Thursday, November 4, 2010

Holbrook, Arizona: Theresa and the Buddhists.

I raced out of my Best Western Suite in Holbrooke this morning, throwing my stuff into the car (Not at all the way Matthew had organized and packed it yesterday) Thinking that I can't be late, otherwise I'll be charged another day. I checked my pockets for cash to leave a tip for the housekeeper - nothing. Checked my car - nothing. I'm mad at myself for being in a place with absolutely no cash - what if I lost my bank card? then what? I scounged around for whatver coins I had - I think it maybe added up to $2.50 or so. I left a note: "I'm sorry! I thought I had cash on me, this is all I have!" and a smiley face at the end.

As I was about to get on the 40 E I looked for my camera which I always place on the passenger seat with my cell. Wasn't there. Flipped open the glove compartment, the middle thingy - no camera. I did a u turn and pulled off the side of the road. Tore the car apart. No camera. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

I gunned it back to the Best Western, thinking the whole way - it's gone. I left a lousy tip - and a stupid note does not pay the bills. This isn't exactly an industry town with businesses booming. Its a nice camera, why wouldn't they take it? And of course the housekeepers were almost done with the room. I stopped one of the housekeepers and asked her if she had seen it. She shook her head and mumbled that she had not but she would go back in and look.

Now I am unpacking the car for the third time.

Then I go into the room with the housekeeper. We look together.

We are bonding in my crazed search.

We come back out. I find the camera. In a bag that held my dog's bag of food.

The housekeeper's name is Theresa. Originally from Kansas, she has lived in Holbrook for 27 years. . She has no teeth, and she has had cancer, she feeds herself through a feeding tube. She has been "cancer free" for 6 years. She lives on food stamps but not disabiltity. Theresa told me the Disability person came out to meet with her, and since she has her hands, and she can walk, she is not eligible.

Theresa makes $3.65 per room she cleans. Today, she is cleaning 7 rooms, which equals to $25.55. and that will be taxed. I am going to write the CEO of Best Western. I understand it is a franchise, but Theresa said the former owner used to pay them a lot more.

Theresa and I talked about how men really do run the world, but that women are far smarter - and the really smart women figure out how to negotiate their way around and above the men.

She said with all of her hardships, she just keeps on going. "You just gotta keep going". That's it. Theresa is saying this. Not teeth, no money, feeding tube, body ravaged by cancer. And she just "keeps going".


She told me to be careful, and if my car were to break down, be really careful hitchhiking, because "men always want the woman's body"

Theresa had a lot of opinions from dogs, to jobs, to men. I probably could have stayed another hour or two talking with her - but instead it was time to drive to Santa Fe to see Dad.

But I had to stop for gas, and what was at the gas station in Holbrooke? A gaggle of Buddhists.

And, btw, one of the buddhist dudes was POUNDING a bottle of Snapple or some sort of bottled drink, and looked around and then tossed it into the garbage. Uh-huh. Mr Buddha Dude did not recycle. At least I wait until I see a recycling bin.

Running from the scene of the crime:

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