My Hotel Fears

September 5, 2008

Yes, I write another block titled Things to Worry About, but I thought the topic of hotel worries was deep enough to warrant it’s own entry right here.

I’m not the most fastidious person, so dust doesn’t bother me unless it’s excessive. And when I’m at a hotel, like I am this weekend, I sometimes create scenarios where the dust in a room or even the way the pillows are arranged tells of sinister events.

Take the room I once had at a Hilton while attending a Mystery Writers of America conference. I found a plastic cup under the bed. In it were peach pits and cigarette butts. Many cigarette butts.

Immediately I thought that a gang of farm thieves hung out in the room planning to destroy a series of peach estates. Both the careful way in which the butts and the peach detritus were placed in the cup testified to the fact these thieves weren’t evil, just angry at peaches.

Today’s hotel – a Marriott – looks out on the side of a rooftop. There’s a trough between the rooftop and my window and some trash sitting in the trough. Aside from the occasional Sprite can or cigarette butt (again), there are also some footprints. Animal footprints in the dust.

That makes me immediately think that while I sleep these unseen animals will enter the room, eat my innards and dash back out into the alley.

I’m also afraid of leaving my toothbrush out on the counter in case the cleaning person is having a bad day and wants to clean the toilet with it.

I hide my pills so they can’t put cyanide in the capsules.

I keep my socks in my suitcase so hotel staff won’t fill them with shaving cream or jello.

Perhaps this has deteriorated into a true Worries column, but try to picture me lying awake on top of my suitcase in the middle of a bed in a strange hotel room in a strange city.

Then think about the things that you’re afraid of and start putting together a list like this. And share some of your fears in the comments on this post.

I look forward to reading what keeps you awake at night.

More to come…