Love in the Room Next Door

Perhaps this has happened to you. I was staying at a highly reputable hotel, trying to get some writing done when I heard some interesting sounds coming from the room next door.

A couple was in the throws of what I can only now describe as extreme passion. So extreme, in fact, that I assumed they weren't married.

The bed was creaking, the walls were banging, their voices were rising in crescendos usually reserved for movies that my wife won't let me watch. "Hold me, hold me," a female voice cried, loud enough for me to stop the important article I was writing.

Now I'm a man of the world. I have traveled to 71 countries and consider myself broad minded. Prior to my marriage to my wonderful and beautiful wife, I had been known -- on a few occasions -- to engage in such dalliances myself.

But I had work to do. Hell hath no fury like a journalist on deadline. Somewhere around the third passionate "hold me," I considered calling the front desk to make a complaint. I even toyed with the thought of phoning the room directly. But that would be too cruel even for this besotted old man.

Their passion eventually cooled, as it inevitably does in these cases. At least the delirium was no longer audible. I returned to pounding away at my laptop.

Then it started all over again. Bed creaking, walls pounding, and that incessant female crescendo begging to be held. By this point I wasn't sure whether to phone in a complaint or take a cold shower.

Since all this was occurring at 5 p.m., I began to entertain thoughts that the couple were having a secret affair. Did I mention that this highly reputable hotel was in Visalia, a thriving metropolis in the heart of central California's conservative agricultural belt?

Perhaps it was a major almond grower having an affair with his commodities broker. It could even be a high-priced call girl having an assignation with a local cotton tycoon. I could see the ads in the local yellow pages, "Vivacious Vixens of Visalia, call us at 1-800-CHOP COTTON."

But just as it had before, the passion eventually stopped. I finished writing my article and decided to go downstairs for an early dinner. I enjoyed a steak and glass of wine in an almost empty dining room.

I walked back into the lobby and waited for the elevator. A handsome young couple dressed in running shorts and Nikes came in through a side door. They caught my attention because they had just come in from a jog, which apparently hadn't cooled their ardor for one another.

They sashayed up to the elevator door. He was about 6'2", blond and buffed beyond belief. She was about 5'10", also blond, and had a body to die for. They hugged one another, despite the perspiration of their just completed run. Once in the elevator, they began a passionate kiss.

I began to wonder if there's something in the water in these small agricultural towns. I made a mental note to ask the front desk.

The couple kissed in the elevator so long that I thought they had missed their floor. They looked startled and got off with me.

They walked down the hall, however, as if this really was their floor. Not only were they on the right floor, they entered the room next to mine.

I didn't say a word.

Freelance journalist Reese Erlich now listens very closely when he writes articles in strange hotel rooms.

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