Friday, January 21, 2011

All Work and No Play Makes Anna a Dull Blogger



So I'm back. Not sure if you noticed I was away, but I've been at a conference for work. I love any chance to get away by myself, so the thought of a king sized bed in a hotel room and a stack of books on my bedside table was awesome. The conference was inspiring and helpful, but several factors led to my being extra grateful to have made it out of there in one piece.

Maybe it was pulling up to the quiet resort hotel just as the winter sky grew dark. My car was the only one in a vast parking lot on the back side of the building. During the summer this place is buzzing, but in the off-season, the pace slows to a crawl.

On the sidewalk outside my door stood an enormous bird, the size of a turkey, dismembering another bird. I had to pass by to get into my room, and when I did, a swirl of gray feathers enveloped me as I made a frantic dash to the door. I hoped no guts followed me in.

Safely inside my room I wondered, "Did that really just happen?" This was the evidence on my doorstep:


The resort complex was enormous. For 2 1/2 days when I wasn't in the conference area with other participants, I was in a alone in an empty wing of the hotel. Not sure why I was separated from the rest of the group. It could be because I was traveling alone and requested just one bed. It could be to make me easier prey.

Several times I got lost trying to find my room in the labyrinth of hallways that seemed to stretch on forever, yet I never saw another soul.



I wondered if anyone knew I was there. I wondered if anyone would hear my cries if I needed help. I wondered why I never bothered to exercise and how I could manage to get winded merely walking down long empty corridors.

Every horror movie I'd seen in the early to mid-80's came rushing back to me. Why hadn't my parents supervised what I watched? Were they just so happy with the advent of the VCR and an electronic babysitter that they didn't care that a whole generation of kids was gorging itself on Damian, Jason, and Michael Myers?

I realized as a forty-something mom I was no teenage ingenue, but I was a woman, alone, separated from the flock and that, just as much as being part of a horny make-out couple, is the kiss of death in any horror movie.

When I saw a housekeeper back in the main section of the hotel I asked her how many rooms there were. "Over 650 she replied." More like 666, I thought, as loneliness set in and a new snowstorm swirled outside my window.

Summoning up the courage to watch reality tv, finish my books, and luxuriate in this spectacular bed, I tried to shove all thoughts of "red-rum" and Jack Nicholson out of my mind. It wasn't easy, but with prayer, cable, and Diet Pepsi, I persevered. I kept a close eye on the outside (dead bird) door and the hallway door.


I was pretty much at peace.
But when I woke up on the 3rd day and found that we were "iced in," I got out my scraper, got my middle-aged rear on the nearest highway, and headed home.

16 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Wow, it was basically like The Shining!

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e) said...

So glad I took a break from my "teacher work day" work (scads of it) to read this.

You have me giggling! Oh, and you have me retching...thanks for the bird remnants photo.

Totally thinking redrum before you ever mentioned it.

Welcome back!

Nichole@40daysof said...

I would have been freaking out as well.

And yes, I did notice you were gone. :)

Anonymous said...

I have sort of a non-stop fantasy lately that involves me alone in a hotel room for 3 nights. All by myself. IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. So I am thrilled that you got to do it. But next time don't freak yourself out. Ask for a room change, silly goose.

jbhat

Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

Tell me, did someone actually make your own meals for 3 days? I think that's kinda what heaven is like.

Christy said...

Oh man that actually doesn't sound that fun, you poor thing. I'm glad you had a scraper and made it home safe and sound. No more red-rum nights, okay! (That movie gives me the creeps just thinking about it!)

Becky said...

Picturing you trying to get to your door through the swirl feathers made me giggle.

Brooke said...

how is it that everyone who is commenting is totally leaving out the creepy fact that somehow you managed to have your picture taken through the mirror of your room, clearly not by your cell phone that you are speaking on? At least the ghostly apparitions in hotel HL knew how to operate a camera!

Sounds like the time away was quiet but not peaceful. Yet, time away is still time away!

Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife said...

Oh my...what a crazy trip! I would have been so freaked out. Glad you made it back. = )

Jill said...

I'll admit ... I did notice that you hadn't posted lately - despite me being a lazy commenter. :)

And like everyone else, when you started mentioning quiet, lonely hallways, red-rum entered my mind too.

Which is now going to give me nightmares as I sleep alone ...

Hope you had fun! And glad you got home safely!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Anna - you should have made them move you to another room! The bird alone would make the request understandable. Glad you made it back without any real serial killer stories to tell...

Deidra said...

That was freaky. Glad you're home safely.

Shana said...

I'd walk thru bird guts to sleep by myself for three nights. Totally worth it. PS Welcome back!

for a different kind of girl said...

I'm here alone with the kids for the next two nights and honestly, just seeing that first photo has me haunted by the ghost of the dead bird!

Heidi said...

Is it bad that this made me laugh? Not cruel laughter, but that you were in a hotel which could have been the setting for 'The Shining, part 2' and that crazy bird murder...are you kidding me?! And, let's not forget that you were all alone in some remote part of the hotel. Creepy!

At first, I was with you. I would have loved a room to myself with a stack of books beside me, but it turned into the first chapter of a horror novel.

I'm still laughing.

K A B L O O E Y said...

The call is coming from INSIDE THE ICE MACHINE! Get out!!!!! Oh, Anna? Ask for a new room anytime you witness turkey cannibalism on your doorstep. You deserve that much. And that hallway reminds me of Barton Fink.