Final Dispatch From the HP Lovecraft Memorial Motel, Billings, Montana

I’m still finding pieces of my journals, so from time to time the entries about Terry’s accident and the struggle back may get a little out of order. This one is too good not to share…

Sep. 27th, 2006 | 06:43 pm
location: room 258, the billings clinic
mood: amused
music: terry passing gas

Today I was waiting in line to check out of the HP Lovecraft Memorial Motel. It was about 3:00 on a sunny fall afternoon and a cowboy in a ten gallon hat, boots and a giant belt checked in, got his room key and wandered off down the hall. Relax, it only gets weird in Montana when they aren’t cowboys. My cell phone rang with a call from Don Bowman about flight information for tomorrow so I stepped out of line to take the call. I had taken a few photos of the hallways of serious weirdness and afterwards tucked my camera into my cowboy boot–not on my foot at the time, but stuffed into my overnight bag.

The door to the motel opened in front of me and I had all I could to not grab my boot, the one with the camera. So help me, they must have fallen off a cuckoo clock in a black and white movie. Thick Germanic/Austrian accents preceded them through the door and into my field of vision. He: crisp white Bavarian shirt with rolled up PRESSED sleeves, black and white suspenders and a black alpine style hat. I figured he’d have on lederhosen but nope, plain black pants. She: about five foot two and stocky, broad across the shoulder and the backside. Her face was arresting, small black eyes, a down turned pursed mouth a long nose that drooped at the tip and cheeks that would have been round and rosy except they drooped too. Sort of a white skinned German bulldog look. She had on a white kerchief tied over her head and under her chin, a la fairy tale wear. On the kerchief were large black polka dots. She had on a black and gray plaid dirndl with a matching plaid apron and a white puffy sleeved blouse. Thick black stockings and clumpy black shoes finished off her outfit–the final touch was the hair peeking out underneath the kerchief. It was rolled forwards and then backwards, again with the forties movie–oh how I wanted my camera. That much clashing plaid and polka dots was fabulous. I controlled myself and walked out shaking my head, sure I had been staying in an alien hive instead of a backwater motel.

I had dinner with my friend Kathy from Rocky Mountain College, located in Billings, and she said I was describing a Hutterite (hooter-ite.) She had just been in the hospital with her sister who was having a baby and a Hutterite mom to be was walking the halls with her mom. The girl was wearing her hospital gown, black and white kerchief, black socks and shoes. I wonder if she had the baby wearing her socks and shoes? Hmmm…. I wonder if the baby was wearing socks and shoes?

So long HP, I’m going home tomorrow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *