Two Thoughts While Staying In A Generic Motel On The Side Of The Highway In Florence, South Carolina

1. I’ve been here before, I thought. Not to this motel, but to this place. Pulling off the highway, that familiar divided highway, with the Huddle House and the Burger King across the street. This is a convenient gas stop along I-95, and I realize that while I’ve never actually stayed here and never knew where on the map I was when I stopped here, I have been to this town, not once, but many, many times. An exquisite and nearly impossible to explain wave of sadness washed over me in that moment, pulling into the motel parking lot, at last putting a name to a nondescript place that should have been left faceless.

2. My junior year of high school, my boyfriend at the time, a multimillionaire named Charlie, was talking to me about the cons of having so much independent wealth at the age of 16. He spoke about staying alone in five star hotels on a whim, places that give you fuzzy robes and round the clock concierge service, things I had never heard of from within my small impoverished world of Super 8s. He told me that he would sit there in these plush rooms, drink soda from the mini bars, stare at walls, and feel utterly engulfed by depression and loneliness. He told me he would put on a Ben Folds album and weep, or just sit in the silence and feel numb inside. I berated him; how could he be so ungrateful of everything he has? But here I am now, twelve years later (is it possible it has been that long?), staring at the wall in yet another generic side of the road motel, and I wish so badly in this moment that I could give him a call, and tell him that I finally understand.


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About A B

"There is all this untouched beauty, the light, the dark, both running through me." -Over The Rhine
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