Male Motel Maid Confessions, Part I



by the Man-Maid
 
2013-2-14  During my giddy days as a part-time male motel housekeeper, I would sometimes lose perspective on my life. I began to resent the lack of respect and recognition given me for the high-quality deep-cleaning I regularly did on the rooms and suites of the 9-unit motel that employed me. I did my best, just like my mama taught me.


I felt like a chump to accept the 60's-era wages I received. I felt--well, I was too educated and special to be scrubbing toilets and changing sheets. There was nobody around to appreciate my greatness, etc.




I was getting in better physical shape, working up quite the sweat making sure every room was immaculate and fresh, but when I saw another Joe 12-Pack checking into the unit I just finished--his boots caked with mud, and his work-clothes ripe as pig manure--I would regret having done a five-star job. I could feel the futility of dreams shattered.

These kind of motel guests often didn't bother to remove their boots and work clothes (let alone bathe) before cracking a tall one, turning on the tube, and flopping on his fresh bedding, boots and all. What a waste of cleanliness. Why did I both?
*

Room 3: "I Need Your Help with the TV"
Room 12: "How bout a drink?"

I confess, I was dwelling in a fantasy-land, which was both my motivation to work and 90% of all my aggravation. For as I was toiling to create cool, clean, fresh-scented motel rooms, I would be envisioning the attractive, cultured female guest who would be checking in--a coed on academic break from Vassar, trekking the prairies in her own 21st century spirit quest; or a lubricious trophy wife, now thirty-something, maddeningly misunderstood by her rich husband, and out on the prowl. 


These wandering angels would be appreciative of the finer things like the deep-scrubbed freshness I endeavored to give their rooms, the extra soaps and plastic cups. So appreciative, that they might summon me for a private consultation--consultations which conceivably could wander into my ex-professorship, my present work as a writer and philosopher, and yes, even beyond.  It was a heartening fantasy. 
*
These private daydreams of a sweating man-maid never included the uncouth galoots that in reality constitute the overwhelming majority of our motel clients. These bestubbled cretins don't always smell good.  They watch sports and cartoons, and never leave tips, except their loose pennies and leftover food--real class. You can see that my inner world differed vastly from reality.

The real tenants drink prodigious amounts of beer. By 8 PM their toilet marksmanship is getting fuzzy. By 9 PM most of them are out cold. Some of them haven't the presence of mind to flush their own Number 2's. Why, the more I thought about my wasted effort, the greater my umbrage.  
*
As I say, I was losing perspective. Eventually reality would remind me of a few things which my sweet-smelling scrubbing reveries tended to overlook, like how I had been living in homeless shelters for three very punishing years before this job--walking the streets, taking my meals in soup kitchens, and smoking butts picked up from the pavement. And how I had squandered a good life to get there. 

The horrifying waste came back to me in full detail, like the million dollars I flushed away on high-rolling crap-games, expensive call-girls, none of whom even compared to my wife; and the family life of this talented spouse and magnificent children whose troubles I had compounded by moving to my own place. But in my own defense, she was throwing heavy objects at me whenever I turned my back.

And there were the 1001 uncalled-for stupid things I did, like calling my college president, dean, and human resource director a bunch of pencil-pushing assholes--before leaving them to sit at their conference table, their mouths hanging open in shock. I was at the height of ingratitude and arrogance.  I was compulsively gambling, and doing it with more than money.

I'd even ridiculed the college's noble gesture when they forgave all, renewed my contract, and gave me a raise in spite of my insolence. I made a stock joke of their offer for the entertainment of my students, mock-lamenting "Where did I go right?" for not being canned.  

Then, on a dime, the prevailing mood turned against me. In fact, I was dropped dead.

My mother died. I was given to resign. My wife of 25 years divorced me and had my assets frozen. I was criminally charged with resisting and injuring big, burly police officers. I was barred from entering my own home. I began self-destituting through gambling. I was arrested for domestic abuse causing physical injury and mental illness to my mistress. 

These all occurred within 90 days.  My titanic ego had been incinerated and fallen like the Hindenberg. Suddenly I was absolutely nothing, and eventually I dragged my sorry ass offstage. 

After living with no purpose, no money, no home and no friends for a few years, I had prayed with such depth of feeling: please, dear God, just let me be of some use to somebody, anybody, anywhere. Don't abandon me to die in the gutter. I need work. I repent of my former arrogance and willfulness--just let me serve somebody, and be of some use.
    
And so I would return to my housekeeping work with a chastened spirit and a prayer. Maybe I would find redemption--wisdom, even a second chance--in toiling like a demon for low wages and sucking up my boundless self-conceit. So what if a bunch of guys make a mess? When a prayer is answered for you, it is the height of ingratitude to grumble about the details.  

So thank you, powers-on-high, for letting me be of some use.  Thank you, dear God, dearest Holy Mary, thank you.  Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa, as they taught me in Batterer's Education--although truly, I never battered anyone in my life. The very thought makes me ill.

Holy Mother of All Creation, you know my heart.  Do you think you could send a compatible female to be my third wife? And a job?

Amen.