So give me an empty house like tonight and I suddenly hear weird noises from the basement.
Somehow when my son is around, my thoughts never go to a dark place. Some kind of momma bear instinct keeps me from ever letting the boogie man take up even a millimeter of space in my musings. The keeper of safe dreams cannot be a wimp!
On business trips, however, I find my thoughts often take a more fanciful turn. I usually go to the same cities and with three main time zones to work from, every hour is taken up with work. I keep thinking about returning with the family for a proper exploration - but who wants to vacation where you work from?
So I tend to fit my sightseeing in on walks around my hotel. Sometimes for an early morning espresso but usually for a late night decaf cappuccino when I can't sleep (time change) and I figure I'll walk a few blocks to mingle with the homeless, the students and weird sleepless strangers like me. Maybe its these tiny cracks of exploration into a new place that gets my imagination going. Maybe its being on my own away from the familiar (and my husband).
My latest trip had me in a new wing (new to me but ancient-old for the hotel). They were booked up with conventions and I was tucked away on a floor where I saw absolutely NO ONE else on that floor for three days. Apparently it is the last area to be remodeled.
Sometimes I would hear voices but never actually saw a single person.
To make the situation creepier, the entire floor reminded me of...(you guessed it) The Overlook Hotel, aka the hotel in the movie The Shining! If you don't believe me, have a gander...
My room was at the end of a hall right next to a creepy metal stairway. One night before turning in I peeped through the keyhole and just freaked myself out by imagining something white move very quickly past my door. Cue palpating heart and moving desk chair in front of the door.
Like that would help! I've seen enough films to know for fact that if a crazy, psychotic fiend wants to chop you up with lawn tools, they have a way of making that happen.
So I ignored it. But not before taking a picture in hopes of preserving my silly bout of imagination for morning chuckles. It did the opposite. The next night I stepped out of the elevator in total silence and walked calmly about six feet before shedding my heels to hightail it with barely suppressed squeals all the way to my room with shoes, briefcase and card key in hand. Darn that babysitter and Jack Nicholson's crazy eyebrows!
For some reason my hotels are frequently surrounded by addicts who get more aggressive at night and often follow me down the block chanting "...gimmemoneygirlgimmemoney
girlcantyouhearmeIsaidgivememoneygirl" while I am clinging to my Starbucks cup (fake, polite smile, check! No eye contact with the strange limping man on my left, check!) and trying hard to pretend to be Mary Moore on a sunny stroll while considering where to toss the coffee if anyone actually tries to grab me. This happens in well lit streets with police officers on every corner so its not like I am walking down alleyways.
Before you think me totally heartless, living in New York for so many years has taught me never to give money to strangers at night - it is a bit like the children's book Give a Moose a Muffin? It is creepy to be followed by someone who also text their friends down the block to note you are a sure thing and otherwise make you regret the impulse - especially when they look at the three dollars you have given them and begin a discourse on inflation and the cost of failing the homeless in distopian societies. So I stick to daytime assistance.
Enough getting off track! Not sure why I work myself up yet reading this post I think I will avoid late night wanderings for coffee and see if that doesn't stop the over active imaginings from taking a hike. I am also going to tuck a chair beneath the basement doorknob and check the alarm - just to feel better.