Room 424 — Not 420, Damn It!!!

It has GOT to be at least 10 degrees colder in Pittsburgh than in Northern Virginia. But it’s nice and cozy here in the hotel. The suite is PERFECT! Dishes, microwave oven, silverware, fridge, oven, etc. are in the kitchen, and the living room has a couch, lamps, tables and a recliner! Yay recliner!!! I love it, and I totally need one for myself. I love curling up and writing on my knees. This rules.

It’s funny — I’ve stayed in practically every upscale hotel in Pittsburgh, and I’ve usually crashed on the bed while watching TV. Now that I have my TV in my bedroom at home, I am curled up in the living-room area of the suite, enjoying Comedy Central and not even worrying about when I will finally drag my beer-soaked psyche into the bedroom. 🙂

This suite is about the size of my old apartment. I love the hotel life — it’s so clean, and it gets cleaned even more while I’m out. Shan and I joke, too, that after being with our clean families over Xmas, it pains us to go back to our filthy apartments in Virginia. 🙂 At any rate, the beauty of staying at a hotel is that maintenance is on-call 24/7. The heater malfunctioned last night, and not only did I see a serviceman within 10 minutes of my call, he replaced the whole damn unit, before our eyes. Immediate, efficient, friendly, tidy — whatta joy to behold!

The green-on-green decor is a bit odd (oh, I’m going into my Hemmingway-esque descriptions now), but the solitude is fantastic. I love living in the middle of downtown, amid the skyscrapers and the traffic and the businesses. I am high above the hustle-and-bustle, yet it’s only an elevator ride away, when I’m ready to drown myself in it.

I’ve often wished to have enough money to move into a hotel for a night or two (or 10) just to escape it all. I enjoy being alone with my thoughts. Just sittin’ around in my jammies, drinkin’ beer, smokin’ and scribblin’ my notes. Like this. 🙂 No worrying about having my hair done, or wearing a shirt that covers all the areas that need to be covered. Ain’t nobody looking at me, judging me, gathering info to tell their friends about what a freak I can be. If I want to walk around with my ass hanging out, damn it, I can. (Actually, I’m in lavender-and-blue sleep pants with a lavender T-Shirt, but still, if I wanted to sit here naked, I could. And I like the thought that I can do it, if the mood should strike. 🙂 No cats or roommates around to scare, if I DO do that!!!

But, moving on to a BETTER view to behold. …

The view from my suite is fantastic, but given the hotel’s location, sandwiched between downtown and uptown, that’s not a surprise. I have the drapes open, even though there is no activity worth watching at this point in the evening.

I’m located at Sixth at Bigelow (i.e., One Bigelow Square), across from the back entrance to the Steel Plaza “T” Station (Pittsburgh’s trolley system, for the unfamiliar. It has four stops downtown, unlike the D.C. Metro, which has a million). Immediately in front of me is One Mellon Center, which is designed like a towering cock with one big round testicle on its side. I am not kidding about this. It’s the cock-and-balls building.

I also see Mellon’s brand-new Client Service Center, all black-and-clear glass, with its neatly manicured green grass and newly planted bare, spindly trees, all of which have been dusted with snow. It’s a welcome addition to the city, having cropped up within the last year or two. That area used to be a steel-and-brick eyesore, coated with dirt and more dirt. Mellon Bank may have some of the highest fees in the land, but at least they spent some of their surplus money appropriately by plopping this new building into that formerly dusty pit.

To my right is the Omni William Penn Hotel, where I spent many nights, working gala charity events. The old Alcoa building is next to it, and I can see part of the massive USX Tower, another of my old haunts (I’ve worked in most of the major Downtown skyscrapers). I can see its outdoor plaza, where the trees are festively adorned with white lights, and I can see the back of its traditional, larger-than-life manger scene. This has received national recognition, and although I’m not the least bit religious (other than screaming to god in the throes of orgasm), I do find it — and the ethereal organ musical accomaniment — awe-inspiring. There’s a Steelers flag, an American flag, and a County flag flying in the blasting winds in the plaza, as well.

I love downtown Pittsburgh. Can you tell? 🙂

I don’t feel like calling or seeing anyone else during this trip, even though it’s the longest stay in the city that I’ve had in months. Shan’s always bugging me to tune out the world, to get lost in myself, to quit being “on call” for everyone for a few hours or days, to not lose myself amid everyone else’s drama when I have plenty of my own that I don’t even focus on.

I don’t know. I do love being away from technology, from demands, from energy-draining crises. I get so tired of trying to kiss everyone else’s boo-boos, when I have my own sores that are festering from neglect. I am a caretaker and a caregiver to a fault. Perhaps I like being needed. Perhaps I prefer to avoid my own dilemmas. I just feel like I can solve everyone else’s problems but my own. I’m fabulous in a crisis. … It is my nature to gain control of a situation and to regain the peace when chaos erupts. To have nothing to do — save but writing in my notebook and reflecting on my life and my surroundings — well, is just beautiful, but it’s also ephemeral. I’ll re-enter the “real world” tomorrow, but for tonight, I will sleep well, as I am in love with my “right now.”

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