So I finally hit Memphis on my way to North Carolina, on the anniversary of Elvis' death, no less. I had planned on going to check out the happenings in Graceland, but by the time I got there, I was totally exhausted from a day of driving, and decided to just find somewhere to stay and crash for the night.
My dad had insisted that I not stay in the west side of Memphis, so on my way into town, I passed by alot of decent looking motels (read cheap, but not too scary). It was a good twenty minutes later, after passing through downtown, and getting into the eastern sprawl, that I found any kind of place to stay at all.
Anyway, I end up sleeping at this place called the Memphis Inn for $28.00. Which seemed like a pretty good deal to me. When you pull in by the office, it looks pretty well lit, and is right across the street from some other more reputable places, so I figured it was safe enough, and it sure was cheap!
I go into the office, and after she's done playing her computer game the lady asks me "smoking or non?"
"Non" I say.
"I only have smoking."
"Well, smoking then I guess".
She gives me my key and goes back to her computer game. I get back in my truck, drive to the back of the lot looking for my room number, and literally have to drive down a dark alley and into a corner with no lights to find my room. There's a couple of punk looking boys sitting at a table right outside my door, who stare at me while I unload everything I own out of my truck into my room. I couldn't just leave it out there, but I hate that they know I have alot of stuff with me.
When I open the door, a roach runs up the side of the wall by the window, and I close it, only to find that there's no deadbolt, and the regular lock is hardly attached to the door anymore. There's some kindof terrible smell, and I don't think its just the smoke, though that's probably adding to it.
I look around, and there's ceiling debris on the floor, like they built the room, and forgot to vacuum it... ever. The "flooring" in the bathroom is just a square of linoleum placed over floor debris and wooden planks, and the shower is the kind you wear flip flops in so your feet don't touch whatever those black stains are. I had a long debate with myself about wether or not I would actually be getting any cleaner using the shower.
I've already spent my $28.00, and there was a sign declining refunds at the office, so I decide to make the best of it.
I turned on the sink to brush my teeth, and kindof expected brown sludge to ooze out of the faucet, but it looked like water, so I went ahead and used it. There was a TV, with most of the knobs missing, but just enough in tact to get HBO, and "Ray" is on. I've been dying to see this again.
I start to lie down on the bed, and had already decided I wasn't going to use the sheets at all, but realize that even the cover has cigarette holes burned into it. My own blanket was packed in a box, and I wasn't sure I wanted it touching this one anyway. So I decide I'd just sleep on top of this thing, blanketless and then "shower" really good in the morning.
Before this though, I stack my two suitcases and a box in front of the door and then wedge a chair between them and the wall, as a kindof door jam, which probably only makes me feel better, more than its keeping anything out.
About 1:00 I finally fall asleep. At 1:30 I jump up to the sound of the phone ringing, which is wierd, sense nobody knows I'm here except the punks outside and the desk lady. "Hello?" I say, and hear somebody hang up on the other end.
I get a similar call about every 2 hours through the night. At 5:30 a.m. (I was planning on getting up at 6:00), I answer the call, and don't say anything. I listen, and can hear another motel phone ringing in the background, and somebody breathing and people talking in the background. After a minute or so, whoever it was realizes I've answered the phone, breathes into it really loud, and then hangs up.
An hour later, my alarm goes off. Between the phone, and freezing blanketless-ness, I'd say I got about an hour of sleep total. It was by far the worst night of sleep I've ever paid for... ever.