In Hotels

by Hobie Anthony

#1

I didn’t wear underwear to visit the ice machine. I had to wait while a father of two drooling children filled their ice chest. There was a breeze through the open corridor. One of the children looked at me and put a finger in his nose. ″Picnic″ the man said, by way of explanation. I smiled and squinted in the sun’s glare. I could smell the girl in my mustache. I lifted my bucket, ″cocktails.″

#2

I lay back into the bed and shrivelled in the condom. Her head rested on my arm and the window air conditioner rustled the drapes.

″Everything in a hotel is temporary,″ she said.

″Everything except for the ghosts,″ I said.

Our bags were still zippered; her phone blinked a message from her children. The desert sun cut a blinding line between the drapes.

#3

″Everything is temporary in a hotel,″ she said.

″We only ever meet in hotels.″ I was still standing in the middle of the room. She shed her clothes. The articles fell, piece by piece.

Over the television, the management had hung a painting of that town’s local mountain range. An old pickup was parked in the valley; it reminded me of one my father drove when I was a child. He drove it over a cliff with his girlfriend beside him. The beds were perfect, the comforters hadn’t been touched. The peephole in the door glinted and blinked when people walked by.

″Everything checks out, except for the ghosts,″ she sprawled on the unmussed bed. Her body was so pale.

Hobie Anthony was raised on the red clay of Georgia, cut his teeth on the hard streets of Chicago, and now roots into the volcanic soil of Portland, Oregon. He can be found or is forthcoming in such journals as Fourteen Hills, Fiction Southeast, The Rumpus, [PANK], Wigleaf, Housefire, Crate, Ampersand, Birkensnake, Word Riot, Connotation Press, and many more. He earned an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. To learn more, check his website: hobieanthony.com

What interesting, fascinating behind-the-scenes info can you give us about “In Hotels”?

    Oddly, this piece had its genesis in a facebook conversation with the Tsarista, muse, and social media maven, Alexandra Naughton. The notion of ghosts and hotels was raised and I had a strong resonance with that idea—based on my failed attempts to have a relationship.
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