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Confessions from the (Hotel) Room Next Door

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I can smell and hear a room service trolley from two floors away. Why call, order and wait for something they are going to screw up anyway when I can just as easily pull the room service guy over like I'm the law, look under a couple of domes as if I'm performing a search and seizure, palm him a 20, scribble someone else's signature on the bill, tell him to drive more carefully and get my hunger out of the way?

So I was munching on my stolen or hijacked if your prefer club sandwich and going over some materials in preparation for a meeting while listening to the couple in the room next door having really loud, hot sex. Or an argument. Or maybe one of those wild combinations of both. It all sounds the same to me, except for the part where I heard "I'm Wolf Blitzer and you're in the situation room!"

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My ears perked up immediately as I heard the following exchange coming through the wall (I'll admit it; I listened intently with my ear cupped to it using an old diaphragm that I carry around to make me feel young like I'm not invisible):

"Stop!" and "No!" she screamed (many times over) with increasing volume and intensity.

"I thought you liked this!" he exclaimed, either obviously frustrated by this woman's limited vocabulary or the fact that I was eating the (very delicious) club sandwich he had ordered that he was never going to see.

"No, I can't take it anymore" she pleaded like someone who really couldn't take it anymore.

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"How about this?" he asked like a seven year old who tries to show you the same thing three times and hopes you don't notice he's trying to show you the same thing three times.

"Yes," she replied as enthusiastically as a defeated woman possibly can. "That is SO much better."

Then, nothing but a chilled silence for the next fifteen minutes. Kind of like a strong martini without the liquor. No bumping, grinding, creaking, squeaking, moaning or rattling. On either side of the wall. Could it be that my knees were suddenly cured? This was surely only because I was lying still in my bed, had polished off my sandwich and had taken my Celebrex as directed an hour earlier. Or, because I might have fallen asleep. I was transfixed. I thought they were dead.

I immediately envisioned myself being called in as the star witness to some sordid crime of passion or, at the very least, maybe another a faulty Internet connection. I quickly took stock of my mini bar to make sure that I hadn't had anything to drink and that there was an ample supply of M & M's for me to play Twister with later on that evening. F. Lee Bailey's name came to mind. So did Kitty Carlisle's but only because I suddenly wanted to know what it feels like to wear a boa and a sleep mask at 5:30 in the afternoon and watch "To Tell the Truth". Do you ever wonder what happened to Peggy Cass? Yeah. Me neither.

Jumping way ahead now like a cat that suddenly decides it has to be somewhere else. Now.

My illusions of appearing in court for anything more exciting than a speeding ticket came to an abrupt halt. I conveniently "happened" to end up on the elevator with the couple in question a couple of hours later when I heard him ask her if she was ready to leave. I grabbed my key, purse and briefcase and walked quickly down the hall to make sure we would ride down together. Imagine my disappoint when I came to find out that what they had been arguing about was which suit he was going to wear to their important dinner meeting that night. It seems the cold war had ended and they were now on their best behavior.

When there is less going on in the room next door than in mine, I know I'm in trouble. Imagine the look on their faces when they discovered I was both their next-door neighbor in the hotel and their client. Let's just say I think we were even.

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Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get down to the lobby to check out and make sure that I straighten out my bill and pay for that (excellent!) club sandwich before I have to meet them again for breakfast.

It's not easy being me.


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Patricia A. Smith is a writer and artist (and sometimes both at the same time). A former columnist, restaurant critic and cruise line executive, Smith has lived in London, Greece, Denmark, Hungary, Egypt, Costa Rica and France. She returned (more...)

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