Tales From The Tuxedo Inn

Life, Art, Auto -Not Tuxedo Rental

Christmas1 for NaNoWriMo

Written By: Justine - Nov• 08•13
The first salvo of the Christmas season had begun.  Chatter about pre-black Friday super sales filled up television and radio ads.  At the “day job” people were fighting for who got what day off.  Management was arguing over if a holiday tree was “politically correct”.
I wondered what kind of decorations the inn would have and if I was going to be the one responsible for them. 
My question was answered on Friday evening the day after Thanksgiving.   I parked in the open lot out front and headed in the front door.  The front of the building was brighter and the edge of the overhang in front of the door seemed fuzzy.  I had to look twice before I really noticed a neat line of large white outdoor holiday lights wound around a thick pine garland draped across the overhang. 
I had to give the Inn credit.  The garland was real pine and fresh.  The scent caught me as I opened the door. 
The elevator lobby had a two foot wide fresh pine wreath with a blue and silver ribbon filling the gap between the elevator doors.  Large silver stands held pine and holly branches.  The smell was crisp; along with the night air it brought some freshness to the stale air.
There was a pine garland with white lights draped over the top of the mirror in the bar.   The fichus trees and plants brought in from the patio to overwinter were trimmed with tiny white twinkle lights. 
The decorations were bright but subtle; a touch of every holiday of winter lights.  I approved of the decorations.  I was surprised when I opened my office door and found a large potted pink Poinsettia on the desk.  An embossed card paper clipped to the green foil around the pot read, “Season’s Greetings from the Tuxedo Inn”
The clicking of toenails announced the presence of Red Rover.  Soft sniffing noises accompanied the brown-red dog nose coming over the top of the desk.  Red moved around the desk and nuzzled my hand for a pat.
“Hey Red! Did you tell management I wasn’t a holiday kind of girl?  Did you?”
Red gave me another nuzzle and a snort.   Her tail bobbed slowly.
“Well thank you!  If I had to deal with one more Santa Clause or Christmas stocking I was going scream.” 
Red opened her mouth to breathe and gave me her wily “smile”.   
I fished in my purse and pried out the bag with her customary chewy treat. 
“You don’t care as long as I get you your treat do you?”   I laughed and gave her the pseudo bacon treat. 
Red sat down and crunched away. I put my purse on the floor and slid the poinsettia to the side and started through the stack of mail. 
Instead of committing a drive by munching, Red picked that night to stay close buy.  She listened to me mutter to myself. Several times she crept close and stuck his nose in my purse, rustling around for another treat.   Since the plastic package was on my desk, she came away empty.    Without looking I held down strips of fake-bacon several more times.   I logged into the computer and set up the bill payments.  At some point she wondered off.

November 7th 2013

Written By: Justine - Nov• 08•13

I’m supposed to be writing something.  Something, anything, about this crazy place called the Tuxedo Inn.  It’s not in New York, it’s in Maryland.  Twenty five miles outside of the nation’s capital.  Twenty minutes from the state capital.   I promised myself I’d write something about this place  just in case I woke up one morning and it turned out the Tuxedo Inn was like “Fight Club”.

Maybe I just snapped one night at work and I’m in a nut house someplace on thorazine dreaming the whole place up.   If I am, well I’m certainly perking on the front burner.  Thorazine must be better than any of us ever suspected.

But I can’t stay in la la land forever.  I have to get back and take care of my mom. She’s 82  and her memory shorts off and on.  If she falls prey to the state, they’ll toss her someplace that I wouldn’t put my worst enemy.

Hell, without me the expensive assisted living she’s in wouldn’t do her any favors either.  I keep light bulbs, toilet paper, facial tissues, a first aid kit, a sewing kit, canned dogfood, and a six pack of canned root beer in the trunk of my car just to keep things at that joint on an even keel.

Management is so cheap they lock up the light bulbs. Then when residents blow a light the staff can’t get to the bulbs until the next day.  By then it’s a different shift and the lights aren’t on.  The bulb doesn’t get replaced when the supply closet is unlocked.

More than once I’ve gone down the short hallway where mom’s suite is and replaced bathroom light bulbs for everyone.

The toilet paper is the same way.  They’ve switched to the most vile splinter filed stuff they can find and they won’t put a multi-role holder on the wall.   Since it takes ten sheets to clean up and afternoon tinkle, a shared bathroom is empty of paper in not time.

I made sure mom always has a jumbo roll of the “good stuff” hanging on a piece of yard on the inside of her bedroom door handle.  I also stash a few extra rolls in her sock drawer.

So if I’m in a thorazine induced coma, dreaming about an art deco hotel hidden in the woods along the severn river, I better write this down and wake the hell up before the toilet paper runs out.

If I’m not, if this fantastical place is real.  I better write this down anyway because I don’t think I’ll be able to keep it secret no matter what I promised.  If I write it down, I’m spilling the beans.  But if I don’t put what I write on my blog, then I’ve kept my word.