But that’s not the reality of it, at least not my reality. I feel only fatigue, the fatigue I imagine a soldier must feel after months of combat he had thought might never end. Whiskey and women are the farthest things from my mind.

I pull the heavy drapes closed, the Einstein room goes dark, the silence takes on a weight all its own. I switch on the bedside lamp and sit on the edge of the bed aimlessly thumbing through pages of La Posada brochures and tourist pamphlets from the nightstand drawer. According to one brochure, I am indeed in the Einstein suite, named, of course, after Albert Einstein, the world’s most famous physicist, who reshaped our understanding of the cosmos with his concepts of the nature of space and time.

According to the brochure, Albert was a guest at La Posada during the railroad hotel’s golden years, as was F.D.R., Charles Lindbergh, Will Rogers, Harry S. Truman, and a host of other celebrity types of their day. The hoteliers named La Posada’s suites after their famous guests like so many sandwiches on the menu of a Phoenix fast food restaurant I once visited.

That was one meal I’ll never forget. Strictly out of curiosity, I ordered the ‘Roy Rogers’, a combo that turned out to be a greasy hamburger topped with three even more greasy slices of bacon and a slab of Velveeta cheese on a bun smothered in mayonnaise. I ate the whole thing, including the side order of soggy French fries. I was still throwing up past noon the next day. My companion of the night suggested a better choice might have been the Dale Evans tuna salad special.

It’s forty-five minutes past noon according to the bedside clock. I make mental notes to search the Shirley Temple suite for a stashed bottle of grenadine and the Howard Hughes for errant toe nails as I casually inspect my own. My thoughts are often disturbingly unfunny when I’m sleep deprived.

**

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