It begins to tell,
’round midnight, midnight.
I do pretty well, till after sundown,
Suppertime I’m feelin’ sad;
But it really gets bad,
Syndicate Hotel Room
The Syndicate was one of the oldest buildings in Deadwood. The
entrance off Main Street went up a flight of rickety steps and down a
musty corridor. The rooms, situated along the upstairs hallway, made two right angles before coming to an end. The floors were crooked and
rickety. An eighty-year-old lady managed the place, barely. She was
nice, though. Back when C.S. and I stayed there, our room was right
above Main Street. At least we had windows, and watching the people on the sunny street below made it all worthwhile. This time around, I got an inside room with only a skylight for a window. That was it– a bed, a place to hang clothes, and a table just big enough to set my alarm clock. The communal bathroom was down the hall. It was Spartan living all the way. There was hardly enough room to pace back and forth.
I went to work in the morning and, typically, came back in the late
afternoon half drunk. It was a sobering experience, however. I was
going through more than I cared to think about. I loved C.S., but I
couldn’t make her stay. I had to get on with my life, but I couldn’t
go back to the way things were before I fell in love with her. That
thought felt like a dagger in my heart. I didn’t have a life before
C.S., and I sure the hell didn’t want to repeat that. Unable to sleep,
trying not to think, I would frequently reach over from my bed and
grab the emergency bottle that I kept in the end table drawer.
Twilight fading into darkness was the worst time for me. It was then
that I fell into that nightmarish reality that I hated so much. I had
to confront the fact that my twisted, distorted, maybe even insane
journey, had born out my worst fear. Alone, with only my death to look
forward to was the last straw for me. It was Harry Haller’s fate all over
again. He was the protagonist in Hesse’s book, Steppewolf, a depressing read that I had read a long time ago. Now, however, it was easy to see myself as Haller, a loner, who with age, grew ever more isolated and alone. If my memory is correct, he ended up dying in some dank hotel room. Just like Haller—whatever options I had ever had could be written on a short list. It’s been quite a ride, though. Throw in a little C.S., failed expectations, and lost love, and that list now includes my own personal hell. Maybe it was my fault? Maybe I blew it? I was alone; that much I knew for sure– four gray walls and darkness alone. The question is: What can I do now?