I’m here in Chicago, attending the Midwinter Conference for my denomination. I’m hoping I can make some connections which will then lead to some job opportunities. I know it’s a great chance for me to network with people, but man, if I don’t have a severe allergic reaction to schmoozing. But I’m going to suck it up, put a big confident smile on my face, and press the flesh.
I checked in late tonight, and when I got here, the woman at the front desk informed me of my options: either I could stay in a room with a double bed on the second, or else I could have a king size bed on the top floor. Which would I prefer?
Of course, I told her that I would be staying in the baller room with the king size bed and the 11th floor view of beautiful Rosemont, IL. And when I got to the room, I wasn’t disappointed. I took a picture of the huge bed, but only after I had tried to make a little fort, all while watching Cartoon Network, which explains why it’s so messy:
After my fifth cartoon either produced, created, or starring Seth MacFarlane, I decided to turn off the light and go to sleep. But when I did, I became aware of something that I hadn’t been aware of earlier: a low, deep, throbbing hum that filled the room. I turned off the heat, and the hum persisted. I turned off all the lights, thinking that one of them must activate a room fan, but still, the hum penetrated to the depths of my soul. It was an evil sound, the kind that you hear in the background of horror movies, specifically designed to create dread and despair. In desperation, I took a peek out the window, to the roof that was directly over my head and saw billowing steam rising to the sky. I realized that the heaters or some portion of the air conditioning system was located on the roof, and the hum was their fans pushing heat to the entire building. And it was that hum that was rattling my teeth and quietly but urgently telling me to burn the hotel down.
So I called the front desk, and informed them that I needed to switch rooms asap, before something terrible happened to everyone. She took a moment to glance at her computer, and said, “I’m sorry Mr. Chan, but the only room we have available is on the 2nd floor, and it is in a different wing of the building, and it’s a double bed. Do you want to stay in your room on the 11th floor, or switch to the 2nd?” I told her I would be right down to get my new keys. The voice from the 11th floor begged me to stay, but I left for my smaller room, with its smaller bed, and its longer walk, but am feeling quite sleepy and happy, which probably explains the loopiness of this post.
I can’t think of a better metaphor for life in general. We so often think that we are certain as to what is “good” in life – bigger, better, higher, more. The choice is obvious, and we are sure we will be happier if we can only get to those places, and so jump at the chance. But when we get there, there is no guarantee that we will like the view, or that everything will be quite as we imagined it would be. Or that there won’t be some deep throbbing hum that we can’t get out of our MINDS and tells us to type nonsense on an old-school typewriter while throwing a racquetball against the wall. And maybe the place where we will be happiest is not the absolute top…but somewhere in the middle. That place might not be flashy, but it is quiet and peaceful. It is not baller, but it is a place where we can fall asleep. And so our definition of “good” is redefined: it is no longer what people told us is supposed to be good, but what we feel and know deep within our own hearts is good instead, and the opinion of others be hanged.
IMHO, the best bed for me is not the king size one on the 11th floor, but the lumpy Ikea one I sleep on every night, next to a woman who steals all my blankets, but flatly denies it in the morning.