Ogden Theatre – Denver, 5 March 2020

Okay, buckle up, this day was a doozy. 

We arrived in Denver to beautiful weather and, after loading stuff in, took a stroll around town. Immediately every single person and animal was doing some mind blowing thing. Jarrett saw a man dressed all in leather with two belts tightened around his ankles, the ends just flopping around as he walked. We saw a hawk catch a pigeon and take it up into a tree to eat it. We saw a car try to exit a gas station by driving over two curbs towards a streetlight. 

Weed is legal here and it shows. It’s also legal in Oregon (where I live), but people there don’t seem as consistently blazed as they do in Denver. 

The best thing that happened to us in Denver (and the best thing that ever happened to Marissa in her life) was we were walking down the street and passed by a house with the front door open blasting Korn’s Freak on a Leash. We glanced towards the open door as we walked by and a man was in the hallway on crutches wearing pot leaf sweatpants. When he saw us he excitedly yelled, “what’s up my homies!”. Marissa hit the high point of her life at that moment.

We went back to the venue to meet up with Kristina aka Krispy (Jarrett’s partner and former fan site blogger) who is joining us for a few days. When we went into the venue, the security person asked me, “what’s going on here tonight? A meet and greet?” I never figured out if she didn’t know she was doing security for a concert.

Because the next show is in Salt Lake City, we booked a hotel room in Laramie, WY, about two hours away from Denver. Before leaving Colorado Mike smoked some pot (legally!) before we crossed over into a state where it isn’t legal. *LEGALIZE IT* 30 minutes into our drive he said, “man I am so stoned right now”. A moment later his phone rang. It was a lady from the hotel. Their conversation went something like this:

 

Hotel lady: Hello what time are you going to check in?

Mike: around 2am

Hotel Lady: Ohhhhh

Mike: Is that going to be okay?

Hotel Lady: I mean yes, but this is a horrible time to come here. A lot of awful stuff has been happening.

Mike: What kind of awful stuff?

Hotel Lady: Well, first of all, it’s Springtime, so it’s like 40 degrees…which is basically -11 degrees. Also there was a 100 car pile-up.

Mike: Whoa that sounds bad. Can we still come to the hotel?

Hotel Lady: Yeah. What time are you getting in?

Mike: Around 2am. We’re driving in from Denver.

Hotel Lady: Well this is a bad time to be coming through W lil mist rulles 

 

Whoa okay, this is Dawn again. It looks like we all just got MISTED by lil mist. Right in the middle of me telling this story!

RUDE!

Okay so back to the story.

Hotel Lady: It’s a bad time to be coming through Wyoming.

Mike: Do you want us to not come to your hotel?

Hotel Lady: No, you can come.

Mike: Okay, I’m gonna get off the phone now.

 

So we already knew we were in for some type of odd check-in experience. 

When we arrived Hotel Lady was mopping the carpeted floor. Mike, Marissa, and I went to the front desk and she hesitated before coming over. The moment she made eye contact with me I lost it. She had the look of someone seeing things we can’t see. I had to go back in the van. For 10 minutes they worked through the check-in process, during which she called Mike Mr. New Jersey and Mr. Lego Man (because his jacket has a rectangular pattern on it). There were so many weird interactions, but we were so tired and can’t remember them all. But by the time we got into the room we thought there was a possibility she was gonna try and murder us in our sleep. 

The room was pretty gross, but it was also pretty cheap, so we weren’t shocked there. After a quick bed bug check we deadbolted and chain locked the door and got into our respective beds. Before any of us could fall asleep we heard a gentle tapping on the windows. 

“Is that her?” I asked.

“No,” Mike said, “It can’t be.”

We lay very quietly. The tapping stopped.

A few minutes later the landline phone in the room started ringing. All of us stared at each other in horror. 

“No no no, this can’t be happening.”

Marissa, by far the bravest person in the room, picked up the phone.

 

Marissa: Hello?

Hotel Lady: Mrs…Abbate?

Marissa: Yes?

Hotel Lady: Sup?

Marissa: Um what?

Hotel Lady: Waaaazzzzzzuppp!

Marissa: Hey we’re trying to go to sleep.

Hotel Lady: Oh darn!

*click* (hotel lady hangs up)

 

The general mood in the room went from what the fuck? To we’re gonna die here tonight.

Jarrett looked more scared than I’ve ever seen a person look. 

Even though it was by then 330am, the consensus was, let’s get the hell out of here. We quickly packed up our belongings. We all feared opening the door to the room…imagining Hotel Lady standing on the other side giving us all a placid yet maniacal stare. Again Marissa, embodiment of courageousness, opened the door first. The halls were empty. We quickly got into the van and onto the highway. 

We stayed at a more expensive, but less murder-y motel a few miles up the road. Even though we were all exhausted, we slept poorly, Hotel Lady’s voice and otherworldly stare haunting our dreams.