Friday, April 3, 2020

Postcard Roadtrip

I’ve been looking at the news approximately every four seconds, but sometimes I just look at it. I feel my eyes grow big as beach balls and let them kind of bounce softly against the words, but not really stay in one place.

Isn’t it incredible to think about a beach ball traveling through a stadium or concert venue? Doesn’t it feel a little bit like a poem when you imagine those fingers reaching up to give that bright orb a gentle nudge? I could honestly cry for the beauty of a cheap, plastic inflatable and the willingness of strangers to work together, finger print by finger print to move the thing through the air.

I am missing so many things.

I was walking through the neighborhood past all the shuttered businesses. I was reading all the handwritten notes tacked to darkened doors and shuttered windows. Everywhere was a reminder of something I’d forgotten to miss: the shared bowl of wrapped candy on the counter at the Vietnamese restaurant, the public telephone, the slightly sunken wing back chairs in the bar at the Tam O’Shanter restaurant. I miss using my hand to summon a walk signal.

Stuck inside my house and wondering about the world, I came across a stack of old postcards. They’d been part of a bulk box I’d ordered on eBay. I’d sent all the innocuous kittens and flowers and landscapes, along with notes of encouragement, to voters in my own state and in many other states across the country. But it felt odd to send vintage hotel and motel photos. It didn’t feel right to send aerial shots of beaches and golf courses or muddy photos of unfamiliar landmarks. I’d kept the postcards anyway. In case.

Today, these postcards provided an activity and a destination. I picked a few, turned them over and wrote the first thing that came to mind. And then I mailed them.

If I am to believe the blurb on the reverse of this one, The Marott (aka Queen of Indiana Hotels) boasts 500 luxurious guest rooms and two suites. Three Dining Rooms. Two Cocktail Lounges. There is banquet seating enough for 500 guests.

I want to bounce on the beds in each room. I want to check my lipstick in a wide mirrored vanity and twist the cap off a tiny bottle of shampoo. I want to hold the soft rectangle of wrapped miniature soap in the palm of my hand and inhale the chalky floral scent.  In the cocktail lounge at The Marott (Queen of Indiana Hotels,) I will slide into a leather banquette, rest my elbows on the table and look up at the waiter as he deals out cardboard coasters like cards. Order a Roy Rogers, a Shirley Temple, a Jack and Ginger in a bucket. Get whatever you want. It’s on me.

Oh, won’t you join me, when this is all over, for a banquet at The Marott? Or for brunch at Lehr’s Greenhouse? Or perhaps we could pick up a hammer and join in the barn raising.


artemismadden said...

I am down for any of your post-pandemic offerings: banquet, brunch, or bar. You know I’ve got the skills sets for any of those scenarios, & my enjoyment would be satisfied by being around you.

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