Motels, 1.B.3, 500 words

Moonset clamps night down. A pillar of chapped glow arises from a motel by the road. Its chalk court glows by mercury lamps. Twill takes a room. He closes the door quietly with the latch withdrawn and slides it into the pocket by turn of handle. The hot silence haunts. It is the silence that can exist only to precede muffled voices. Interruption lingers in the blank walls. Crushing winds build behind still fabrics. The monologue of the air conditioning shapes a new, vast silence. The dark lake of carpet only shows its green beneath three lamps. Twill adds two flat pillows from the far bed to the two on the window bed and sits in the amaranthine reflection of the dormant television. Twill lolls his head and hand in the convex monochrome spilling out from its borders toward the pillaged empty bed. He sleeps with his feet on the wall. Before sun hits his window Twill slips from the night’s room with his shirts. Sand blown against the door drifts up to the hinge. Every evening he takes a room in a different motel down the chalk road that is not visible from the previous. Every room is cluttered emptiness. The filed detritus of the apparently swirling valley is dragged along. Never to coincide again with the coordinates of stains, pleats, claw marks, or faded spears at curtain parts, what builds is not the context of memories and change but an expanding blank mass. The hope of finding difference is more debilitating when it is tested and proven mythical. Every evening, in every room, he has the sense that he may have mistaken the new for the old. The etheric bodies of old rooms attend him. The knowing posture shimmers beneath the patterns and variations of abuse. The plastic stitching of the bedspread and the other bedspread running together roll out to fill the room. He turns to ear the wall. Some form of voice is always present even in the pure silence of the air conditioner. In its motor and compressor is a song evolved from the loss of biology and form. He sleeps sitting up, refrigerated, until the lamps outside overeagerly augur dawn and cut off. The veil of valley light floods in. It is a different room again. He is concerned that the earth has moved by beneath him. Condensation beads on the air conditioner then the table and two chairs in front of it. The plastic bedclothes grow damp with mint milk vapor of the lamps in the court. The land remains enamel white. The next bleached motel is almost visible. He is listless in his freedom. Even in flight, the most barely there body is trapped, as all changes around it, within it, by the insidious burden of life’s structure. In every room the sheet is fresh amidst all else. Every night the valley rotates a new cell into place beneath him and some invisible person in service of the valley changes the sheet.

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