Loudly roaring, a deformed shape comes thundering past. Bright lights spewed out by a monstrous looking car disturb an otherwise quiet evening.
I’m at an affordable hotel next to a quiet road in a foresty area. My room has green walls and a purple chair sitting solitary in the corner. A completely unnecessary purple tapestry is hanging on the wall behind my bed. There is a deep window that allows you to sit in the window sills. The whole ordeal looks like it was made to look romantic, but somehow ended up looking like a backdrop of one of Toulouse-Lautrec’s paintings of loose women in their “offices”.
I’m not in my room though. I’m sitting on the front porch of the hotel reading and enjoying a medium quality cigar. Actually, I’m only half doing this. I’m also observing my surroundings at the same time. It has become apparent to me that this hotel not only has the feel of a brothel, it reluctantly functions as one. The parking lot is placed mostly out of sight from the road. A convenient coincidence. A couple of guests arrive throughout the evening. Usually couples arriving together; one couple arriving in separate cars. I don’t really know if there is actually any monetary exchange for physical pleasure going on here. It doesn’t seem very wise to me to go up to couples to ask if she’s a prostitute. So instead I just speculate.
Maybe I shouldn’t be too suspicious of people’s behaviour. Perhaps some of the couples arriving are just married people looking forward to a night undisturbed by 2.1 children and 1.4 dogs running around the house. Most likely at least some of them aren’t. There seems to be an unnatural haste to check in and disappear from the public eye.
And me? I’m reading a book. I made the mistake of telling a friend of mine that I believe there are no good Dutch writers left. All the good ones died already, leaving behind the mediocre ones that rely too much on cheap sex in their stories. So of course she got me a second hand book about some guy running around Amsterdam looking for cheap sex. Hahaha. I can’t really focus on it tonight though. It is obvious much more compelling stories are unfolding around me than could ever be written down by a thirty something year old acting like a teenager that can’t get over his first girlfriend dumping him.
Instead of continuing to read, I start wondering. I wonder how many vows of marital commitment are broken here every night. How many promises are broken every night in places just like these. I wonder how much money I could make by photographing these couples and their license plates and then blackmailing them. Would cheating cheaters out of their money be morally defendable? I wonder how many of those couples have been staying in my room before me. The purple chair starts making more sense than I’d like it to. I wonder whether one day I’ll be checking into a hotel just like this one. Midlife crisis in full swing. My cigar has ran its course. Enough wondering for one night. I need to get up early tomorrow.
Another car whizzes by. This time more gently.
Also a little behind the scenes:
I painted the entire painting using only one brush. It was an experiment to see how it would work out if every brush stroke is the same size. Keen observers might also have noticed that technically this is my second self-portrait in a row. I promise you, you won’t have to look at my face in the next painting ;).