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Here’s my story:
The idea of visiting every State in the US was becoming a nightmare rather than an adventure.
After a cocktail or ten, Lenny made his way up the stairs to his room. He could have used the service elevator but he couldn’t find the key…in fact, where were his keys?
He’d been the only consumer at the bar of the Hotel Cactus Flower since 11 and by 3 o’clock had become sick. It wasn’t the drinks though. It was the huge, hairy bartender that didn’t get any prettier as he got drunker.
That’s right. She was the hairiest woman he’d every seen. Who’d name a little girl Hortense anyway? This whole State was giving him the creeps. Texas was every bit like its caricature in the press if you judged it by the Hotel Cactus Flower.
The neon sign read:
Stop on by and enjoy some real Texas hospitality at the Cactus Flower Hotel.
“Yeah right! Where are those freakin’ keys?”
Lenny leaned against his door jamb and turned his pockets inside out. He lost his balance and fell against the door which opened as he did a “face plant” inside the room.
” Man! That’s gonna leave a mark. Hmmm…good thing I left it open though.” He chuckled.
He made it to his knees when he realized that this room wasn’t his after all. It was cut out the same. They all were dinky little musty closets. He knew he would have done better to sleep in the rental car but he wasn’t going to waste $110.00 dollars and try to find the parking garage now.
“Huh, at $9.50 a drink. I’ll sleep where I please.”
Instead of using the epic strength he’d require to stand up, Lenny crawled to the bed and slept on top of the covers, a fully clothed corpse, until morning.
He woke with the worst case of cotton mouth he’d ever experienced. Hadn’t even opened his eyes when he felt his way to the bathroom. The room was dark as night with the heavy drapes drawn but the fluorescent dial on his watch said 7:32 am. After tending to all his needs, Lenny exited the bathroom and then the room.
He’d just rediscovered his search for his keys when he met a grinning Hortense in the cafe.
“Lookin’ for these?”
She shook them and playfully extended her gorilla-like arm.
“You slept like a baby Lenny-bear. Guess, I wore you out.” She giggled. “I’ll lasso you some grits and biscuits and be right back, sugar.”
OMG…Lenny didn’t wait for breakfast. Within, ten minutes he was speeding toward the airport and a ticket home. It wasn’t at all cold… yet all he could do was shudder.
Meanwhile, Hortense was serving breakfast and joking with the regulars about a gullible tourist name of Lenny.