***** WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE *****
“OH great, now I’ve got dog shit all over my foot.” And without a whimper, involuntary gag or boiling anger I walked to the washroom to scrub my foot clean. This is my new reality folks. Where hours old, dried dog shit on my bare ass foot, which I had been smelling and was convinced someone was farting up a storm, doesn’t garner much more than an “Oh fuck, what else?” reaction.
It has been a few weeks now since my post about leaving home, read about it here, and packing up for the open road. For those who live in “Oblivious” where Q and I were preceding this grand adventure, I’d love to tell you we’re now free birds, living life one adventure at a time and making envious acquaintances along the way. But the truth is, we’re more stuck in a fucking nightmare than living the actual dream.
You see, even with all our preparation, we were unprepared when we found ourselves chasing our tails in an archaic anomaly of not being able to rent an apartment due to lack of availability. (I know, if we’re nomads why are we renting an apartment, right? Well, here in “Wynn”tario one must have a permanent residence, not a PO Box, in order to maintain their driver’s licence and Provincial health insurance). How could we have anticipated a city of this size would have more renters than rentals? How is that even possible? Where the hell are all these people coming from? And for what?
And in a bid to be fair, landlords are legally required to “first come, first rent”. What should have taken a week, has stretched across two months (May and June). And although the search is over as we’ve secured an apartment for August, we’ve been stuck in limbo due to the lag of when we closed on our house and will take possession of our RV. Again, how could we have known our RV dealer would be so busy, that the earliest they could deliver our tenement on wheels would be 45 days after we purchased it?
So what has happened in a month and a half that has brought about this new, nonchalant reaction to the dog poop? Well, it has to do with where we’ve been staying since the closing of our house in June.
Imagine a hotel room the size of a small, one car garage. Contained within are two beds, a small desk, dresser, nightstands, two chairs and a small fridge and microwave. The bathroom, an appendage of the room, is the size of a closet. The perimeter of the room in addition to any free floor space has been filled with our luggage, boxes, coolers and dog paraphernalia. Three people and three dogs. Q, I, our daughter who is waiting to go off to university, her dog and our two dogs, all crammed into the tiniest, fucking motel room on the planet. Bags of buns and cups of soup are mixed among the socks and underwear in my daughter’s suitcase. Dog dishes, makeup and paper plates are stacked on the desk where Q works, nothing more than a multi-tasking surface. Prescription drugs, toiletries and alcohol fill Q’s nightstand. There is not one square inch we have not occupied with some sort of necessity. And although you might think being packed in like sardines is what has forced us to have a more laid back approach to life, you’d be wrong.
It might even cross your mind that the almost 70 years worth of cigarette smoke, soaked into every fabric in the room has stifled our senses. Maybe the decade’s old dirt on the drapery, large blood stain on our box spring or cigarette burns in all the sheets and blankets. The mouldy shower, banana shaped mattresses or the 1960s decor in this dark and dingy motel has tempered my gag reflex. And again, you’d be wrong.
No, in fact, we’ve become used to the decor, smell and uncomfortableness of the “Bates” motel. So what has built our resilience and patience to things that would normally send us off the deep end? Well, it is the ding dongs that have been frequenting this lovely establishment we are temporarily calling home. A laundry list of colourful characters, they have us feeling like we’re living a repeat of the show COPS! Let me explain.
We eventually got used to the amount of second-hand, marijuana smoke floating in the air, but were shocked by the number of stoners that were staying among us. We’re not prudes and hey if you want to smoke a joint, all the power to you. But after travelling across the USA and Canada for years, and never coming across one, openly, right in public toker (not even one), to find a motel full was surprising, to say the least.
Oldest Profession In The World
The tokers make nary a peep and keep to themselves which is in stark contrast to the “massage” therapist, two doors down to the left of our room. The term “massage” I use loosely (pun intended). Her clients rent the room between ours, where she meets, greets and services them. I became aware of what type of massage therapist she was when her first “client” showed up days into our stay. With earbuds blaring music in my ears, I suddenly heard a very loud, primal scream, moans and foul language instructing him (the client) on what he should be doing next, in spite of the plugs in my ears and wall separating us. Apparently, the massage she was giving was so damn good, she couldn’t contain herself. He left within the hour and never returned. He was the first in what would be a routine with many men/cars that rented the adjacent room and left within the hour, none ever spending the night. The weirdest part though came when she knocked on our door at 2 am, telling us she felt sick and was locked out of her room like there was something we could do about either. And although I don’t want to judge, I equally don’t want to hear this woman hard at work, day in and day out, or be bothered by her troubles. Maybe I’m just grumpy.
Creature From the Black Motel Room
Then there is the elderly gentleman who lives down the corridor. He is quiet and unseen, his existence only known to us when the management team removed him from his room. His neighbours could no longer stomach the smell. Through us being nosey (Q), we found out this man had been living at this motel since 1998 and in all that time had never let the cleaners/maids enter to clean. Twenty years worth of garbage, beer bottles, magazines and anything and everything you could imagine were stuffed into his room, with only small pathways to the bathroom and bed. We realized how bad the smell and disgust were when we saw the maids enter with face masks and wearing what looked like hazmat suits. It took them three days to empty the room, large bins of crap, after more large bins of crap, before they could even begin cleaning. In addition to the junk, they removed hundreds of dollars worth of beer bottles. Might I remind or educate us all that a beer bottle’s worth is only 10 cents! I’ll be honest. I feel sorry for this older gentleman. You’ve lost something pretty important in your life when you go to great lengths of hanging onto everything you’ve ever acquired in a 20 year period. And although I have compassion for his mental state, I worry about what kind of bugs or rodents this hoarder may have attracted and could potentially be released among us.
The CRAZY Lady In 108
Admitting the “massage” therapist, hoarder and stoners had us questioning the $1200/month price tag, it wasn’t until the battiest, fucking crackpot moved into the adjacent room to our right that had us consider the $5000/month hotels. I was at my mother’s the first night this lady arrived. Q said at first she seemed lonely, inquisitive with a love for chatter. She told Q how she was a busker, just renting for the week. She talked endlessly at our daughter about stupid shit, verging on ridiculous. She chatted up Q about where his wife was, was he alone or lonely, did he mind that I was gone for the evening. She asked him to share dinner with her, maybe come into her room for a drink. He decided he better stop being so social since she didn’t understand boundaries or the fact he wasn’t interested. The next morning both Q and my daughter noticed she appeared drunk. It was 7 am. She sat outside, next to her wide-open door the rest of the day. She drank something from a jar and smoked non-stop. She wore a see-through t-shirt dress with no bra, my daughter pointed out, disgusted she had to witness it. Q found out later in the day she had yelled at one of the maids and another guest, bringing them both to tears. And although the content of her babble had already warned Q she was a bit off her rocker, the added alcohol only fuelled where this crazy bitch was about to take her kooky antics. By day’s end she was yelling and swearing at our daughter, telling her, and I quote “your parents are fucking assholes,” because she thought we had gone grocery shopping and hadn’t taken her. As you guessed, I hadn’t even met her yet, as I only made it back to the motel after this episode. She disappeared for the rest of the evening, resurfacing the next night where she went full fucking wacko! This nut job swung on the squeaky swings, opened and slammed her door incessantly, yodelled across the courtyard, banged her shoes together and finally, kept screaming how all the other motel guests were “mother fuckers”. All of this occurring between midnight and 6 am. And it didn’t just happen one night. This erratic, insane oddball disturbed the entire motel night, after night, after night. Even the hundred plus calls to the front desk made by her on a daily basis, or the motel soaps she threw at the clerk’s face, volumes of complaints from the other customers didn’t encourage the management to remove her from the premises. In fact, when her week was over and she asked to continue to stay, management agreed until ourselves and some other extended stay visitors threatened to leave.
Yes, beyond the smelly, dungy environment, it has been our crazy existence amongst some of the weirdest individuals we have ever crossed paths with that has allowed us to cultivate our new-found “oh well” attitude. Despite the fact I’ve wanted to punch some people in the fucking throat, it hasn’t been all bad. We’ve met some really nice people staying at the motel. The staff, not including the management, has been accommodating, friendly and always at our disposal. All good, hard-working people just trying to get their day done among the crazies.
This is our new reality, albeit it temporary, thank GOD! Where we’ve been stuck in a nightmare instead of living the dream. But it’s also where we’ve learned to roll with the punches, and when you happen to step in dog shit there are only two productive things you can do about it. Wash it off and watch your step!
~ True North Nomad
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