I open the curtain. Planes fly overhead. I am in some hotel near the airport. Some hotel with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Some hotel with white towels, stiff with borax. Bleached sheets. Plastic cups in plastic wrap. And a glass shelf, just big enough for my shaving kit. Heavy curtains and the regular roar of jets. Jets that drop down just past my window. The heating system blasts loudly, echoing the jets.
The cars in the parking lot below are covered in a dusting of snow, making each car a pale tint of its original colour. A snow-white and patches-of-white fleet of vans in a line. 14 of them. A ubiquitous, grey Honda Civic, into which climbs a salesman for the fifth-best selling brand of hand dryers in North America. He sat next to me, last night, having a Coors Lite at the hotel bar. The washroom at the bar had hand dryers from the third-best selling hand dryer brand. Or so he said to the bartender. I’ll have another scotch on the rocks – bar brand, thanks, I said.
The grey Civic backs out and pulls away. An older sedan pulls into a parking space, four over from the now-empty salesman’s spot. Another jet drops. A pause. A gust of wind. Another jet. The heater shuts off and offers a rare stillness. Then jet.
Dropping my shaving kit into my open suitcase, I watch the fleet of vans disgorge, snakelike, from the lot. I close my suitcase. I zip it up. Scan the room. Car keys. Plastic room key. Gather my laptop bag, my coat, the suitcase. Pocket the keys. Down the garishly carpeted hall, and into the elevator. Someone’s job is to clean the mirrored elevator. Someone’s job is to play elevator music. Someone’s job is to sell the fifth-best selling hand dryers in North America. I am leaving some hotel near the airport.