Friday, July 24, 2015

Angry Drifter

Drifter Memory: In 2007 I was in and out of Albuquerque for a theatre commission. In my last month-long stint I was placed in Motel 6 run by an Indian woman who gave me a book on Buddhism because she said I looked angry. She put me in a room next to a guy who kept his door open and liked to yell at passerby's. The first time I passed by his door the only thing he said to me 'hello' before continuing to cuss out the world. From my side glanced view while carrying my luggage I could tell he was a middle-aged white guy with some assortment of tattoos who may or may not have had some disability with his leg.

The next morning I asked the manager what was with that guy in the room next to me and she said 'oh we think he's mentally ill. He drinks all day and threatens people, but he pays the bills so we don't know what to do.' I wondered why she put me right next door to him, but shrugged it off. At night I would hear the tinkle of the bottles in his room and him screaming at the TV occasionally. Two weeks into the Motel 6 life, I noticed that the door was closed and there were no bottle sounds. Apparently he had yelled one too many times (or at the wrong person) and the police came and took him away. The rest of my stay at the motel was very lonely as I had grown accustomed to the yelling and sound of booze.  I read the book on Buddhism and wondered whatever happened to that angry, drunken drifter.

I also wondered how many more people like that guy were out there, holed up in lonely motels with liquor, drugs, and their own demons as company. On the day after the Lafayette shooting I still ponder that question. 

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