The man I spent the night in bed beside is a teacher. We were in a hotel in a town a few hours from home, and it’s not like anyone would talk even if they knew. There was a tournament on, or perhaps it was a band festival, because all of the hotels in that town were booked full, so the teacher and I had to stay together. Don’t get me wrong, I was not kicking that man out of my bed for eating crackers. Or for not being married to me.
It must have been a tournament, then. No band festival jams up all the hotel rooms. His Nibs was also there, in the town, with The Nipper. He didn’t know what hotel i’d booked into and I didn’t know where he was. I was tired. We’d been driving all night and all The Captain wanted to do was hang out with his friends in the pool.
So this teacher and I got into bed. It turns out he knew the hotel’s owner. I did not, and wondered where all the other children would be sleeping. It was a double bed in the middle of the room, and the room was a kitchen and not a room-room. There were police officers snoozing in chairs because something big had gone down. Something very big.
Just between you and me, now, I’ll admit it, I would have gladly snuggled up to the teacher and I wouldn’t have made a peep if he had, in his sleep you understand, mistaken me for his gorgeous, talented, and skinny wife. But here’s the thing – we stayed up chatting until the birds began to sing, and then the hotel owner came in and informed us we had to leave because she needed the room for some guests.
“Have you a stable?” I asked, sliding groggily and grumpily from the covers.
“Um. No,” she replied. “This is a motel, not a dude ranch.”
The children were stacked, lightly snoring, like cordwood in a corner of one of the entertainment rooms, sleeping bags askew, but none of them was floating face-down in the pool. I thought of the night I’d spent beside the teacher, and wondered if this is where all of our lives end up – lying on top of the covers in an overbooked motel beside someone you hardly know, waiting for the cop in the corner to ask you where you were on the night of September 17th.