Bird's Eye View
I drove back to North Carolina this weekend to spend some time with Mom and Grandma.
I dropped my stuff off in my hotel room, stopped at the bar for a drink or four and made my way to Mom and Grandma's room. Grandma is too short to see through the peephole and refused to answer the door, so I waited in the hall uncomfortably shifting my weight for a few minutes. I took the time to consider why I refused to use the restroom in the lobby bar. It's not like the bathroom in a hotel room is any less public than the restroom in the bar.
Finally, Mom answered the door breathlessly. She hardly greeted me before she ran back to the window.
"Mom, are those binoculars?"
"I never stay in a hotel without them," she answered.
I've known Mom all my life. How did I not know that she travels with binoculars? Mom has a pair of Sharper Image binoculars and a convenient travel case in her luggage at all times. She likes to look out of her window into the buildings surrounding her hotel. I teased her for a bit, but suddenly, I needed to see what she was looking at. The curiosity overwhelmed me.
Mom reluctantly handed over the binoculars. "They're cleaning that office over there."
I watched a woman vacuum for a few minutes before scanning other offices for more activity. Finding nothing, I returned to the woman vacuuming. If this had been a horror movie, she would have noticed me watching her. She would have finished chopping up the body and fixed her gaze with mine. She would have made that I Will Cut Your Skinny Throat With This Box Cutter gesture. Creeped out, I backed away from the window.
That night, when I undressed I thought about closing the curtains. My mom can't be the only person who travels with binoculars. I got in bed, but I couldn't sleep. Every time I closed my eyes, I heard the distant sound of a vacuum.
I put on the waffle weave robe generously provided by the hotel and took the elevator down to Mom and Grandma's room. I waited for Mom to open the door and asked if I could stay with her for the night.
I slept uncomfortably in Mom's bed. Grandma's snoring sounded like a vacuum. I slept in on Saturday morning. Mom and Grandma went to brunch. I woke up to a knock on the door and a woman's voice saying, "housekeeping."
I almost wet the bed.