A friend and co-worker of mine recently put this as his Facebook status update:
thinks hotel rooms are not always good places…
and I know exactly what he means.
For most people, a hotel means a vacation, and is full of positive connotations and memories. Even when you’ve had a bad experience, the idea of being in a hotel is most likely tied into going somewhere new, doing new fun things. Or at least the post-senior prom party (so I’ve heard, having not gone to mine).
When I was a kid, my aunt would sometimes take her family (including my brother and myself) to the Holidome in Dayton, 30 miles away, for the weekend. There was swimming, video games, pool and mini golf, candy from vending machines, cable TV and HBO…I saw Eddie Murphy’s Delirious the first time at that Holidome. The hotel was a vacation in itself!
This was pretty much how I felt when I started CRM. Hotels meant free breakfast, HBO, swimming after work, not having to worry about washing the towels and sheets, or the electric bill for the A/C. Not only that, but there were friends there too, and fridges for beer, and reward points!
The old Canadian cuddlecore band Cub has a great song called “Motel 6” about a boy and girl “hiding out just for kicks” and all the benefits of the hotel room.
Now though, no matter how nice the room is, it’s just not home. It’s not my things. I may have music on my computer, but not my records. I only have the books I brought, and that may not be what I want. It’s not my pillow, my bed, the blanket I picked out. There’s weird noises and weird lights, and the same breakfast every day. You’re living out of a suitcase, and you don’t really have time to do much in the town besides get dinner and maybe a drink. Even if you like your co-workers, you still get tired of the same old faces day and night.
When the project is bad, or life is not going well, all of these things are magnified. The room loses all comfort and begins to feel like a jail cell. And let’s be honest, most hotel rooms are rather cell-like. A couple of weeks in a hotel room and it starts to feel like an admittedly cushy prison.
Sometimes, when I hear my friends in bands talking about being on tour, it reminds me of CRM. Of course, many of my friends would be happy to have a hotel room from time to time, instead of sleeping in the van or on someone’s floor. Archaeology is fun, and interesting, and it’s what I want to do. But sometimes, hotel rooms are not good places.