Jupiter Hotel Revisited

J. and I had driven down to Portland from Vancouver to see one of our favourite bands on its last tour play two shows at Berbati’s Pan. This was four years ago. The band was playing two nights, and we booked a room at a place called the Jupiter Hotel. A former motor hotel, it’s been hippified–that is, made “hip” by modernizing the retro rooms and adding a bar, the Doug Fir Lounge, that brings in out-of-town and local indie-rock acts.

But we had another motivation for going down there besides music–we wanted a threesome. And for some reason we thought we would find it in Portland.

So where, in a foreign city, do you look for a third?

Hillary was a stripper at Union Jack’s, a joint just up the street from the hotel. Besides being pretty and darkhaired, she caught our attention for dancing to cool indie-rock tunes. We hired her for a private dance, told her what we were looking for. After a brief consideration she said she’d come by our room after she got off work.

“What kind of beer do you think she’ll like?” I asked as J and I nervously waited for our stripper. “Do you think she’ll come?” We were missing the second night of our band’s shows, waiting here in the room barely large enough to accomodate the bed and a night table. Nervously, I thumbed through a book on the table called The Four Agreements. Written by someone named Don Miguel Ruiz, it looked like a New Age self-help tome. A sticker on the cover read “Property of the Jupiter Hotel.”

At last there was a knock on the door. Hilary had arrived…

The next morning J. and I were to leave for Seattle before coming home. We packed up, dropped Hilary off and headed out. Unpacking back home in Vancouver, I found the hotel room’s copy of The Four Agreements…

Cut to: this past weekend. The girl I have been seeing has a wedding reception to attend in Portland. I invite myself along, more or less, and we book the Jupiter–my idea. I bring along The Four Agreements which, by this time, I’ve actually read–last summer, in fact, after a breakup (J. and I had broken up a little while after our Portland threesome–which had nothing to do with the breakup). In the book, Ruiz recommends four ways in which to live a richer, more integrity-filled life. As we’re checking out of the Jupiter the other day, I hand over to the front desck clerk my copy of The Four Agreements. I’d been meaning to return it ever since I found it in my suitcase, and so I felt pretty good about this act of, well, closure.

Then I thought, “hmmm, maybe I should’ve kept it for old time’s sake.” But no–it’s served its purpose.


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July 2008

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