The prompt is to write for 10 minutes, “no more, no less.” Check out other writing for this Word Press Challenge, here.
Alone In A Hotel Room
The temperature is strange, the pillow foreign. I toss and turn in the dim light– room darkening curtains make it hard to know what time it really is, and I always turn the glowing clock to the wall. Time limits the potential for sleeping in, or seizing the day. It’s still early though, and I have nowhere I have to be. All expectations are my own.
When I finally get up and throw the curtains open, the city of San Diego greats me, through filthy windows. I hate dirty windows. It confuses me for a moment– is it raining? Is it that early? It’s cloudy– dark gray clouds are unexpected, given the forecast of sun and temperatures in the low eighties.
I’m fortunate to travel a lot– more than usual this year. I was thinking about that last night as our final flight took off and fears of crashing grabbed me. It happens more and more as I get older, even though I fly enough to know that it’s safe. A miracle: taking off in a metal cylinder and landing in a new place. I’m lucky, blessed to travel, despite the moment of fear.
Every time I wake in a hotel I struggle with the same quandaries, should I: sit in bed; watch out the window at the mysterious world below, taking in the hum and movement of a new place; should I spend the day writing; or get dressed and go out exploring? Which direction? It’s always a slow decision for me. I am impulsive to distraction. Should I stay or should I go, now… badadadadada!
I hear the housekeeping cart down the hall and feel a vague sense of urgency. Guilt? I don’t want to seem lazy… but to who? Whom? I have the day alone, to myself, in a city I have visited before but don’t know. Which direction should I go? How fast should I move? The decisions shake me, and cause me to question my sense of independence, adventure, motivation, age. My knee hurts. Walk? Rent a bike? Which direction? So many options make for so many possibilities– taken or missed.
When I wake in a new hotel, in a new city, traveling again, these are the thoughts that fill my head as I wake and start my day, alone in a hotel.
Notes on the process: I set an alarm on my computer and typed for exactly 10 minutes. I did not add anything once the timer went off, but did correct punctuation. The spelling I did as I went. I went with the first thoughts I had, versus planning out a writing strategy. I wrote the final sentence too soon, and put it aside. I knew that that’s where I wanted to end. So, not watching the clock, I wrote free-form, and checked at 1 minute, so that I could wind up and finish where I wanted to end.
When I work with seniors on their college essays, we always do some “blitz writing,” so it was fun to wake up, see this prompt and challenge myself to do it… alone in this hotel room.
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