Hotel rooms have their own unique resonance with the rest of the universe. Or rather they don’t. They operate on a level of existence outside of normality. Like a discordant note that’s just barely audible under the thrum and whine of everyday life. They exist just outside of time, outside of sense, in a locale where anything can be justified.
All the stuff you block out each day catches up with you in hotel rooms. Specters made of mental malaise stalk the corridors of every airport hotel and inner city stop over. All those thoughts you drown out with iPods, Ikea catalogues and foreign holidays. All those neuroses stifled with gym memberships, new wardrobes and cosmetic surgery. All the creeping paranoia. All of these things find you in hotel rooms. Sat there alone at two in the morning, having drained the mini bar, is it any wonder people commit suicide in hotel rooms?
Other marginally less self-destructive individuals, continue to keep that dogged existential ache at bay with cocaine, prostitutes or meaningless sexual encounters. The sex that occurs in hotel rooms is paradoxically more abandoned and wanton than anything sampled at home, and yet remembered indistinctly, as if it happened to someone else. This is not an untruth, you are Shrödinger’s guest at times like these, dead and yet not dead. The consequences are always very much alive.
Because these events occur on this sub-level of reality they’re easy to wave off. ‘What goes on tour stays on tour’ is the maxim uttered by burned out rock stars and jaded businessmen alike. Until the next time you find yourself alone and remember what you did. It’s at times like these you grow pale and realise the Hotelverse is so very close to our own, separated by a sterile, air conditioned meniscus of denial. You’re sure those crimes will breach the membrane of the real universe, visiting ruin on everything that matters.
Other times you’re a prisoner, a slave to scheduling. Far from home and feeling cut off geographically, and by time itself, trapped far from the Greenwich Mean. These nights are as sleepless as any cocaine-fueled decadence, as restless as any blank-eyed lover, counting the hours until the cab comes to take you to the airport. Every film on the tiny screen is a re-run of a re-run, urging you to dial up more explicit entertainment. Nights like these make insomnia attractive by comparison.
Hotel rooms. Would it surprise you that sigils drawn in blood, consecrated with brimstone adorn each wall just beyond the range of your vision? These demon-drawn embellishments are obscured by bland corporate art in pastel shades, reassuring you everything is just fine. If you could just shrug off that crawling sense of unease. If you could just sleep. If you could just stop thinking. Alone in the Hotelverse, you hope you’ll make it back to reality without leaving too much of your soul with the girl at reception who wears too much make-up.
I’ve seen Hell and there are no demons. No lakes of fire where he damned piss and moan. Just an endless plain of your own anxiety, studded with the detritus of past defeats. Old shames swirl about like dust devils, brushing past, intangible yet visceral. I’ve seen Hell and it occurs in hotel rooms, waiting.