Saturday, October 9, 2010

It Takes Me Back

Did you ever hear a certain sound and have a memory come flooding back to you?  The other day it happened to me at work--taking me way back...

Several years ago, I was on a business trip somewhere...Florida, I think, or maybe Louisiana.  I had taken an evening flight, run into delays, had quite a drive from the airport, and had finally checked into my hotel well after midnight.  Luckily, my depositions began about mid-morning and I had arranged to stay very near them, allowing me to get ready without early morning rushing.  

It felt great being in the south during the cold months at home and the sun was brightly shining, so I threw the drapes open for some light (I hate dark hotel rooms) and sat in the sun with some coffee while I reviewed my notes.  The view wasn't much; I was several floors up but all around were just ranch houses and a couple of shops.

The time came to get ready and the shower was fine.  I dried off and pulled my clothes out of my suitcase--they needed the touch of an iron, so I set up the ironing board next to the only apparent outlet--by the table next to the window. (How is it that hotel rooms never have any convenient outlets?)  By this time, I had to get going, but had just enough time. While the iron warmed, I dried my hair....then, emerging from the bathroom--not a stitch on--I heard something.

It was like KA-CLUNK-SH.   KA-CLUNK-SH.  Then nothing.  It wasn't metallic, but a heavy, clumping sound. It sounded like it was right outside my window.  Of course with the curtains wide open, I could see nothing was there.  I froze.  

Then I heard it again, closer:  KA-CLUNK-SH, KA-CLUNK-SH.   I was bewildered...I'm on the 5th floor of a hotel; what could possibly be right outside my window? 

Then I saw it.  It WAS right outside my window.  I began to see the shadow of a window washer, dangling immediately to the right of my window, reaching toward it as he squeege'd the window next door. 

What to do?  I needed to quickly iron my suit, dress and leave or I'd be late...and everything I needed to wear was right in front of the window, by the ironing board.  What a ridiculous situation.  As I heard the next KA-CLUNK-SHH, I scuttled across the room and pressed my back to the bit of wall which wasn't window.  Seeing his shadow fall on my floor as he dangled immediately outside, I realized that the noise was made by some kind of suction-cup-like devices on his feet as he walked on the windows outside. 

Surely this was a scene from some sit-com, right?  I'm hiding against the wall, naked as a jaybird, while a strange man dangles on a rope right outside my 5th floor window?  

Hiding there, pressed against the wall, it took me a moment to gather my wits.  Then, realizing he couldn't see me against the wall, I reached for the curtain and tiptoed it across.  As I ironed my suit, I was cursing the management for not warning us about window washers.  But by the time I got to the depos, it made quite a story.

So yesterday at work, I'm about to sit down at my desk and I hear KA-CLUNK-SH... I giggled all day remembering.

Have a comment? Advice? Random observation? I'd love to hear it. Click "COMMENTS" just below.


  1. I love it! Great story. I hope you at least gave the management a "dressing down" for not informing guests.

  2. What a great story! And I love how you included the detail that makes reading so imaginative and fun (the view, the outlet, the sounds, etc.). Funny!


Just type your thoughts in here--