I’m sound asleep in my indoor mall balcony room at the mall of the americas Marriot in Dallas and suddenly this strobe light starts going off. It wakes me up – dunnoe why a rave in my room would wake me up, they’re old school and I’m totally used to them – Then the computer lady starts saying “Attention. Attention.” in that completely emotionless voice. You know, the one that totally freaks you out because it is really saying “We are in control now.” right? Then the voice says “There has been an emergency in the building. Please evacuate the building. Do not use the elevator.”
It looks like this in my room:
So I’m naked. And I’m wandering around the room holding my phone and my sweater (I know, you’re thinking “Why did he wear a sweater to Texas?)
And I decide that there can’t possibly be a real emergency. The strobe light is still going off, and computer lady won’t shut up, but it’s gotta be that someone smoked in their room, or the housekeeping people didn’t want to wait to work. They were just over excited about cleaning and pulled the fire alarm to get everyone out. Right?
So I look out of my window. The little strobe lights are going off all over the entire mall. The computer lady is talking at each one of them all over the mall. It’s a bad vision of the future. I look up and water is pouring down from the balcony above me. It’s seeping into my room. It smells bad. It’s not just water, it’s POOP WATER.
OK. Well now I’m dressed. And I’ve got my sunglasses on. An I’m wandering the halls looking for the stairs. I find them and make it safely to the lobby. The hotel staff are there to greet me. They explain that a sprinkler malfunctioned. They upgrade me to a junior suite. They give me a grande coffee on the house. I stagger outside to smoke.
Outside I learn that a man in the room next to the people I’m sitting with – the man in the room above me – was a “large man” and he “did something to the toilet.” Margory – a wan, thin woman in stylish sunglasses and pajamas – explained everything to me. He was standing on his toilet trying to blow smoke up into the bathroom fan when the toilet collapsed out from under him. The industrial toilet fixture couldn’t hold his weight. It just gave. Well… He tried to hold on to the sprinkler so he wouldn’t fall. So he set off the fire alarm, demolished the toilet, and ripped the sprinkler out from the ceiling as he fell to the hard slate floor and hit his head.
Out here smoking, I begin to wonder “is poop water bad?” so I ask Siri – the ai on my phone – She doesn’t know. I ask a staff member, “Why does it smell like poop?” She puts her hand on her heart – like they only do in Texas – and closes her eyes – so you know she’s lying – and says “oh. That’s because the water comes from a different line.”
I stare into her lying Texas eyes and smile. “Thank you.” I say. But I’m really thinking “Right. It comes from the poop water line. And poop water is totally bad for me.”
They have just given the all clear. I get to go back up to my room now and get my things – the non essentials I left behind (how can I face those things now?) – and go up to the 8th floor and enjoy my junior suite upgrade for about 2 hours before I have to go to the airport to come home.
Life is so beautiful. The set last night was the best one I’ve ever played in Texas. Simply breathtaking. So amazing.
Needless to say I return this afternoon to San Francisco in true and visceral triumph.