we arrived, there were no cars in the parking lot, no doubt lulling us into a sense of security. When we returned, however, a few more guests had taken advantage of the chain’s hospitality. Like 30. All in the back where we were.

Couldn't help but see the fella who shared the room next to ours. He was a large gentleman who we can only assume had some voyeuristic tendencies, as his curtains were wide open exposing his ample man breasts as he watched television.

We ran into our room. Surely we’d be safe in there?

Not so safe as you would think. The extra lock on the door was broken. To ensure that the door fastened securely, I bravely ran outside to test. Our neighbor immediately pressed his cleavage against his window to locate the source of the action. Horrified, I began pounding on our door. Fortunately, screaming panic had not yet settled in before the girls frantically pulled me inside.

A closer examination suggested there was more DNA in that room than on an episode of CSI. We were glad we did not have a black light and luminol in our possession.

There was no cover on the bathroom light fixture, and our fertile minds suggested that a camera could easily be employed to the delight of cyber-creeps everywhere. Not saying it was, just saying we have very active imaginations. But who knows, some urine-phile may be watching me online right now.

We then found what may have been the origin of some of the smells in the room; when pulling back the covers on one bed, the sick stank of dirty feet filled the room. And just as we thought it couldn’t get any worse, a closer inspection of the sheets noted several varietals of hair. It was at that point that I think we all wanted to throw up.

We turned the heat on before bed, little knowing the level of anxiety that the sound of the fan would minimize. It got warm in the night and we shut the fan off. Immediately, a cacophony of noises and voices assailed us from nearby our room. “Baby! Baby! Don’t go! Baby!” a man pleaded in the night. Something seemed to hit the pavement outside our room. A car engine revved, tires squealed. Eventually, quiet settled on the night.

Yes. We stayed there. We wore lots of clothes, hoped that there were no bed bugs, prayed that we would not contract an STD or become a statistic. We made it through the night. Upon waking, Cousin #3, allergic to animal hair, announced that she was certain a creature or other had spent some time in the room since her lungs had filled up in the unmistakable way of the frighteningly allergic. This of course, gave credence to the tarp, donkey, video camera initiative suggested earlier.

In the cold light of day, we noticed that someone had scribbled “I want” on our front door. We told ourselves it had been scratched in before our stay, not during. There was also an unsettling amount of some sort of dried fluid on the pavement outside our room that could have come either from a long discarded cola, or blood, the amount of which suggested a head wound. We recalled the disturbing thud on our pavement in the middle of the night. We looked up. Man-Boobs was sprawled on his bed watching a Steven Segal movie.

We left. I’m home now. I have showered. I have no sores. But I am scarred. Oh yes. I am scarred.

1 Comment:

lace1070 said...

Zoiks! You are much braver than me. I would have demanded a refund and would have driven as far north as possible before finding a brightly lit hotel!

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