A Life in by 3 and out by 11 —
Shooting a documentary means doing some traveling. If your subject is particularly diverse or has a lot of locations where people are living, it can mean a ton of traveling. And inevitably, you will run out of friends you know and you will be staying in a hotel. And by hotel I mean a lot of hotels.
Hotels almost never use keys any more. When they do, it is so rare that you probably don’t even notice it for all the other strange stuff about that hotel you’re noticing. What most hotels use now are keycards, disposable plastic cards with a magnetic strip that allows access into a room, assuming whoever is running the desk didn’t screw up. When you’re done with your stay, you’re supposed to return them or drop them off in a box. I do neither.
On one hand, there’s the actual physical aspects of these cards: the designs places put on them, the instructions or commemorative messages, or the differing shapes. Then there’s the memories, the hundreds of memories I have as I blew into some hotel at midnight, knowing I’d have to be out of there by 7, setting up my pile of plugs and chargers and getting everything ready for the next day, and then either watching some of the worst television imaginable or using my laptop if the place had an actual wireless connection.
Most of them are a blur now, with a few exceptions – the hotel I was in when I was told my cousin had a daughter, the hotel in a california coastal town that had the owner’s life philosophy on the walls and in the rooms, the hotel that let me know they were a hotel of morals, the hotel that argued with me that checking in at 3am still meant full price (I actually had no problem with this… and left at 5am). And a few others. Otherwise I remember a lot of variant quality pillows, random bonus hot tubs, an insight into the ecosystem of small towns, and remembering, over and over, that I was the customer and in my mid-thirties and I didn’t need to explain nothing to nobody.
Here’s what it looks like, stacked.
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Oh come on, you have to explain the Watchmen key. Comicon or similar?
It’s took bad you didn’t write a note in Sharpie or something on the back of each one — just a few words to help jog the memory about each stay.