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Re: “My Stay at the No-Tel Motel

Oh my, you've brought back memories of a motel I stayed at in Albuquerque, NM many years ago during my college days. A few friends and I (four girls) hitchhiked/bussed our way through Colorado and New Mexico. After getting off the bus in Albuquerque, we were absolutely broke and exhausted, and asked a woman on the street walking by us for cheap hotel recommendations. She gave us directions...told us it was around $20 a night. That sounded great to us, so off we walked to the "crack motel," as I like to affectionately remember it.
We get the key to the room and gingerly push the door open (it wasn't locked). We go in and I think to myself, "maybe this won't be too bad." It looked pretty standard - two double beds, old furniture. We threw our stuff down on the beds and on the floor. I made my way to the sink, and promptly noticed the closed bathroom door to my right, with the imprint of a hand punched through it. Shards of wood enclosed upon the hole that went straight through the door. My heart beginning to pound, I peered through the splintered wood into the bathroom. Bloody handprints could be seen all over the walls. My heart thumping loudly now, I turned the doorknob, fully expecting to see dead bodies. Only to find a cracked window in the shower area, with a freshly extinguished cigarette butt hanging out of the corner. Bloody handprints, footprints, and swirls were all over the bathroom. I called out to my friends to come quickly. One was already making her way to the sink, and about to open the cabinets underneath. "No!" I shouted, running back across the room towards the door. I was sure we would find the head of a corpse. She opened the cabinets. Bloody sheets were tangled up and stuffed inside. Cockroaches went scurrying. Two of the girls went down to the office to request another room. I stayed behind to watch our stuff. A few minutes later, two cleaning women came into the room, shouting. "Who said this room hasn't been cleaned?!" They were furious. More words in Spanish. Terrified, I stammered, "Oh no, it's fine. No problem here!" They left. We locked the room and strolled through the city of Albuquerque: me - on the search for a knife, or for some kind of protection against whatever may come through that motel door during the night. We stumbled upon a BB King concert at the university, somehow got in, then snuck around back after the show and met BB in person! I still have my autographed poster from that concert which I framed. A token of making it through that night alive. Back at the crack motel, we pushed all of the furniture we could physically move - i.e., that wasn't nailed down, against the door. The lock was faulty, you see. My friends, to my amazement, somehow managed to go to sleep - wrapped tightly in sleeping bags, with only a nose poking out to breathe. I, on the other hand, found the bottle of Jagermiester we had brought with us, and proceeded to drink half the bottle by myself, all through the night, watching the cockroaches mate on the walls and ceiling, and then scurry down to the dark pit under the bed. There were noises coming from the room next to us. Banging on the walls. A knock at the door around 4 am. I remained frozen, sitting in the middle of the bed with my knees up against my chest, rocking back and forth, nearly hyperventilating with fear. I began to sing to myself between swigs of Jager, praying the cockroaches wouldn't crawl into my hair and that someone wouldn't burst through that motel door. At 6 am, I began to shed tears of joy. We had made it. Somehow, the sun rose up the next morning and we left. My friends, half asleep, me - sloppy drunk. A friend of mine that had left her bag on the floor, zippered shut, opened it up when we arrived back in Colorado, only to find two large cockroaches inside of it.
Ahhh, the memories!
~Anna B., Fairfax, VA

19 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by annafashionista on 07/14/2010 at 2:25 PM

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