Escape from a distracted husband, a screaming 3-month-old, a demanding 2-year-old, and a house that needed cleaning weeks ago. Escape from bottles of expressed breast milk, of small sharp Legos that found her feet in every room of the house. Escape from a garden that needed watering and a refrigerator that needed to be filled.
Escape from her life.
Here was where she escaped – in this small beige room with one dirt-paned window, one soft-mattressed double bed, one decades-old desk with non-matching chair, and one woman. Just herself. Nancy twirled around the room like a queen in her castle.
This motel room, only $19.99 for all these queenly accoutrements, was Nancy’s castle once a week when her mom drove 30 minutes to Nancy’s house and said – “Go, this is your day.” The grandmother babysat for six hours. And each week Nancy’s mom thought her daughter headed to a friend’s for a cup of comfort, to the hairstylist for a cut, to the salon for a manicure or a massage, never noticing the bag Nancy packed in her car with the real essentials for her one-day of freedom.
Nancy opened the paper bag, purposely using something nondescript to cover her real reason for racing out of the house with a gleam in her eye.
Nancy picked up the pen and began a poem. Within the hour she’d written three poems and began a short story.
About a queen in her castle.
Three hours later she pulled out the last two things in the paper bag. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a now-warm can of Coke. She continued writing as she chewed. Think and sip. Chew and digest the words.
The story was completed.
Nancy packed up her essentials, found her car in the almost-full parking lot, and drove home anxious to hug her darlings, fill the refrigerator, clean the house, water the garden, and tell her mom all about the great massage she’d just enjoyed.