Arizona: day two. 

Hotel.

The single-serving size shampoo, conditioner, and body wash were all of a scent called “natural wood,” which I can only presume is why, riding down to the lobby in the elevator this morning with four others, it smells like a sawmill. During the descent, I reflect on the fact that we all washed with the same scents and soaps and used towels that were likely washed with the same detergent. How often can you say that is the case with a group of strangers?

Not often, I guess.

In the lobby waiting for my ride. And what was last night simply a curiosity has now become an outright oddity: where the hell are all the trash cans in Arizona? Either Arizona has a significant dearth or California has a significant glut of them. My hotel room (or more accurately, because it has a sitting room as well, rooms – hashtag humblebrag) only had one trash can: in the bathroom. I thought it a bit odd, but didn’t make too much of it. Now, this morning in the lobby, I’m looking for a place to throw out the cup I brought down from the single-serve coffee bar in my room. And there’s no trash cans. Seriously. I mean, sure, there’s one just outside the large glass lobby doors. But having walked the rest of the lobby: bar area, coffee area, past the front desk, near the twin water fountains of differing heights; there’s not a trash can to be found. Maybe…maybe this is simply an upscale place that insists on taking the trash right from your hands, where they then deposit it in some secret hidden trash cans behind the counter. Or maybe they don’t have trash cans either, and have to walk each individual piece of trash directly to the dumpster. Or maybe they have a runner whose sole purpose is to take trash from the other employees and deposit it into the dumpster. Or maybe Arizona made a deal with California and traded affordable housing for trash cans.

It’s at the office that I begin to feel that gnawing, growing sense of the need to be alone. It’s weird how quickly it comes on, though it’s a little different than my homesickness yesterday, which came all in a rush. This is a feeling that starts small and grows and grows until I am all but forced to make the conclusion that, at the first chance I get, I need to get away and be by myself. I don’t particularly like the feeling, and I don’t like to be beholden to my anxieties or foibles, but because this is the year of me, I agree with the feeling and begin to plot my escape from the night’s planned festivities. It’s easy enough to do: my go-to escape while traveling is to casually drop that I’m starting to not feel very well, probably picked up something from the airplane, or the change in climate is getting to me, I’m just going to go back to my room, thanks for your concern.

And so I go back to my room.

I end up ordering two old fashioned’s and a chocolate mousse cake from room service and eating and drinking in my hotel bed and watching Mad Max. I’d like to think of myself as a complex man, but when it comes to making me happy, my needs are embarrassingly simple: sugar and alcohol and television.

Okay, I’m tired, I’m done now. Oh good, over 500 words.

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