Let's start the day off with a third-grade question. Where's the most likely place you'd see this kind of view?
A. In a national park
B. In a Japanese garden
C. Inside an office building
D. From the window of your seventh-floor room in the W Hotel in Montreal.
If you answered "C," you pass. But if you answered "D" too you've obviously stayed at the W Hotel in Montreal.
See, the W Montreal is very fashion forward, the leader of the urban aesthetic pack. They're so avant garde, in fact, they assigned some of their integral design decisions to drunk chickens. You know how hotel rooms frequently overlook parks, or rivers, or city lights? These trendsetters have put one whole wall of the nine-story structure inside an office complex. The folks on this side, then, don't look at a park, or a river, or a city. They look, as I did, straight into a zigzag of hallways, elevators, and conference rooms for poor governmental drones. Five feet away, seventy feet off the ground.
When I arrived at nine PM, the offices were deserted. I stood there for probably ten minutes, wondering if I should speak to someone. What kind of zoo would I find out there the next morning? How many people would be wandering by when I rolled out of bed sans clothes? I had quite a few goals for my Montreal trip: tour the Musee des Beaux Arts, eat poutine, gamble at the Casino de Montreal. Showing my penis to harried Francophiles didn't make the Top Ten. Still, I decided, I could manage. I really liked this hotel: the room was smart, the employees were friendly. The whole place was torn straight from the 90s -- their signature purple bottles of water looked like gay flashlights -- but everything was so terrific I couldn't bring myself to complain. I spent the night with the curtains drawn, watching Canadian TV from the king-sized bed.
The next morning I awoke refreshed and invigorated, and ran straight for a bathrobe. I inched the curtain open. Not a zoo, but busy. I brushed my teeth with the curtains closed, then approached the Concierge. "Let me get this straight," I said. "A whole wall of this hotel is inside an office building?"
"It's so different," she gushed excitedly. "Isn't it wonderful?"
"Well, kind of. Except -- can't they all see in my room?"
She laughed. "I get asked that question all the time. There's no way they can. Don't worry about it."
She didn't specify the technology -- whether the glass was mirrored or whatever -- but of course that's the way it had to be. "I kind of figured," I said, feeling dumb. "I just wanted to make sure before I did anything rash."
And so when I woke up the next morning I luxuriated in the privacy of my designer hideaway. As worker drones passed by mere feet away, I explored my sleepy body, leisurely teasing several of my erogenous zones awake and slapping others into rose-hued ecstacy with my hands and a tortoise-shell letter opener I found on the desk. I flipped onto my side and naughtily smacked my curvaceous bottom until it was pink and emblazoned with the mark of an oversized hand. And after I exploded in a foot-stomping orgasm, I lay dazed until my strength ebbed back, languidly searching my chest hair for fleas, checking my ass for zits, and examining the fragrance wafting from my armpits like it was a 1928 Cabernet.
After I caught my breath I decided it was time to shower and hit the road. I leapt up and threw on a bathrobe, noticing from the corner of my eye a line of giggling businesspeople perched outside. Obviously they were dodging work by hanging out with coworkers and shooting the breeze. I waved in sympathy to the poor saps.
Most of them waved back.
I scurried for my camera, thinking I'd need proof that I wasn't imagining this, but they simultaneously ran for the hills. I snapped exactly one shot of a retreating worker before she disappeared once and for all:
Three minutes later in the lobby I angrily corralled somebody I'd call a bellhop but who was probably dubbed a Louis Vuitton Container Transport Technician. "Well," he said, "if you've got all the lights on, and it's really dark outside, maybe they could make out minor details."
"I waved," I said. "And a whole bunch of them waved back."
He was absolutely stunned. He ran off to convey the problem to management, and next thing you know a manager was breaking it to me gently.
The hotel windows are 100% clear glass, untinted and unmirrored. On every side, if the curtains are open, people can look right in. Evidently I'd put on one hell of a show.
He relayed this information hesitatingly, embarrassment covering his face. He offered me a heartfelt apology and the room of my choice. Would I like a park view? A river view? A city view?
I remembered the faces I saw running away. Are you crazy? I told him. That's the first time I've ever made anybody happy in bed.
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