As I write this it is March 13, 2017, 5:40 am PST. I am surrounded by matching brown chairs that were bought in bulk made to create faux homeliness. Two of the nine fluorescent lights never turn off and a pair of baby grand pianos stare each other down in the corner. Beside the whir of ceiling, laptop, and AC fans, all is silent. I am alone.
Well, alone save for the unknown number of people sleeping in the rooms beyond this, unaware that I have infiltrated their home. If you had asked me even six hours ago, “Are you sleeping literally anywhere other than your own bed tonight?” I would have laughed in your face. Instead, here we are. Hopefully we can both laugh in my face.
Let’s roll back a few hours to a simpler time. It was around 12:30 am. I had just finished a closing shift at work. Made sure everything was in place for the morning, turned out all the lights, and collected my things ready for the sprint to the door after the alarm was set. beep-beep-beeeeeeep The timer began the countdown from 60. In mere seconds, I clock out, scamper through the lobby, and am out the front door. It clicks shut behind me and as I stride towards my car I ensure both doors are locked. Sleep is all that’s on my mind and my bed is only four freeways and no traffic away. I reach for the driver’s door, pull the handle and…
Nothing. Confused, I move my hand away and try again. Nope.
At this point you may be thinking “girl, you gotta unlock it, duh” and you’re not wrong. However, I have keyless entry; as long as the key fob is on my person, the car unlocks without pushing any buttons.
So here I am realizing I’ve locked myself out of my car and out of the restaurant because I left my damn purse on the desk not in my backpack. Thus begins the process of phone calls. First I try fellow supervisors as they have keys to the building; no answer. I call several co-workers with no luck of finding a place to crash nearby. Down to my last option other than catching a Lyft across LA, I make one more phone call.
You’ve heard of Tinder right? Well I love Tinder. I think it’s hilarious. I might have couple pointless conversations 98% of the people I talk to, but rarely more than that. Recently, I had coffee with a 2%-er. We chatted about everything from podcasts to dogs to the probable lack of hydration amongst college students. Little did we know that the next time we hung out it would be for 5 minutes at 1 am.
I called with fingers crossed tightly that he was awake. No answer. I finally resolved to just suck it up and pay for the Lyft. But just before I hit confirm I got a text, “sorry I missed your call I fell asleep”. There was hope! I quickly called and a groggy voice answered.
“Okay so this is going to sound stupid and crazy but I just locked my keys in the building I work in and I really don’t want to pay for a ride across LA and back so I there any way that I could sleep on your couch or something I totally understand if this is asking too much or you don’t have space but I figured you know fuck it I might as well ask” (and yes I did spout off all that information in one long run-on). There was a pause and a chuckle then, “yeah that’s fine. I’ll come pick you up.”
So, I spent the night in the lounge of his dorm curled up on a makeshift bed of two mildly comfortable chairs in a borrowed sweater and blanket. Soon the opening supervisor will arrive and I’ll get my purse.
The moral of this story? Bless Tinder, honestly.
Now I’m going to watch the sunrise or maybe snag a few more minutes of sleep.