Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ch 1 The condition of the guest room and Primo’s sister’s smoking habits

 Whoa. The guest room. The living room is a mess but the guest room is worse. Maybe they don’t expect people to see the guest room?

It’s not full of trash or anything like that, but it is crowded with photos and posters, crooked in their Michael’s frames, and dusty knickknacks next to the small TV on the dresser. The closet is stuffed full with clothes decades out of style, including heavy winter dresses and tops, with no place for me to hang my things.[1]

I find a paper bag[2] containing old newspapers from Pittsburgh on the closet floor. I flipped through them, looking for the significance – “Dewey Beats Truman?” – but apparently, they are just old newspapers that were moved from Sly and Doris’ old house to the new one.

You guys know movers charge by the pound, right? My dad was in the military and every time we moved, we had to ditch books, because books put you over your weight allowance right away and are not essential for life.

(I think books are essential for life because I am a reader and I am usually happier in a book than I am dealing with real people, but books are not essential for life the way sheets and towels and silverware are.)

The guest bed is uncomfortable, the room is noisy (from Doris’ CPAP machine, which lives in the dining room next to the guest room) and stuffy (the windows are shut and we are depending on air conditioning, even though the weather is perfect and I would be thrilled to sleep with the windows open), and there is nowhere for me to put my clothes, my purse, or the suitcase except on the floor.

Also – no chocolate on the pillow.

These people are savages.

The sheets are pilled[3] and pulling off the mattress because the elastic is shot. The pillow saw better days already ten years ago. I just bruised my thigh on the footboard, which has lovely sharp edges just waiting to pounce.

And there are small round holes with brown edges all over the bedspread and the nightstand.

Me: What on earth are these holes?

Primo: Burn marks.

Me: What?

Primo: This was Nancy’s furniture and linens. Those are cigarette burns.

Me: So – she smoked in bed?

Primo: She did a lot of things.

[1] Not that I have much stuff to hang. My travel clothes philosophy is “Must be able to be stuffed into a suitcase without wrinkling.” It’s the principle of the thing.
[2] Yes, I am very nosy. Like you wouldn’t look? If they didn’t want me to see it, they shouldn’t have left it out.
[3] This is what happens when you get polyester blend instead of all cotton. Am I being a bitch? Probably.


  1. My mother advised sleeping in one's guest room at least annually to be sure that it was comfortable for guests. Clearly this room would not pass her test! You deserved MUCH better.

    1. Your mother was so wise! I am always very concerned that my guests be comfortable. Note to self: Sleep in guest room sometime soon.

      And yes, I think I deserved better, too.

  2. Keeping a spread with burn holes is odd, they do seem in denial about most things.


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