Arriving at the EconoLodge

Arriving at the EconoLodge slightly shy of midnight despite our moderately good but not well communicated intentions

we find it tucked familiarly between the Days Inn and the Red Roof Inn, shouting distance from the Holiday Inn and the Country Inn & Suites.

A colony of strangers whose existence intersected on Route 29.

Our final 30 miles was fueled by sugar supplied by Scheetz, in the form of chocolate milk and some soft and gooey chocolate thing suggestively offered in the checkout line.

In the gas station bathroom I walked in on a woman in a hot pink tank top who was taking a selfie in the full-length mirror. When I opened the door, she said, “OH!” and ran out as if she’d heard someone calling her name.

We left our house in disarray, which is unacceptable to me before a trip–even a short one–but I had no choice but to accept it. An intruder would be alarmed by the piles of unfolded laundry blanketing the furniture and the dirty dishes stacked in the sink and the section of uprooted floorboards awaiting the handyman’s return and the three unridden bicycles in the front hall. Or perhaps they would feel right at home.

Maybe an archeologist would be intrigued. Or maybe they would just say, “these people seemed to enjoy take-out tacos.”

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