Monday, March 26, 2012

True Stories of John 20: Naked and Bleeding in a Hotel

In September 2011 I shared a writing prompt based on real life. It was a sentence I spoke out loud in a hotel in Maryland:

"I've only been in this perfectly nice hotel for ten minutes and I'm already naked with blood on the floor."

I promised to tell the truth behind it if enough people wrote stories inspired by the line, or if everyone nailed Danielle La Paglia's birthday challenge. Well, last week you all nailed the latter. Now it's time for me to fess up.

It was the first day I realized just how old I am. I passed through a grand lobby with a complimentary piano, took the wide elevator by myself, and slid into an air-conditioned hotel room replete with HD television and a view of a busy metropolis - and my first thought was, "Joy, they've got an ironing board!"

There's no good way to confess that I ironed the sweat out of my clothing. It was a toiling sojourn in 100-degree weather and I only brought so many shirts. When I realized how easy it was to freshen up my button-down, my t-shirt followed, and then my underwear. Don't you judge me. We all do stupid things when we're alone, I just confess them, though I may also take them further than others.

If I loitered any longer my body would register that the travel was over and collapse, so I waddled into the bathroom to get shaving out of the way. I've got an Irish potato face, the pores begging to betray me on any stroke of a razor. This time my skin held up until the last swipe, at which point my chin opened up with what I still feel was unnecessary vigor.

I spun around and bent to get toilet paper to stop the bleeding, but the sudden motion just made it worse. My blood spattered onto this otherwise pristine beige floor. One drop hit my bare knee and gave me unwanted perspective about a naked fat man bleeding in his hotel. It got funnier when I smelled the iron burning my used underwear. It kept getting funnier all night, even after I got clothes on again.


  1. interesting, I never thought to iron out sweat, but then I've never tried it. and it's true, we do silly and stupid things when we thought no one's looking.

    great story.

    1. Happy to entertain, Lissa. The ironing isn't nearly a replacement for a washing machine, but midday is an idea.

  2. "...and my first thought was, 'Joy, they've got an ironing board!'"

    Dude, you ARE old. ;-)

  3. I love your willingness to share these crazy moments with us. :)

  4. Ouch. I guess ironing would get the moisture out, but the sweat funk? Well hey, you said it worked! I'll have to file that away for future reference…

  5. Walking around naked is usually fun, in my opinion. Ever have that naked in the hallway at school dream? I still have it from time to time as an adult. Thanks for sharing a true story, fun stuff.


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