Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Walk of Shane

I'm going to call him "Shane". It's not that I'm protecting his anonymity. That's assured by my short-term memory, or lack thereof. I'm terrible with names and other small, crucial details.

Shane was so hot. Visiting town on business, he was staying at one of the local hotels. I noticed him looking at me. More than a glance, this was full-on eye contact. I assumed there must be someone directly behind me who caught his eye. I looked around, then back at Shane. He seemed to find that amusing. I guess it was kind of funny, because I started laughing too.

The bar is my local watering hole, run by a friend of mine. A place I feel comfortable coming straight from the gym. I was there to meet a buddy who was running late, I wasn't there to cruise. When it comes to meeting guys, it only seems to happens when I'm not trying.

I introduced myself and immediately forgot Shane's name. But our conversation must have looked as intense as it felt, because my buddy watched us from a distance deciding not to interrupt us. I didn't even know he'd finally showed up. Shane invited me to his hotel room.

Texting my buddy to cancel our date, I found my phone was dead. I left feeling a twinge of guilt for standing up my friend, but I knew he'd understand when I explained it to him. Things like this happen just rarely enough to make a good story over beers.

Still in my gym clothes, I asked Shane if I could use the shower in his room. He joined me. Morning came way too soon. I needed to get to work and I didn't want to overstay my welcome. It was clear this was a one-time thing, and there was no reason to exchange numbers; no need for a prolonged goodbye. Not exactly true, I prolonged it 20 minutes more then got dressed. As I tied my shoes, I looked at the sun rising outside the window. I started to mention I could see my place, but Shane was already drifting to sleep. Quietly I left.

You know that feeling you get walking home in the morning? Where you feel everyone you pass knows exactly what you've been up to? Of course you do. The maids pushing carts. The workmen installing new carpeting in the hallway. People in the elevator. Hotel guests hurrying to breakfast or carrying laptops to conference rooms. The people working the reception desk. The concierge. Joggers on the sidewalk. The first couple rows of cars stopped at the crosswalk. They were all looking at me, judging me. I know it's mostly my imagination. Mostly. And why should I care? I had a great time and was on a bit of a high. The sun was shining.

When I got to the front door of my building and reached in my pocket, it hit me. I'm wearing my gym clothes... I don't have any pockets. Yet I wasn't carrying anything. Not my keys. Not my wallet. Not my phone. Where's my gym bag? Lord, what an idiot.

I spun around and walked the block back to the hotel. Past the cars. Past the joggers. Past the concierge. Past the reception desk. Past the hotel guests scurrying through the lobby. As I waited for the elevator, my stomach sank. I don't even know Shane's room number. It got worse when I stepped into the elevator. I didn't even remember the floor. I followed this guy to his room last night like a happy puppy. I didn't think to take notes or leave a trail of bread crumbs.

Think, Pac, think. Maybe if I called my phone, Shane would answer it. Shit, that's right, the battery's dead. Could I ask the front desk? I didn't even remember this dude's name, so yeah, good luck with that.

Come on, Pac! What do you remember? Well, I know he's on the side of the hotel facing East. That narrows it down to 233 rooms. And it was high enough to see the roof of my building. That eliminates the bottom 5 floors at least. That leaves twenty-some floors. On the East side.

Then I remembered something else. The men laying new carpeting in the hall...

If the folks on the elevator weren't judging me on the way down, they surely must have been on the way up when they stepped on to find every button from 6 to 32 lit. At each stop I'd take two steps out, glance down the hall and step back on.

Finally somewhere around 18 I found the carpet layers. Now for the hard part. "Excuse me. I came out of a room around here a few minutes ago. I was wondering if you remember which one?" One of them pointed to a door. "Thanks!" That confirmed my suspicions... they all knew.

I knocked. Please be the right room! Waited. Knocked again. Prayed again. Finally Shane sleepily answered the door. The look on his face said, "Are you still here?"


~

5 comments:

  1. Oh yeah-- you have an excellent story for your friend. And you owe him a couple beers!!!

    But man-- you were a bit thin on the details. I wanna know what dirty deeds were done. Email me!!

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  2. That. Was. Awesome! You my friend are my hero.

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  3. Oh that is classic. Its like a two-for-one story you can share with your buddy...the fun part and then the hilarious second part.

    BosGuy

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  4. If my friend stood me up with that story, I'd buy him a beer!

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  5. i. am. dying.

    best morning after story - EVER!

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