Staying in motels

Staying in motels

Was my American experience pre-experienced, yellowed around its edges, like the blinds in a motel room I was going to sleep in? It was. By cinema, and television, and ads, and by Stephen Shore’s photographs and by all the other things you saw and can’t even remember...

Can I have my very own American experience? You can, but you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.


A night on Earth: July 13, Massachusetts. We’re driving late at night through dark forests. The only place we can find to crash for the night is the Budget Inn. Right next to the highway, somewhere between Springfield and Chicopee.

The paint peeling off in thick layers on the closed convenience store. The two tins of Frijoles Negros in the dark.

The slightly shady girl with her hoarse voice.
The insides of the room. The detail of the quilt, the blinds, the battered fridge. 

Sketchy sleep. As if someone tried to draw an image of my sleep, but kept reworking it all night long, over and over, crumpling the paper and tearing it and starting all over again.

The way the night layered out its noises was quite spectacular: the sound of the plastic sheet underneath our bodies, exaggerating the slightest move, the buzzing and sighing refrigerator, the subdued mysterious sound from the other side of the wall, the voices outside; you are lying, you are lying...

Cars swishing through the hot summer night.

I was happy to see that my face was still there, in the mirror, in the morning light. The sun broke in through the blinds, illuminating their surface, yellowed around the edges from cigarettes and time.

Can I have my own American experience, I mean could this Motel be it? No.
Even this night was rendered through something you saw. The True Detective story would come full circle: “Well, once there was only dark. If you ask me, light’s winning.” As Rust would say, and walk out of the house to light a cigarette, smirking into the sun.

"Staying in motels" is a part of my art project titled "FIRES VENICE TEQUILA SUNSETS", a series of short essays, videos and photographs, inspired by Susan Sontag's published diaries.

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