Went down to the lobby this morning. Needed to ask the clerk a question. They've decorated down there, a Christmas tree and such. The carpet is already red, so it's pretty easy to harness the Christmas theme. I had to wait my turn. The three cops in front of me had some questions of their own.
"So, when did they check in?"
Nervous clerk hands them the paperwork, details of the hoodlum's itinerary.
"They checked in yesterday? That's a lot of crap for one night..." "Ok, let us use your phone..."
My first thought, of course, is "what's this about? Drugs? Some other contraband? How far is their room from mine?!" Then I think, "three cops, no cell phone?"
Back upstairs, the hallway is feeling more familiar. A variety of scents greet me on each approach; a lot of asian cooking; the occasional waft of "herbs" and cigarets, despite the non-smoking label on my room. I hear voices, people in this together; others alone. From the street I can see small christmas trees perched in some of the extended-stay windows.
My studio is next to the stairs, so I only have one room of voices next to me. I'm pretty certain the gentleman staying there is dying of emphysema. At times I'm tempted to run next door and give him a good slap on the back, you know, to help him out. But there's a woman with him, so, I'm pretty sure she's got it covered.
It took some perseverance on my part, but I seem to have mastered my room key. Now if I could just remember to remove it from the door when I enter so as to not leave a large welcome mat for the afore mentioned hoodlums.
I have a "kitchen": fridge, two burner electric stove, sink, microwave; equipped with a micro coffee pot and an occasionally functioning toaster. It works well enough. I like it. The space is mine for now. There is comfort in that. Amidst the commotion outside, it is quiet enough for me. It has a desk, a bed, a table, a recliner, and a TV. I have an expansive view of the auto dealership outside. Kind of ironic, as that has been my one complaint about Dublin - the mass of auto dealerships. Now, it is beginning to represent home. Home for now.
I enter this space and I am alone. Alone to think, sort, accept. Accept this space in-between. Breath it in. Seek out it's beauty. Commune in solitary, yet, with the others navigating this purgatory. Feeling connected to them as they hang their strand of lights and cook their holiday noodles. Sitting with them... Staring at the impending New Year. Wishing us well.
Happy Holidays my sweet people-in-between.