Do not read this if you are in a hotel bed.
If you are in a hotel bed please tell me you removed the bedspread.
Please tell me you didn’t eat something with your bare hands after touching the remote control, alarm clock or light switch.
You aren’t walking around barefoot are you!
You’re using the coffee pot?!
I spend half the year in hotel beds. I’m not an escort. I get paid less.
Having spent half the year in hotel beds for a decade and a half I’ve witnessed some things. You could say, “I’ve been around the block.”
Again, not an escort.
Some things will change you forever. Some just add to the growing list of phobias and fears that grow exponentially with time. Like cuneiform bacteria in the hotel sink.
One of my worst hotel nights was the evening I watched a Dateline special on hotel cleanliness while laying in a hotel bed. As they shined the black light around the room illuminating bodily fluids on every exposed surface it wasn’t hard to imagine it was my room they were investigating.
There was the time I was so sick that against my better judgement I took a bath in the hotel tub. As the tub filled the funk and debris from the bottom rose and floated in the water like the flotsam from a shipwreck.
But the worst time. The one that I go to bed thinking about was the time I found something in the bed with me.
I was laying in the dark attempting to force myself to sleep in between cycles of the air conditioner that was in automode even though I clearly had it set to on. Trying to sleep I felt something at the foot of the bed under the covers with my bare toes. Half asleep, half awake I was rolling it around with my toes like I was making an origami swan assuming it was the tag to the sheets or maybe even the mattress. And then I realized it wasn’t connected to anything.
I was juggling it with my toes and it was free to move in any direction my piggies sent it.
Panicked, I ripped the cover off and hit the light on the bedside table. I was so hurried I didn’t even use the wet nap I typically use to touch switches.
I hesitated to look near my feet.
“Please don’t be. Please don’t be. Please don’t be.”
I had been noodling with my toes a bloody band aid. It was more like a bandage. A very large and very used bloody bandage.
I reminded myself it was probably washed with the linens and remained during the dressing of the bed that day but it didn’t make it any easier.
I tried to pretend that it wasn’t used on an open sore. It was possibly used by someone attempting to hide an ankle tattoo. That didn’t explain the blood stain.
All I could do was suck it up and add it to the list of things I’ll never do again.
Sleep barefoot in a hotel bed.