I slide my key into the lock of door number three. It’s an actual key, not a keycard, but an honest to goodness key with a plastic, green keychain attached with a big gold 3 etched on the front. The back of the keychain says ‘Shady Lane, where real people come to relax.’ Well, I guess until this moment, I was living a disingenuous life. I thought I was a real person, but when I went somewhere to relax it usually housed a spa, and didn’t sell Mickey Big Mouth beer in a refrigerator of the lobby.
I slowly open the door and walk into my twenty-eight-dollar-a-night dwelling. In all honesty, the place isn’t bad. It smells clean, and it’s air-conditioned. There is a microwave and a small refrigerator. A hotplate sits on the counter.
Priority number one is to take a shower and remove the layers of sweat and dirt that one gets from sitting on the side of the road waiting for a rescuer. Once I’m clean, I collapse on the king-sized bed, glad to be somewhere safe and cool. I pick up the remote and scroll through the channels. I’m tickled that the property has cable. Sitting comfortably against the headboard, I watch two episodes of Chopped. Why the combination of squid, black beans, grape jelly and pork rinds would be appealing, I have no idea. I hear the rumble of my stomach and acquiesce to its need to feed.
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