Recently I spent a weekend in a hotel room in the Albany area while my wife attended a dermaplaning class at The Aesthetic Science Institute (ASI); she works as an esthetician in Fayetteville.
On the Sunday afternoon, while my three-year-old son curled up on the bed and fell asleep, I could not turn on the lamp to read or flip on the TV because I was afraid the bright light or the noise would wake him. I’m sure parents of toddlers can relate—you don’t mess with nap time. So while I had nothing to do, I listened to the AC unit purring and studied the drapes fluttering. And I thought about the loneliness of hotel rooms—especially on a Sunday afternoon.
I thought about all of the lonely people passing solitary hours in hotel rooms scattered across the globe. If I could have listened to music, I would have selected some Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison or Hank Williams. If I could have read a book, I would have chosen a Kerouac paperback or Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley: In Search of America—or even pulled the Bible out of the drawer and thumbed through the New Testament.
But with the baby sleeping soundly nearby, I dared not move. Instead, I pulled out my phone and captured the hypnotic motion of the drapes blowing. I wanted to freeze the ephemeral moment and preserve it digitally.
Later on, when I thought about the scene, I was reminded of Edward Hopper’s Hotel Room (1931).
Hotel Room (1931) by Edward Hopper.
And just a side note: the best part of my hotel weekend was being able to get fresh diner coffee from the Denny’s nearby.