Yes ma’am

Ian Guerin
Sep 6, 2018 · 4 min read

Allison —

Hi Al.

I started the day with a coin-operated shower. My campsite didn’t even come with free showers. It’s a conspiracy, but I had just enough quarters (six of them) to buy myself four minutes of water. I don’t take very long showers, but I was certain that four minutes is too short. So, I outsmarted it by wetting my hair in the sink, and shampooing before inserting my final quarter. And then stood for the last two minutes in the shower as I certainly was not about to waste my money. That’s how economics works.

After that, I drove to West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick, IN. There is this incredible hotel that has been around since 1901. Although, totally rebuilt after a fire destroyed it sometime in the early 1900s. It’s designed as a giant dome, some, at the time of building, called it the 8th man made wonder of the wold. Isn’t that something.

I have just been wandering around this hotel admiring its architecture. Was it you who took the art history class at NYU that was just walking around the city and looking at different architecture? The only class I can really remember you taking is American sign language, because I got to see you for a minute every day. The architecture here must’ve taken some wonderful >engineers< that took their influence from Europe and not the Big >Apple<. (Words in >< are the only words I know in ASL thanks to Al).

It’s built on mineral springs, and they have huge spa. I found that spa and signed up for an aromatherapy bath. I felt like a prince. I got a big giant robe, that was far too big, and giant. I got taken to a tranquility room, but first I was shown around the men’s locker room by the lady who signed me up. I thought it was stranger, but she must’ve known that there were no men in there. That, or the hotel staff is VERY friendly.

The tranquility room though, was a fancy lounge with a bowl of fruit. One, two, slipped accidentally into my robe’s pockets.

Pre-beautification, so excuse my bangs

A bath, a sauna, and a shower later, I was on my way to Cincinnati. I briefly toyed with the idea of staying the night, but thought, much better to enjoy this beautiful (>$200) hotel with someone else at some other point in life.

There used to be a place where you could take your bike for a ride, or your pony for a run…

I made it to Cincinnati.

I always remember a rule Katie taught me, never show up arms swinging. As I was set to arrive at my friends Maxy and Katie’s, I would get them a gift. So I stopped at the local Olive Garden to try to buy a gift card for $8.99. The price of a pasta PLUS UNLIMITED SOUP AND SALAD. After a painful 15 minutes of asking four different people, I gave up, and left.

Instead, I bought tennis balls for Luna, the whymeramer. Heimerhammer. Whymyrunning. Weinstephaner. Whatever she is. She’s gray and has a pretty set of eyes.

Luna likes tennis balls. Luna thinks they’re pheasants so she strips off all of the fur.

I wish the reason I thought to write you was because it was an English Bulldog. But it wasn’t. I thought of you as a I sat listening, in the atrium of the hotel, to a heavenly woman playing the harpsichord. What a beautiful addition to that beautiful restaurant. Free to my own thoughts, I hoped you had a happy birthday, and I hope I’ll have the chance to see you when I return to the city in a few days.

Yours —



  • I entered 36th state, Indiana
  • I entered my 37th state, Ohio, leaving just the 13 stripes left in my drive through the stars
  • I finished China’s Disruptors
  • I started Move Fast and Break Things

the starry note

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store