My Adulterous Walk of Shame

The seedy motel where they know my game
Photo by Nick Rickert on Unsplash

I booked a sex date with my lover last Friday night but it was hard to find a room. That Friday morning, I texted, why don’t we have a sleepover? I love a sleepover because orgasms like the ones I have tire me out, and there’s nothing I hate more than getting dressed and heading home wet and exhausted after surfing the O-zone.

Getting a last-minute hotel can be impossible here. As vaccine rates go up and Covid restrictions lift, people fill the hotels like they haven’t in the last 18 months. While that’s exciting for them, it’s throwing a serious fuck into my sex life. After going without for nine years, I just started getting my feet back under me when the pandemic struck.

If there was a silver lining in all of this up to now, it was hotel rooms. We could show up and get one without booking, and they were happy to take us. That allowed us to take advantage of opportunities as they popped up, and we’d been spoiled by it.

The first indication things were changing came in late summer when we met at our favorite hotel and were turned away. They suggested one down the road, and we were again turned away.

We sat in the parking lot, eating our McDonald’s in my car, and watching our date slip away as we chatted, I mentioned the vacancy sign on the shitty motel we’d passed on our way to the second place. I’m too old for car sex, and while I’m not against it, I have to be pretty fucking horny to go all the way in a backseat because my joints make me pay for days afterward.

The seedy side of town

The glowing red beacon in the dusk drew us in. It’s roadside vacancy sign shimmering with desperation called to us. Pulling in, the place was a dump whose best days ended sometime around Disco’s. That’s when the first of the chain hotels moved in down the road.

Is this what it’s come to? I asked myself as I parked halfway up the building to hide my bright white SUV from the busy road. It was 20 minutes from home, but parking the car out of the way is second nature now.

Unsure of what we’d find, I quickly saw it was your typical rundown ’60s style motel with rusty outside stairs leading to the second floor and parking outside each door. As a kid, we’d stayed at them on our cross-country trips, and by the early ‘80s they were showing their age.

I hadn’t been in one in years.

Stepping out of the car, I felt their eyes. Although my flowing red hair always gets attention, I could feel the hunger in the stares that followed me.

A stranger in a strange land, I wasn’t intimidated. One of my enduring qualities is my ability to ignore my surroundings with a confidence that doesn’t invite questions from the meek. This crowd was no different. The rough-looking semi-permanent residents who perpetually hanging about in these places. Sitting in lawn chairs, smoking and sipping beer silently, they let me pass with ease.

They tried not to make eye contact as I glided by. I’m too well dressed and coiffed for this address, so they weren’t sure what to make of me — until my lover pulled in and parked beside me.

That was our first night there

It’s no different now, half a dozen visits later. We arrive separately. Our shiny new cars, parked side-by-side, are out of place amongst the beaters and work trucks. Our brazenness here stands in contrast to our usual caution. We don’t attempt to hide. There’s no way we could, so why bother? In this place, we aren’t fooling anyone.

What has changed is how I feel doing my walk of shame past them. There’s no guessing why I’m there, if there ever was, and it turns me on.

I dampen as I strut past them knowing I’m about to get seriously fucked. A sexy-dirty energy builds between my thighs as they watch me on my way to the office. Sexual tension flows from me in my aroused state and I let my ass sway just a little to taunt them.

Not one of them would turn me away, given half a chance. The fire between my legs comes from the knowledge that they know why I’m there. And from knowing they know they’ll never have me. They could never have me because the distance between us is too great, but that doesn’t quell their thirst. My heat is stoked knowing their women shoot invisible darts into my back as I go by, watching my sway with contempt.

The office manager never blinks when I greet her. She recognizes my voice when I call to book. She’s a lonely lady with the look of someone who’s seen it all, but she never betrays her thoughts. Her cat sits lazily behind her on a chair, looking at me in that incurious way only a cat can muster.

She knows what I’m doing but doesn’t judge.

With key in hand, I walk the length of the motel and climb the metal stairs to our second-floor room in this place of forgotten people. A place of low monthly rates. For some, it’s the last stop before a shelter or the streets — a place to forget and be forgotten. They know I’m here to forget. Despite the tension, they see the loneliness following me up the stairs. They read the lifetime of disappointments in the lines on my face.

They know what I’m doing but don’t judge.

I’m not one of them, but we have one thing in common. We’re all at the end of our invisible rope. For me, my lover gives me the strength to hold on.

And I’d do my walk of shame through hell for him because of it.

Author of How to Cheat: Field Notes from an Adulteress, several short stories, I'm active on Medium @teresajconway where I sometimes share my blog posts.

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