Sunday, September 25, 2005

Cool people

You know how it is. Sometimes, in the course of an otherwise utterly horrible day, you happen across some stranger who does something so unexpectedly kind and thoughtful that you're caught flat-footed with surprise...

You go away from the encounter feeling much better about humanity in general, and your own lot in life, specifically.

That's how I felt about the girl at the Motel 6 in California in the middle of the night. I'd stopped maybe 20 other places--they were all either full, or wouldn't take my dog. Moreover, it was getting late: midnight...one a.m....two...The night clerks were getting ruder and ruder, as the night wore on.

By two-thirty, feeling desperately tired, wanting a shower and a stiff drink and to get the hell out of my vehicle and into a bed, I stopped at the last of five motels off of the interstate exit--a Motel 6. Normally, I probably wouldn't even have considered it. I like wifi in my room. I like a bar and restaurant on-premises.

But it was two-thirty in the morning, I'd been driving nearly 20 hours, and their jaunty radio-slogan was running through my head, "We'll leave the light on for ya!" So I swung the truck and horse trailer into the parking lot, on my way back to the freeway to push on--however unwillingly--to the next town.

The kid at the night desk window looked up from her book and gave me a sunny grin when I showed up. I'm sure I didn't look happy OR approachable under the sodium-vapor lights of the parking lot. I said, without preamble, "PLEASE tell me you have a room."

She did. A clean, spartan little room. Bless 'em. And she was NICE about it, too.

8 comments:

Ms M said...

Was your journey horse related? The horse trailer is a mysterious element in your tale...

I'm amazed you got as far as you did, I'd be sleeping in the horse trailer after driving for that long. Lucky you had a dog with you to talk to and keep you awake. Glad you found a safe and friendly place to stop. Acts of kindness are all the more special when you are feeling delirious with tiredness.

Mac said...

It was indeed horse-related. :) The trailer was empty at that point, I'd already dropped off the horses I was delivering.

I don't really sleep like normal people sleep--but even so, 27 hours behind the wheel at a stretch is my personal record.

And I always always stop when I start hallucinating. (kidding)

jason evans said...

You probably can meet a lot of nice, cool people working at 2:30 a.m. They're not stressed over in-your-face-overcrowding-and-annoyance syndrome and probably are a bit starved for company.

Hmmmm.... I've just decided. I'm going to apply for the graveyard shift.

Ray Wong said...

Nice people are everywhere. Sometimes at the most unexpected places. Usually, when I'm in your situation. I'll just go to a rest stop and sleep in my car and use the bathroom to clean up... did it a few times, actually, and saved myself a few bucks. ;)

Ray Wong said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
reph said...

Mac, you could have taken a shower at my place. Why didn't you ask?

Mac said...

Ah, Reph! I didn't see you until the next day. :) But thanks.

reph said...

The empty horse trailer made me think you were talking about the return trip, after we'd met.