Roach Motel

roach motel

Tell us about your first day at something — your first day of school, first day of work, first day living on your own, first day blogging, first day as a parent, whatever.

My first day on my own must have been a Saturday or Sunday. I just got a regular 40 hour job (one of the few I ever had) and my parents pushed me out the door as I was 25 and it was well beyond time to be home.

It must have been the weekend that I moved to a roach infested motel on a street that they also had dirty movie houses at.  My relatives had owned a motel on this street when it was more er, reputable.  It had gone down down down.

At work, they overworked us newbies for the first month for some reason having us in a separate room on a special project.  The motel lasted a month. The job lasted just shy of two years.

The motel “apartment” consisted of a filthy roach infested “kitchen” a main room with a few sticks of furniture and a bed with a squishy mattress. (Roach doodies all over the cupboard). The shower was finished in concrete. It reminded me of the Holocaust for some reason when like one of the prisoners of the concentration camp has to take a shower in one of those movies to work as a house servant, it was a shower like this. Grey concrete.  I hated taking showers there.  I bought some horrible budget shampoo that I hated to go with it.

My window did not lock. One of my co workers had suggested this lovely place at my OLD job. I paid a visit to my co worker and her boyfriend in their room. Their stove only had one working burner.  We watched movies and her boyfriend made bigoted comments.

One night I woke up and there were emergency vehicles everywhere. I asked someone what had happened and they said some woman had been beat up by her boyfriend. I hoped it wasn’t my ex coworker. Then I thought about my window that did not lock.

There were not many cell phones then and my room had no phone. I had to use a phone booth by the highway.  It was a green wooden phone booth on gravel.  Oh the good old days….

The bus situation was bad. If I lived in that area now there would be mass transit to take care of me, but, back then I had two options: walk a mile and take 3 busses or walk over a mile and take 2 slow busses. It was two hours each way.  Add that to working 10 hours a day at least and I was tired.

I lasted there one miserable month. My “apartment” was next to the Manager’s and I could hear them coughing all night and morning as they were heavy smokers.  My motel was right near the train tracks, you’d first hear this earth shaking rumble then they would blow the whistle.  Loud.  At 3am.  No rules about the horn on this side of town.

Finally, my Father moved me to a Efficiency, Buffet, or whatever you call it closer to work. It had its problems too, but I was off the ground, there was a security door, and my stove and fridge worked. I had to put my grandmother’s old mattress on a Murphy Bed to sleep. It was better than Old Squishy. I got a phone in a few weeks.

My first phone did not ring. I had to buy a phone at K Mart or something. The avocado green phone was a relic taken from my folks house. I bought my first push button phone–it was 1991.  I was not used to its shriek- y ring.  We had chimes for the phone at my house and the standard ring at my grandmother’s, etc.

I had no computer nor a TV until later that year when I got one for my birthday. I would bring library books home and read for 2 or so hours until bed. My love of reading began. Before that I rarely read for pleasure.  I didn’t get online until 2005.

I would listen to talk radio as well. It was not as Conservative as it is now. A few years later, almost all talk radio became right wing. Despite a brief fling with Air America and later with Dr. Laura and Coast to Coast, I stopped the talk radio habit.

The motel is boarded up now and even that area of town is getting built up due to the Mass Transit.  Fancy apartment buildings, a new Target, etc….are all around now.  Before it was roach motels and trailer parks.  I never pass that area of town without thinking of it though.


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