If I was a better person, a more organized person, a person who thought about things before he went to bed instead of at 5am, getting up and out early in the morning would be easy.
But I’m not there, yet. Not by a long shot.
So this is what its like when I get up before the rest of the family and sneak out of the hotel room so I can do some writing.
First of all, I rarely wake up to an alarm these days. At some point in the morning, my body and brain collude and decide to wake me up. Or I need to pee really bad because I’m getting older and weird things are happening to my bladder.
At home, it’s a pretty simple matter to leave, go write or watch TV or read about the latest sales on Amazon. But in a hotel room, I have a lot more to do and there are a LOT more pitfalls.
See, my goal is to get out without waking anyone else up.
Not so easy.
First, I have to go to the bathroom and that means making my way over and around the suitcases, shoes and random bags that the boys have moved at some point during the day. On a great day, I remembered to charge my phone so I can use that little light the phone gives off when you turn it on.
But not today.
Oh, I actually remembered to plug it in, but for some reason, it didn’t charge. Maybe it came loose at night. Maybe I sleep-watched all the episodes of Supernatural. Maybe the phone faerie came and unhooked me because I didn’t make the proper sacrifice.
Either way, I have to make my way in the dark like a chubby ninja or Kung Fu Panda with my phone cords in my chubby fingers, cuz I have a plan.
The other phone cords lie in wait like trip wires in Nam. I inch forward. Literally. Inch. Forward. Ah, there’s a cord. My toe feels a shoe. I stub my small toe on the corner of a suitcase I didn’t see, and somehow manage not to swear.
Amazingly, I make it to the distant bathroom without waking anyone. I plug in my phone to get a quick charge.
Then, completing my task, I make my way back through the minefield of discarded family items. I find my shoes. I remember where I left them. I pad back to the center of the room, pull socks from the drawer. Beside the drawer is my suitcase. For some stupid reason, I zipped it up. With agonizing slowness, I unzip it with the care normally reserved for the bomb squad debombing a bomb.
No one wakes up.
I get shirt and shorts. I put them on with the dexterity of a cirque du soliel acrobat. Lacking any real dexterity, though, there is a great risk I’ll snag one foot in the legs of my shorts and stumble fall right on top of The-Youngest.
But I don’t fall and I am no longer likely to walk outside of the hotel room in my underwear. At 5am, this is not always a given.
Next up, where the f*** did I put the room key? And my wallet?
Back to the bathroom to retrieve the phone. It’s had about 15 minutes to charge and that’s good enough to give me a distant star’s equivalent of light.
No one’s woken up.
The light lasts for, like, 5 seconds, so I have to be fast each time I use it. I find my wallet, it’s on the bedside table. The-Prettiest-Girl-In-The-World has her charging cord wrapped around it and the boys have booby-trapped it with bags of candy.
For the morning ninja, though, this is child’s play. Like Indie Jones, I take the wallet and leave the bag of candy behind. Then I gather up the laptop cord which has somehow managed to wrap itself around the ice bucket, all the remaining phone cords and our half-drunk bottle of water that should have been put back in the fridge.
I make only a few sounds. No one wakes up.
Then the big one. I have to unlock the safe and haul out the laptop which barely fits in there. During the day, I usually swear and bang it about a lot while getting the damn thing in or out.
So, yeah, I can’t do that.
I pad over to the safe. Slide open the door. The light comes on for the closet. Automatically.
Dammit. Light can wake everyone up as surely as a loud fart.
I hold my breath. I listen.
The-Youngest is muttering something about wanting to go in something. A ride? The pool? I dunno. The-Oldest is breathing heavily. Asleep. The-Prettiest-Girl-In-the-World moans softly and I hear her turn over. It could be that I’ve woken her up as she has momma-senses, but if I did, she’s gone back to sleep.
And I’m in luck. I don’t have to remember the code or punch it in. The safe’s been left open. I ease the laptop out like I’m hauling the thigh bone out of the body in Operation.
Then it’s only a matter of finding my back-pack, putting on my shoes and socks, stuffing my laptop in the bag and getting out the door.
The door is the hardest of the entire ninja operation. I don’t know how they would do it, (likely they’d not use the door, but cut a hole in the window and use their fingers to climb down the sheer wall of the hotel), but I have only one choice. Turn the handle quietly. Ignore the loud click when the locks come unlocked and keep going, pulling the handle down all the way until the door opens.
Then get out. Close the door.
Go to the nearest Starbucks and write.
Simple. It only took me 37 minutes.
But will I get the coveted ‘I didn’t hear you leave?”
Only time will tell.
Thanks to everyone who’s read my posts, followed the blog or just looked at the pictures. We’re almost done. One more post and then you can return to your lives.