Letters to Megan #8 — Hotels
For various reasons, I recently moved my coffee maker into my bathroom. It’s a big bathroom — maybe I’m not used to having that much room. I keep the door shut, so with the air conditioning running, it’s always a little cool in there.
Everyday, every moment, I do my best to “move on”. I put one traumatized foot in front of the other and just try to get through my day - somehow, to make a new life. I try to stay busy, and to be distracted, and to use all the tools that you used to successfully pretend our life together never existed.
A few nights ago, I am wandering through my new life, well distracted, and I enter this bathroom. It’s dark. I had taken a shower in the afternoon, and the humidity is higher than in the rest of the house. It’s cooler in there, as well. In the dark, I smell the humidity, the soap, the cologne, and the coffee. In that moment, my olfactory senses triggered a hundred memories of various hotels with you and Tuck over the decade we were together. The humidity from the shower, the cooler humid air from the constant run of the air conditioner, and the smell of coffee. Little Rock and Huntsville and Blythsville and Westminster and Las Vegas - where you would get up first and wake me with coffee. Hannibal and Aurora and New Orleans and Saint Augustine and Ormond — where I would get up first and bring you coffee and some kind of breakfast stuffs. Gallup and Colorado Springs and Flagstaff and Cherry Creek and on and on and on for a decade of vacations and bowling tournaments and extended weekends away. I stop and I close my eyes and I take a deep breath, and I remember. In that moment, all I want is to be in one of those places with you. All of the pain is gone, and you are happy, and you are trustworthy, and our boy has both of his people, and the day has promise, our lives have promise…
The next time a girl I’m dating, or a therapist, or a family member says I “just need to move on”, I hope I remember to explain that “morning hotel room smell”. How do I move past that? Ok, first, move my coffee maker. Then, never travel to any of those places again. Next, never stay in a hotel again. Finally, stop drinking coffee… Easy, right?
I know I should “get over it”, but, I thought we had good equipmonk. I liked those cities, and those hotels, and that coffee in the morning. You loved us. We shared so much together. Sometimes, with everything I have been asked to give up, it just seems like there isn’t much left to live for.