The Hotel Room

8:05 am – CST Sunday

The Mexican sun and sea breeze can’t last forever. I stretched my sunburnt legs on the sheets. The sheets weren’t as soft as I was used to. Life seemed different. I wasn’t really thinking of what life would be like back in the states. The news played idly in the background. International CNN reported that the United States had closed travel to Europe.

I listened while getting ready. For a week I was a queen. Free espresso, on demand liquors, bottles of water, and an endless supply of guacamole—a Californian girl’s dream. I washed off last night’s make up. Too bad I’m not actually a Californian girl. 

The cold water hit my face hard. Border patrol lines across the country—Chicago, JFK, even DFW—had hour waits of over 7 hours. That woke me up. I had an hour layover to get back to San Francisco. I could see whatever color I had gained in Mexico drain from my face. My knees hit the edge of the bed–Ow–to get my phone. That would leave a bruise. 

Let’s see…how long are waits at Atlanta? A knock on the door—

Yes I’m awake-Sorta.

The wifi cuts out. I put the phone back down. The light’s flickered, another brown out. We’d had them a lot lately. I pinned my hair back. Not too bad though. I’d take small ants and brown ants, instead of loud barreling trains. 

My family’s medical advice lay dormant. Take ibuprofen, Tylenol, wear goggles.  I had things to pack, a pandemic to shut out of my brain, and coffee to drink. 

I didn’t have any goggles. 

Photo by Lukas Rychvalsky