My pillbox hat teeters precariously as the caravan of precocious suitcases— large, medium, small, and hand-baggage size— swarm me like a hive of angry Africanized bees. Definitely not docile, I fight the largest piece of luggage over the lip between the lift and Floor Four, as a man with an exorbitant amount of tattoos silently observes my battle. He valiantly steps forward to grasp a corner of the bag while I laugh at how ridiculous this situation not only must look, but is. I’m a flight attendant, but I’m convincing any observer that I have never touched a roller-board in my life.
Mr. Tattoo nicely pushes me and my mobile lifestyle into the hallway; a space which immediately engulfs me by its lime green and dingy brown paper walls. I believe that 1963 threw up here, and the remnants have remained ever since. Before entering the momentary resting place of 463, a cardboard box full of vitamins falls from its perch on Suitcase Five; for the seventh time.
I don’t know whether to be amused by my life at the moment or absolutely appalled. I go from a five-star hotel in Paris to The Historic Hollywood Beach Resort. In this case, ‘resort’ and ‘historic’ are simply marketing words in an attempt to re-discover a charm that definitely no longer exists. It’s like a real estate agent’s use of colorful and generous vocabulary to sell homes. “Old-world charm,” they say. “Well loved.” “Has great potential.” “An investment.” Hmmm…my boyfriend says those last two phrases about me.
I don’t take this as an insult, but a quite wise and generous observation. I do feel (and probably am) a bit of a dilapidated 30 year old; broke as shit, tired as hell, and no place to go when in Florida. I don’t have the Crashpad anymore, hence why I’ve upgraded to a two-star dump that looks like it belongs in a third world country. I keep saying to myself, “You do what you got to do until life looks the way you have been dreaming it would.” And then I cry. Because, I just wonder how much longer: How much longer until I actually am as good on the inside as everyone thinks I am on the outside.
My friends tell me, “Baby girl, when has it ever NOT been ok?! You are always ok. Everything always works out.” Yeah. It does. I actually believe this.
I can’t help but smile and laugh at myself too. Who goes from Paris and a five-star hotel; with drivers, to arriving to a 90 degree suffocating heat and a car that squeals and rumbles, doesn’t have air conditioning, and operates like it has never been closer to the grave?!?! My life is a mix of weird and wonderful.
I suppose the best stories are birthed by juxtaposition and odd moments. At least I fucking hope so. Because, if that’s the case, my book is going to be damn good.