Living among strangers
My husband and I live in the motel we own and run. Our residence located between the lobby and the laundry room is an example of efficiency. This location ensures our ability to oversee the daily operation with ease. It also means that a constant stream of strangers moves in and out of our private space at all times.
Whoever planned the motel made sure to install enough doors to make the flow smooth and so there are four doors, each with its unique function, all of them need to be watched continuously. I can never be sure that my privacy will not be harshly intruded upon at any minute.
The first is the one to the lobby where the reception desk is and people check-in; sign on their check-in slips and receive the keys to their rooms. On their way into the breakfast room, to buy a cold drink, or ask a question about the weather, our guests scream hello, wave or even stick their head in the window that connects the lobby to our living room.
The second door leads to the motel laundry room; this is where our staff comes in in the morning to get the daily cleaning sheet. Through this door, they also come in at the end of the day to sign out or any other time of the day to ask questions about the daily chores.
The third set of doors leads from our bedroom to the backyard. People don’t come in through it anymore since we fenced it in for the dog.
The fourth is my favorite. It is our private entrance to our residence, there is a big sign on it – Private – but few times a year, usually late at night, a confused guest will wander in. Caught in the bizarre situation, seeing us watching our favorite show on TV, he will freeze like a deer in headlights. Being used to this, we watch the frightened stranger with obvious amazement trying to guess what strategy of exit he will execute.
There is a fifth door; we were told when we bought the motel. The door connected the bedroom to the utility room. It is now blocked behind a large closet. Still, late at night, already in my bed, I wonder if one day it will open and one of our guests will emerge, rub his eyes and inquire about the best seafood restaurant.
Used to the constant presence of strangers, I will probably point him in the right direction, pull the blanket over my head and nod back into blissful sleep.