Since I'm entering the last third of my life, it seemed like a good idea to start my memoirs. The plan is to record all the funny stories of my life as I think of them, then organize it later.
We burst into the Marriott Residence Inn room after a long, long night of drinking and carousing. I threw my suit jacket across the kitchen table and we tumbled into bed.
A frantic but hazy hour passed.
I lay back and turned to ask her if she wanted some water, but she was already snoozing. I turned off the bedside lamp and closed my eyes. Oh, no; the room was spinning. If the room spins and my eyes are closed, it means one thing: I'm about to vomit.
I clicked the light back on and stumbled into the bathroom, closing the door behind me. Kneeling in front of the bathtub, I pulled on the knob until water was flowing strongly out of the faucet and then promptly vomited into the tub. Brown beer, Moscow mules, and whatever that Italian food was that we'd eaten downtown mixed uneasily with a frothy inch of warm water. After a few coughs and gasps, I rocked back on my knees. I could still feel a mix of beer and vodka boiling in my stomach.
Two fingers tickling my uvula enticed the rest of it to explode into the tub. Exhausted and still drunk, I grabbed a towel and wiped off my chin.
I turned off the faucet. Except it didn't. The water was still rushing out. I rotated the knob again; nothing happened. I pushed it, pulled it, and rotated it with no success. Figuring this must be "operator error,” I continued fruitlessly manipulating the control knob. I sat there, naked and burping, pawing at this stupid chrome knob. Still the water gushed.
After twenty-five minutes, I figured I'd tried everything humanly possible, and was anyway about to pass out. "What the hell, it's going down the drain. I’ll deal with this a little later," I thought. I got up, closed the bathroom door behind me, crawled into bed, and fell asleep, lulled by the distant sound of running water.
Three hours later, the phone rang. I groggily answered, "Hello?"
"Mr. Holmes!" cried a frantic woman. "Is your room flooding??? Because the two rooms below you are flooding!"
"Um. The. Um. Yeah, the faushet won't turn off," I slurred.
"WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL US?" screamed the woman. "I'll be right up!"
Almost instantly, the frenzied desk worker burst through the door, not even knocking. She was large and black, and had a huge cell phone pinned to her ear with her shoulder. She went right into the bathroom. I slowly swung myself out of bed.
"What? What's happening?" mumbled the young woman in the bed, eyes still closed.
"Nothing, go back to shleep," I said, and she did.
The woman in the bathroom was clearly on the phone with a plumber. I watched over her shoulder as she forcefully rotated, pushed, and pulled the bathtub knob.
"Shee? It won't turn off!" I asserted, feebly.
On instruction from the phone, she pulled out a standard-head screwdriver and undid the plate around the faucet. She located a screw and turned it until the water stopped. Then she turned on her heel and squelched toward the door.
"Mr. Holmes, we'll get you a new room in the morning" she said as she left. I climbed back into bed, turned out the light, and fell right back asleep.
Sunlight eventually woke me up around 9:00AM. My head was pounding. As I squished my way across the room, I saw that our kitchenette still had a quarter-inch of water all over the floor. In the middle of it all floated my suit jacket, which had apparently slid across the table and fell on the floor where it now swam.
They tried to give us the room next door, but it, too, was flooded. "We flooded at least four rooms! I hope they don't charge me for all of them," I said to the girl. They found us an empty room down the hall and we moved our stuff over there and prepared for the day.
When I checked out, I looked closely at the bill, but there were no extra charges—no flood damages. Whew!
A few days later, after I got home, I received an automated email survey from the Marriott asking how I liked staying at the Residence Inn. The last page of the survey featured a general comment field, which I filled in.
"It's probably no one's fault,” I said in my comment, "but my room flooded and my suit had to go to the cleaners."
The next day I received the following email from "Cindy," who was apparently a manager at the hotel. I thought it was really nice.
"Upholding my commitment to provide a memorable experience with exceptional service, I will purchase 10,000 Marriott Rewards points for your account for the inconveniences you incurred."
I felt kind of bad about accepting all those Marriott points—in some places they add up to a whole free night. But given the choice between paying for four flooded rooms or receiving a free nights’ stay, I know which one I would take every time. And, looking back on the situation, it wasn't really my fault, was it? Unless I've become so strong from all the working out that I broke the faucet without realizing it.
But we'll never know, now, will we. Unless it happens again, and I get another free night at the Marriott.
© 2017 David Holmes
In the months following my divorce, I dated a wonderful woman from my new neighborhood. Let’s call her Bee. Bee was about my age and also divorced, with a son about the same age as mine. She was blond with bluish eyes, three inches shorter than me, and warm and compassionate. She volunteered for her church a lot, and she loved beer and dancing.
Sometimes, when both our boys were with their other parents, we’d spend the night together at one of our houses. Bee and I had a lot in common, and if I’d been a little further along in my grieving process, our relationship might have lasted longer than six months. But I was still looking for validation from other women, and eventually succumbed to the promiscuous lifestyle that so many recent divorcés experience. Though she was hurt by what happened, Bee and I parted amicably.
We never kept toothbrushes at each other’s house, but after we stopped dating, I did find a pair of the most beautiful, sexy panties I’d ever seen. The front was a triangle of see-through pink mesh with a delicate floral design bordered by fine black lace. The lace came together at the bottom, merged, and continued a single lace G-string up the back. The tiny panties were an intricate marvel of taste and design. They were delightful.
So delightful, in fact, that I couldn’t bring myself to return them or throw them away. As men do, I considered them both a memento and a trophy, and I kept them at the bottom of my underwear drawer. As laundry day approached each week and the drawer emptied, I would catch sight of them and smile in remembrance.
About a year later, Bee and I bumped into each other again. We had some drinks and discovered that we were both in between lovers. After a few more drinks, she ended up at my place.
In the morning, as we were dressing, I reached into the drawer for some boxers and saw The Panties. I pulled them out and held them up.
“You forgot these panties here a year ago.” I said quietly. “I’ve kept them because they reminded me of you; of how sexy you are but also your good taste and spirit. And of the good times we had together. I hope you don’t think that’s weird.”
I had been imagining this tender conversation with Bee for a year. I looked into her eyes expectantly. I wanted to see if there was a reaction that would tell her heart.
She said, “Those aren’t mine. I’ve never seen them before.”
I never did figure out who abandoned The Panties.
© 2016 David Holmes
When Casey was four, I noticed that he was shy around girls. Certain girls in particular.
One day on the playground I noticed he was fascinated with a pretty girl his age, but clearly admiring her from afar.
“Why don’t you go talk to that girl?” I asked him.
“No! I can’t!” he said, and he turned away.
“Is it because she’s pretty?” I asked. “Let me tell you something. Never let a woman have power over you because she is pretty. Got it? Now go talk to her.” And to my surprise, he did.
And in that moment, a monster was created.
Fast forward two years. Casey is six.
“Dad, I have twelve girlfriends.”
“You don’t even know number eight’s name!” I scoffed, mildly exasperated.
“Well, number eight – I’m her number five!” Apparently they had worked out some kind of scoring system.
This collection game went on for a while, despite his mother and me telling him that guys should really have only one girlfriend.
One day Casey said, “Dad, I’m going to get it down to one girl.” I told him I thought that was a good idea. About a week later he reported, “Dad, I’ve gotten it down to six.”
The following week: “Dad, I’ve gotten it down to two.”
“Oh, yeah?” I said. “Who are they?”
“Skylar and Mara.” I knew them both, and they were opposites. Skylar was tall and blonde; Mara was small with straight black hair.
On the next Friday he said, “Dad, I’ve made up my mind. It’s going to be Mara, and I’m going to give her this note on Monday!” I read the note. It said:
“Mara – I like the way you look. – Casey” It was perfect; it complimented her in a superficial way and didn’t commit him to anything.
“That’s great, son!” All day at work on Monday I was strangely excited for Casey. When I got home that night, I sought him out.
“How did it go with Mara today?” I asked him.
“Dad, it went great! She loved the note I gave her!”
“Wait a minute,” I said. “Didn’t you tell me that Mara can’t read yet?”
“Yeah. I had Skylar read it to her,” he said matter-of-factly.
I was stunned. He had Mara’s rival read his love note to her. Mara must have felt so special and victorious. Skylar must have been crushed.
I said, “Son, I have nothing left to teach you.” The student had surpassed the master.
And I have never given him romantic advice again.
© 2016 David Holmes
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