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The strangest cup of coffee I ever had was in a hotel off the I-40. I was lying on my back on my bed trying not to listen to a man and his hooker going at it in the adjoining room. I knew that she was his hooker because I listened to them discussing payment and the individual – for lack of a better word – menu items prior to them turning the thin walls of my room into a drumskin beating in 7/6 time.

I don’t know why hotels have that door between the rooms but they were making full use of it and the wall was having a dickens of a time trying to keep it on its hinges. Now there are two doors to this setup, the one on their side and the one on mine, and mine may have been able to hold up its end but when they broke theirs theirs broke mine and the two of them came crashing into my room mid-coitus. I sat up in bed and the woman gave me a weary smile and gingerly pulled herself from under the large man who had collapsed on top of her. It became clear she could not disengage herself from both doors and the man alone and so she lifted up her hand to me and I took it and helped her up and went to find her a robe in my closet. The hotel had provided one.

The man was unconscious and naked and impossible to move, so the two of us swept the debris into the corner and then I went into the kitchen nook and boiled us a pot of coffee. I asked her if this sort of thing happened a lot and she said keeping her bedroom business on the bed was the safest precaution she could take but the man did not want to spoil his sheets. I handed her a cup of coffee and she thanked me. This was not, she assured me, the most destructive sexual episode of her career. Nor was it, she added, her strangest cup of coffee. She smiled at me and asked if I would forgive the pun, and said, “Truly there are different strokes for different folks.”

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