duck-shaped pain

12 January 2001
Hillbilly Decadence

Okay. Now, if youíll bear with me, Iím going to describe the Best Day Iíve Ever Had (So Far).

Iím almost hesitant to describe the back story that goes with it, because youíll get through that and think, "How horrible! Thereís no way this could turn out to be a good story." Which is why youíre going to have to read all of it.

This happened almost three years ago, in the spring of 1998. Canít remember the exact date Ė sometime in late March. I had just gotten kicked out of my apartment in Denver, for reasons still unfathomable to me. Lying bitch landlady about sums it up, really. [1] I really didnít have anywhere to stay. I am always interested in staying friends with my friends, so I didnít want to crash with any of them. I ended up somehow agreeing to stay with my younger cousins, who lived down in Colorado Springs. The two burgs are 60 miles apart, connected by one mean, potholed, two-laned stretch of interstate hell. And the problem with being in Colorado Springs is that once you get there, you want to get out of it as fast as you possibly can. I donít think Iíve ever been in a place I disliked more. Good thrift stores, though. [2]

So here it is, late March. I am due to arrive in the Springs any time, and am postponing the inevitable by screwing around in Denver as much as possible. I go see a show (High Llamas Ė not great for non-band-related reasons), hang out with friends, and then start the long drive down south. About ten minutes into the drive, I decide, no, not tonight and I check into a cheap chain motel at the far southern reaches of the DenBoulMetroPlex. Pretty uneventful: get the key, go to sleep.

Wake up the next morning, and all I see is snow. Everywhere. White on the parking lot, white in the air, white on the roof of the Dennyís down below, for I am up high and can see as far as the snow will let me. I call for road conditions, and find that it is much too messy and icy to attempt to drive to the Springs. I call my cousin E. and tell him Iím not going to be arriving today. Then I call my bank, and find that I have much more money in my account than I thought (I operated under the no-news-is-good-news method of balancing my checkbook at the time). So hey Ė why not stay another day?

Itís a universal constant that snow days are best enjoyed when you have nothing to do and no reason to go slogging in the muck. You can stay in and mess around, watch bad TV or read, you know, all those things. But a snow day in a motel on a day where you donít have to be anywhere is like the best vacation.

So what did I do on my vacation, on my Best Day Ever?

  • Actually, I did leave the room for a bit. I needed lunch, so I headed on over to Ski Lodge: The Mall. I had an excellent quesadilla. I bought shorts. I walked around with my coffee and watched others become completely twitterpated over the snow. I bought silly food and silly magazines to take back to the room.

  • I jumped on the bed. Then, I jumped on the other bed. I didnít think getting a double by accident would turn out to be useful, but it was.

  • Pulled all the sheets off the beds. I hate tucked-in sheets. Then, I ran nekkid around the room for awhile, clutching the sheets.

  • Tore pictures of of my silly magazines and made collages of them in my sketchbook. Did I mention that at that time, I always made sure to have a glue stick with me?

  • Perused the personals ads in the local alternative newspaperand wrote down all the worst lines. The only one I can remember off the top of my head is "Iím like Kenny Rogers, only smarter!" but thatís pretty memorable.

  • Watched the baddest TV I could think of. The only problem with being in a motel is that youíre pretty limited, channel-wise, but I did the best I could.

  • Took four baths, just because I could.

  • Ate nothing but donuts.

  • Smoked my favorite I-feel-like-a-bad-ass-today cigarettes, Lucky Strike straights. Lounging around nekkid in a messy motel bed while smoking those and watching talk shows felt like the absolute height of Hillbilly Decadence, I must say.

Looking at the above list, thereís no one real activity that stands out to make it the Best Day Ever. Itís the combination of them all, the fact that I didnít have to do anything or be anywhere, the fact that I was getting even the slightest reprieve from the mess that was mi vida loca at the time, and oh, yes, the snow, which made the light coming in the motel window all soft and calming and as good a reason as any to just stay in and watch it fall.

[1] Like, she alleged that I was leaving my bathtub faucet running at full volume whenever I left town for a few days (and I was leaving town quite often during this time). I donít know where this story came from. Believe me, I wasnít. Then there was a rumor going around that the own of my building was going to sell it to a retail developer, so he was having the landlady/building manager get rid of tenants as best she could. Which turned out to be untrue, because the building is still there and rents there are more than double what they were two years ago.

[2] Best explanation I have there is that thereís a lot of military families there, ones that have to ship out to new locales on a momentís notice, who end up giving all their excess possessions to the thrift stores in great number.

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