Ch. 20


I decided by n' by to hole-up in a motel for a couple nights in Flagstaff.  It was pretty easily done.  I got there around midnight, stepped out of the mucky bus onto the crispy street, spied motels here n' there in the unpopulated night, picked one that was a no-go, picked another that looked more open for business.  The door to the lit-up office swung open easy enough.  The bell on the counter worked.  Someone appeared from behind the curtain ~ a woman.  She took my money.  I signed the book, was given a key and went and got some shut-eye.

The motel room was cozy as a worn glove ~ cheap & neat & sweetly comfortable.  However it wasn't cheap in price ~ but at midnight in the midst of a mountain chill & without a coat ~ the price didn't much matter.  I was wearing long-johns, and a thick leather vest inside of which was sheep wool ~ so I wasn't that cold.  But the streets looked cold enough and I had money enough ~ so I hardly wanted to sleep in an alley.  In this regard, I love, yes, I love from the tips of my toes to the tips of my ears ~ a good motel room!

The following morning I awoke with coffee on my mind.  Free coffee ~ maybe in the office.  And maybe, the enchanting middle-aged woman from India, who had handed-over to me the key to the kingdom last night, would be there too.  I dude-ed-up & strolled over to pay my respects.

Sho' 'nuf, dar she was!

I tipped my hat.  And there stoically stood the coffee pot also, stainless-steel, polished & fancy, on a table in the corner.  I poured myself a cup.  I used my own personal ceramic brought-forth for the occasion.

"Is this free?" I asked.

"Yes," she replied.

"You're a smart business woman, ma'm, having made it available here," said I.  "Free coffee in the morning makes my day.  Mmm.  And it's real good.  Thank you!"

"You're welcome."

I bumbled about a-sippin' me coffee, finally come-up with another fine remark ~ "I think I'll pay for another night."

The lady behind the counter ~ not quite as exotic as she seemed to be the night before, maybe this morning just a tad dumpy, but still very pleasing in my cynial old eyes ~ she brightened up furthermore, like the sun arising, and said, "That'll be an extra $75 because it's the weekend."


"A lot of young people from the college come here on the weekends.  So tonight being Friday, it'll be 75 more dollars than it was last night.  I'm sorry, Sir."

Painfully I squinted, got over it and payed.  She was a smart business woman alright.  Maybe I shouldn't have reminded her of that a moment earlier.

"Have a good day."