A view of the world's smallest hotel room. At least, I thought so...
Evening, October 2, 2006
The photo at the top of this entry is one of the clown car hotel room that I stayed in at the Carlton. The room was so small that I was unable to place all my toiletries on the sink in the bathroom. However, as Corb pointed out later on, I was given the CEO suite during my last adventure, so I really can’t complain. And I have to admit, it was all very snug, and I enjoyed curling up to a good book at midnight (Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell), listening to the sounds of people moving around outside my door, and on the streets.
The train ride home was miserable. Boarding the Acella took forever, and I was at the back of the line, which meant that I walked down the entire length of the train looking for an empty seat. There were empty seats here and there, but always next to someone, and I was feeling rather anti-social after a long day of acting like a smiling happy person.
I moved down the aisle, lugging a huge suitcase, with the laptop slung over my shoulder, weaving around people.
Suddenly, I heard a thud coming from behind me, and stopped.
I turned around, and looked down at the man who had been walking behind me, a small, diminutive gentleman who looked as though he might sell Charmin. Only, he wasn’t walking behind me any more. He was spread out across my suitcase.
“Terribly sorry,” he said, rising from the suitcase. “I tripped.”
A few minutes later, I heard another crash, turned around, and there he was again. Spread out across my suitcase.
When I reached the last train cart, I turned around, realizing with frustration that I was not going to find two empty seats. The falling Charmin man was at the front of the cart, bent over, going through his suitcase. He was pulling out a large bottle of red wine.
Aha! That explains everything thing.
I ended up sitting in the lunch cart for the entire ride. The whole thing reminded me of Corb, who once observed that whenever I’m forced into a large social setting, I will deliberately do anything I can to avoid contact with people. I will skirt around the edges, or jack-knife quickly, straight through the crowd. Anything to avoid interaction.
It’s a terrible trait for a writer to have, frankly.
At the end of the train ride, I knew that I had a few minutes to spare before Corb picked me up, and I only had one thing on my mind: going to the bathroom, and fast!
However, as soon as I entered the bathroom at the train station, I realized that I had a problem: the urinals were all used, and the only thing available was a tiny stall in the corner. But how in the hell was I going to be able to fit myself in there, with all my luggage?
I pushed the door open, and moved my computer bag next to the toilet, making sure that it didn't touch the toilet in any way shape or form. I'm not as much as a germaphobe as Corb, not by a long shot, but there are things even I won't allow. After that was set, I started to move the suitcase forward. It barely fit through the door. I had to turn it around and pull it through, then move it at an angle in order to close the door and allow myself room to do my business.
It was only once I was done with my business that I realized what I had done.
The large suitcase was stuck between my bony knees, firmly placed right up against the bathroom door.
I had built myself a bathroom trap.
I felt as though I had been dropped into an episode of I Love Lucy. There I was, stuck inside the bathroom stall. Should I call for help? Should I call Corb on the cell phone?
I decided to go it alone. It would have been way too embarrassing to call for help from this position. Besides, that might have come across as an invitation. Instead of, "Can you spare a square," I could have said something like, "Can you save my ass?"
It took me--literally--about five minutes to move that suitcase around, inches at a time, so I could get it in a position where I could lift it up and place it on the toilet. Once I had it there, I was able to swing the bathroom door back and walk out, and then push the suitcase through the stall's door.
I made my way out of the train station. There was Corb, waiting for me in my RAV-4, parked at the sidewalk. Did I have stories for him!