I took the elevator to the second story and located my room which was at the end of the hallway near the fire escape. Opening the door, a cursory review of the room proved that it was exactly what I had expected, clean and utilitarian.
The two double beds sported light colored quilts instead of the garish duvet covers so common among hotels. The white sheets appeared crisp and the pillows were plump and inviting. A tiny round table with one wooden chair was tucked into the corner next to the low bureau that supported the 36” flat screen television.
In the bathroom the white tiles sparkled almost blindingly as they were reflected in the large mirror that covered the entire wall above the sink. The shower was surrounded by a simple white curtain, the bath mat draped over the edge of the tub. Extra towels were rolled neatly on a shelf above the toilet.
Opening the closet I found a mini fridge and small safe, along with an iron and ironing board, items that seemed almost above and beyond what guests should hope for there.
Placing my backpack on the bed I sat down next to it, wondering what I should do next. Now that I was safely off the road, I needed to take the time to reflect on what had happened. Somehow my life had gotten out of control but I felt helpless to do anything about it.
As thoughts of Clay, Lilly, family, friends and my job all started to swarm in my mind I was overwhelmed. I wasn’t going to be able to handle it all at once. I needed a logical approach. Deciding a list would help I stood and started opening drawers, looking for a pen and some paper.
I was not surprised when I found nothing of use. Plan B. Grabbing my laptop I placed it on the table, opening it and watching it boot up. While I waited I changed my mind. I didn’t want to use the computer for this. There was something about writing out ideas that flowed better with a pen and paper. In high school and college I’d faithfully kept a journal. I had found it was an important way for me to sort out my thoughts and feelings. When had I stopped?
Snatching the room key and my small purse from the table I headed out to find something I could write in. This was not a problem that was going to solve itself.
I vaguely remembered seeing a pharmacy of some sort across the street from the Citgo station so I decided I would walk over. Not an area frequented by pedestrians, there were no sidewalks or crosswalks. Waiting for traffic to clear so I could cross the street, I dashed across at the first opportunity. Warmed and winded by the short sprint, I found the cool interior of the store refreshing and paused for a minute to catch my breath as I entered.
Deciding I really was out of shape I resolved to include fixing that as one of my longer term goals.
The clerk at the front counter looked up from what he was doing and asked hesitantly, “Can I help you?”
Realizing I might look harried instead of unfit I forced a smile on my face and replied, “I’m looking for a notebook or a journal.”
“In the back on the left,” he said, pointing to the far corner.
Walking past the aisles of tall shelves I spotted only one other customer, his back turned as he examined the shelf where the sleep aids and cold medicine were stored. I almost stumbled when I saw him, his stance and build so closely resembling Clay’s I could do nothing but stare.
This post is in response to the daily writing prompts Cursory and is part of something longer I’m working on.
This post is a part of the story about the ex and comes after What Will Happen Now That I Have a Place to Hide?