Thursday, September 20, 2012

Baton Rouge

Lest you think that this whole 6 Motels Western Adventure isn't really about motels, as if yesterday's post about my room at the Jackson, Mississippi Motel 6 amounted only to a passing fancy with the cheap motels that are stacked upon the interstates on the outskirts of pretty much every medium to large city throughout this country, this post is here to remind you that you are wrong.  YES, I cannot afford anything but the cheapest motels, but NO that does not mean that I don't love them.  My fascination with them runs deep.  It runs beyond mere "slumming."  And for whatever reason, Motel 6 is the chain motel I cling to.  Here is a picture of the broken ice machine.  I went in search of ice, the nearest ice, but this machine was out of order.

It's not the first broken ice machine I've found on this trip.  The ice machine in St. Louis was broken, too.  Rather, one of the two ice machines in St. Louis was broken, and the same is true here in Baton Rouge.  Generally, the ice machine furthest from your room is the one that works.  That ice machine also happens to be the one closest to the reception desk.  If I ran a low-budget motel on an interstate somewhere and I had to prioritize ice machines, I would probably repair the ice machine nearest the reception desk, too.  Guests might have to walk an extra fifty yards for ice, but at $39.95 per night, who is gonna complain?  What I like most about the broken ice machines is that you don't know how long they've been broken, nor do you know when they'll be fixed.  In any case, you'l be gone.  A broken ice machine is just a hunk of metal and wires.  It can't dispense ice.  It's like a mirage on the road. You thought you'd reached the end of your day, but there's actually still a bit more travel to do.  

Everything is so rectangular at the best roadside motels.  Apart from the insignificant things like plastic modular deck chairs, everything at a roadside motel is totally rectangular.  When you enter the grounds of a cheap motel, you enter a colorful rectangular paradise.  For people who love architecture and geometry, cheap motels are heaven.  In this photograph alone, I can count over one hundred rectangles.  The rectangle is obviously the most cost effective shape there is.  Curves in architecture are reserved for the ultra poor and the ultra rich.  Everybody else gets ninety degree angles and an OK night's sleep.  The one circle in this picture is the life preserver tied to the fence around the pool.  It's like a white, hovering donut of rebellion.  If only somebody would actually have a swimming accident in the pool!  I would probably socialize with them and abate some of this loneliness.

This laundry room photo is unlike the last one in that there's actually some laundry being done.  Someone in this motel is doing their laundry.  I'm not doing my laundry.  I'm just going by the rule that if a pair of dirty pants sit long enough in a suitcase they eventually become clean.  The same thinking cannot be applied to teeth. I have tried.  This morning I was brushing my teeth in Mississippi, and I couldn't spit enough to stop the brown saliva.  Too many days on the road and too many continuous cups of coffee—my dentist would not be proud.  But I have gotten off track.  I am tired and tomorrow is a long day.  I need to reach San Antonio by dinner.  That's an eight-hour drive from here, and it's already past midnight.  I need my rest.  If my clothes stink of the road, so be it.  I am doing well and eating apples.  I will roll into San Antonio tomorrow.  After that it will be a short run to New Mexico.  I like being on the road, but I am looking forward to being done with the road portion of this journey.  Soon my dirty clothes will dry in the northern New Mexico breeze.  They'll be stiff and smell like cacti and desert air.   I'll catch up on lost work then.  There is so much of this trip that I've yet to write about.  

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