HoJo Time Warp

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July 17, 2021 by ellie892

January 7th, 2020

Found myself at the Howard Johnson HOJO on Princess Street in Kingston, Ontario halfway between Montreal and Windsor. It’s where I was five years, five days and one month ago on my way to Montreal to collect my tired son and his fat cat. My car was new and I had a broken wrist. I was still enthralled with teaching.

The rooms are still the same: brown, beige and yellow and I wonder if I try hard enough, can I reenter a time warp and return as if nothing had happened? Would I have done things differently? Here time has stood still while I had travelled to twenty – eight countries with more to add. 

The breakfast is dismal. It is in the office in front of the check in desk. Sad compared to places that offered full buffets and the rooms were a fraction of the cost – served in sunny salons with servers who cleared off the well appointed tables. Here we take styrofoam bowls and fill them with cheap dry cereal from tall plastic dispensers: Froot Loops, Shreddies, Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes. Powdered milk, but dripped coffee with powdered whitener and small packs of sugar and sweet and low. We have a choice of an apple or a banana. There is Wonder Bread that can be toasted and packets of butter and grape jelly. We eat with plastic spoons. The room becomes cold each time another person enters or leaves. I think of the plastic waste and the icy drive ahead. 

there was a fire across the way

but the structure was rebuilt 

they blamed a single careless moment


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July 2021


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