I had the CheaperTaxi driver pull right up in front of the Westin Lenox Hotel. As soon as I saw that the other arrivals were either in chauffeur-driven stretch lemos or having valets park their Euro-spec V12 Jaguars, I knew I had made a faux pas. Bigtime. So as not to appear the rube, I flipped a valet a 20, told the cabbie to keep the meter running and I'd see him in the morning, flipped the doorman a 10 and the bellboy another 10, and told them both I'd carry my own bags since they contained the treaties for a ban on nuclear AIDS-pesticides. I sauntered over towards the bar and slipped out a side entrance. I caught the next MARTA train downtown to a Red Roof Inn, where I ought to be cool, even as tired as I was.

I asked the desk clerk if she was busy, and in return got an icy stare and a glimpse of a MOTSS Member-4-Life card. I only wanted to check in, not get a date, for crying out loud. When I got to the question on the form that asked for occupation, I put Male Impersonator on a whim. The clerk warmed up immediately, and escorted me personally to a room in the back away from the other guests and asked if I needed company. I told her to wait while I changed, and we'd head out to a bar. As soon as the door was closed, I threw my suitcase out the window. I climbed out, and dropped one story onto my luggage, which burst open, strewing Teddy Ruxpin (TM) Talking Undies everywhere. I grabbed my toothbrush and razor, some mismatched argyle socks, and the SciFi novel I'd started reading on the plane from Philly, and hightailed it out of the alley. A couple of blocks away, I started hitching, and an old geezer in an older, geezier Ford gave me a lift to the Y.

The cat at the desk checked me in with no problem, read me the rules, and gave me a room by myself. Of course, I had to share the shower with 7 other guys, 3 gals, and a very hairy foreign national of unknown origin and indeterminate gender. When I refused to join in the soapy gathering, one of them asked me why I had checked into the Young Perverts Orgiastic Society in the first place if I was gonna be hostile. Glancing at the logo on my key, I saw my latest mistake, and promised to be right back with my sheep. They brightened up, and I skipped down the hall, sopping wet, to my room. Some wino had made off with everything (including my suit), except my toothbrush and novel, samples, and the Y's towel.

I wrapped the towel around my dripping locks, and wandered casually down the fire escape.

Slinking from bush to bush, still dripping, clad only in my Y-based turban, mismatched dayglo Argyles, and my last pair of Teddies (which were now shorted out into an endless loop of a gay, loud, "Hi! Wanna be my friend?", which was attracting far too much attention from people I would just as soon avoid right that minute) I finally found an out-of-the-way, darkened pay phone booth. Fortunately, it worked, and accepted 3rd-party charges. Using a purloined IRS phone-billing account, I called my client, and they agreed to move the next day's meeting to the afternoon. Then I called the local cops, told them some nut case was wandering around 5th and Piedmont nekkid, wet, and being too friendly with old ladies. I waited right under the traffic light until the cruiser showed up. They booked me for the night, and I finally had a place to get some rest without fear of terminal embarassment. Twice they brought me cell-mates, but one was a drugged-out Madonna clone, and the other was a Tech student in a drunken stupor, and I knew I wouldn't do anything stupider than them, so I slept just fine at last.

Ever have 1 of those days?

Last updated: 2 Apr 1994

Copyright 1989, 1994 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

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Miles O'Neal <roadkills.r.us@XYZZY.gmail.com> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514