Long term living in a hotel is more common than you think. For traveling workers, single people, and for older individuals it’s a lot more affordable than a retirement community. Especially if they come equipped with a kitchenette.
Plus, the longer you’re there, the more you get to know the employees and the perks kinda add up.
Like a freedom to do things, that let’s say, the local Holiday Inn wouldn’t give you.
Freedom to hang out in the lobby at all hours, sit in the employee break room, wander parts of the building that are marked ‘employee only’, and of course, in the case of John (Not his real name), do your laundry naked.
John is a seventy-two year old retired homicide detective that has a wife and a girlfriend and lives in the hotel because it’s easier than dealing with two women. He is my four am coffee drinker, making his way I to the lobby in his boxer shorts with a bottle of Grey Goose. He gets his coffee, and adds the vodka, takes a seat to enjoy it.
I have the ability, with a monitor to see what is happening in different areas of the hotel. One of the areas ... the guest laundry room, which is right by the employee break room. The monitor will flash a room, show it for a few seconds and move on to another area.
It was during training that I glanced at the security monitor, it flashed (No pun intended) to the laundry room where I saw him standing, half bent over a washing machine, reading a magazine, buck ass naked.
“Dante?” I asked the guy training me. “Um, is that guy naked?”
“Yeah, he is. He does his laundry on Wednesday.”
“Yep. But don’t worry about it. He does it late so no guests are around and stays in the laundry room so no one can see him.”
“Does he know there are cameras in there?”
Dante just shrugged. Apparently it was the norm for him.
Not that I judge, mind you, but one morning I asked John why he does his laundry naked at two in the morning on Wednesdays.
He replied so no one sees him. I don’t think he quite got the question was geared toward why he did it naked.
So I asked again and he explained to me that he only had four pairs of good underwear, and his wardrobe was minimal living in a hotel. He didn’t want to limit his options and cut his underwear supply short in case something happened. Pretty much he explained, everything he owned was clean at the same time.
It makes sense, really. You wear clothes to do laundry so in a sense your hamper is never empty.
Who am I to tell him he can’t do it when obviously he has been doing it forever. I’d allow him as well, and would try not to look. Sometimes though my eyes cross the monitor, like last week, when it flashed (Again no pun intended) from the lobby to the laundry room just as John was bending over to pick up a sock.
Tonight though, was a close call.
When I came in, Lola, who I relieve, tells me there is a large group of women with some religious organization staying at the hotel for the next week. She didn’t know what kind, they weren’t nuns, they were older and wore veils, but she didn’t know,. She didn’t ask. They were very subdued and she only informed me that they were on the third floor in case I decided to go up again at three in the morning and holler out, ‘whoever is smoking the fucking weed. Stop.”
I promised I wouldn’t go on the third floor and swear or be loud. And it was after eleven pm, they’re religious, they were sleeping and I’d never see them.
Or so I thought. John started his laundry. I gave him my phone so he could listen to the Greatest Showman soundtrack (He likes dancing in there to that) and not ten minutes into this wash cycle, who steps off the elevator? One of those women (And she wasn’t wearing a veil, but she was wearing a plain old style, almost Amish style dress.
She wasn’t up in the middle of the night, she was starting her day.
She said, “Good morning,” I looked up from my laptop, and not only did a double take when I saw who she was, I did a triple take when I saw she carried a basket... a laundry basket.
It was like in slow motion, “Nooooooo” I heard many distorted voice in my head as I raced to stop her. I felt as if I couldn’t run fast enough. Hell, I out ran a car, yet I couldn’t stop an elderly religiously dressed woman carrying a load of laundry.
I hit the hall just as she turned into the laundry room. I expected a scream, something, I cringed and waited ... nothing.
I hurried to the back to see the monitor, waiting impatiently for it to flash (No pun intended) to the laundry room. Sure enough, she was there, filling the washer, John had taken a seat.
They’ve been back there for almost an hour. She is talking to him and helping him fold his clothes.
I don’t know what religious organization she is from, or if it is even a religious one, but obviously whatever organization it is, they have no problem with a naked senior man, doing his laundry, two sheets to the wind in the middle of the night.