Extra Absorbent 

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Hotels think of everything.

Biscuit-sized soaps, bathtubs without shit smears, beds that don't tilt towards the floor, towels - it's all there.

Hostels don't quite work the same way.

Not that I'm complaining.

I mean, the shower stall managed to stay clean until my last morning. Heck, those brown streaks could have been chocolate.

The lack of towels was my fault entirely. I took the hostel listing the wrong way. It didn't say to bring your own towels. So I assumed they had towels. I should have gone with instinct, which told me they wouldn't have soaplets. I bought a big soap and carved out baby soaps from it, but never thought to do the same with towels.

My hostel roommate also forgot her towels. But she scored some towels from a passing tennis player. Her two mini square towels would do the trick, she said, "as long as I don't shampoo."

As soon as I realized my predicament, I went out into the New York night to find me a towel.

The first drugstore had tablecloths. They could have worked except that they were vinyl.

Next drug store, American flags. Might have done the trick as a towel turban, but the paper towels in the third drugstore seemed most promising. Double-ply, extra absorbent, nice big squares. Would have brought them if I had not remembered the face towel in my backpack.


One mini towel. For seven showers. Through shampooing and conditioning and rinsing vegetables and restuffing snowglobes. It's funny how absorbent New York makes things become.

"What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still know where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with."

I was to be reckoned with.

At the last, eighth shower, I thought I could cheat my towellessness. This bedsheet can replace the mini towel, I thought. Wouldn't want the hostel maid to recycle it on some new hostel guest.

But damn those hostels if they didn't think of everything.

The bedsheet was as slick as a sidewalk wrapped with uncooked cannelloni.

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