Buildings and buildings, blocks and blocks

Three weeks I've been living here, and if anything really bugs me about this hotel, it's that there's not much that bugs me about this hotel.

I thought there'd be endless material for mockery — barely-there drunks, crackheads on the stairs, fistfights in the halls, noises all night long, insane people screaming at gnats...

That's the way it's been at other rez hotels where I've lived, but at the Hotel McMillan, at least so far, my neighbors seem not to be nuts. Even the landlord treats people decently.

It's fairly quiet here, unless the guy in the next room is watching Sábado Gigante on Saturday nights, or Spanish-language soaps and sitcoms Sundays through Thursdays. When his TV gets annoying, I switch my electric fan on, face it toward the wall, and the hum drowns out the sound.

There are roaches in the sink sometimes when I get up to pee, but I enjoy killing roaches so that's not really a complaint. I've killed 18 so far — seven by hand, seven by Lysol, one by shoe, one by scissors, one in the toaster, and one by microwave. Three have gotten away. Still, that's only one roach daily, which is fewer than El Castillito

My room isn't on the sunny side of the building, so it probably won't be a simmering sweatbox come summertime.

Going up four flights of stairs every time I come home is exhausting, but it buys silence from the front-door buzzer. That buzzer is so loud you can hear it all day and through the night on the second and third floors, but not on the fourth.

The Hotel McMillan is the tallest building on the block, so for my sweaty ascent, at least there's a nice view from the fire escape, and I can see the Bay Bridge out the toilet window, if I twist my head just so.

When I'm energetic enough to climb even higher, there's a sign at the top of the last flight that says "Keep Out." The door is locked, but the lock is old. Jiggle the knob a few times, the door will open, and you can step onto the tar-covered roof for a grand view — buildings and buildings for blocks and blocks, traffic and life below, Twin Peaks behind me, skyscrapers in the distance the other way.

Really, what's to complain? This hotel is reasonably priced, reasonably quiet, and I doubt there'll be any good stories to tell about it…

From Pathetic Life #23
Sunday, April 21, 1996

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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