Tag Archives: hotel

Hotel Riverside Studio, 2008

Hotel Riverside Studio, 2008
Mindy M. Wara
April 18, 2011


I look up at the eggshell ceiling festering

with cracked paint, water stains, and visible pipes

as the coiled springs dig into my back.

The bargain of a plywood bed

with palm tree inspired headboard

available for only $150 a night

on the Upper West Side.

The Easter colored plaid duvet worn from too many washes

clings to my clammy skin

to cool itself as the thick August air that invades the room.


I watch the slow beads of water trickle down

the single cloudy window. The condensation forms

a cataract to dim the Manhattan lights.

My sister lays still

on the matching twin bed next to mine.

She can sleep through anything.

I envy every deep sleepy breath she takes.


The pink chiffon and purple linen innards

of her imitation Louis Vuitton suitcase

strewn about the slightly slanted floor

and the crusty brown carpet that covers it.


I couldn’t make my way to the communal bathroom

without my glasses in the piss-cold dark

even if my bladder twists and twinges,

torturing me for having to drink

that last bottle of water before bed.


I think about the online Travelocity testimonials

and realize the 8.8 rating is full of shit:

“The room was nice and clean; there wasn’t much to it,

but for the price I paid it was perfect.

Shared bathrooms and showers were always clean

and available when I needed them.” – Anonymous

The mildew scented bathroom

down the hall was not mentioned. The dingy porcelain

toilet I hover over and refuse to sit on

did not make the website.


I cannot step into the tiny shower

 even in flip-flops

without thinking of every stray hair

that has ever been sucked down the drain

and the sloughed off skin

that probably still sticks to the tile walls.


With this thought, I wonder

who the hell has slept under these sheets before me?