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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Collecting #2: hotel room keys

An accidental collection of hotel room keys has come about simply through forgetful-ness. It would be tricky to inadvertently tuck away a heavy thing on a key ring with a big brass room number. But the increasingly popular plastic swipe cards are so easy to forget, whether in the back of a trouser pocket with the credit cards and currency, or lost somewhere inside a big shoulder bag amongst the guidebooks, notebooks, and PowerBook. Especially the ones that are stylishly designed or have sentimental value. Especially as the reception staff never seem to want the swipe cards back. So it’s a collection that has come about somewhat haphazardly, a card here or two (or three) thrown together in the bag, another found amongst the reams of paperwork we reluctantly collect: hotel bills, restaurant receipts, supermarket dockets. And – because the collection has involuntarily and inevitably formed, however haphazardly – one is reluctantly retrieved from a garbage bin. It’s another little piece that goes some way in making up the bigger puzzle after all. And one day I'm probably going to want to figure it all out. To find out why we have really done what we are doing. And then – because this is how it happens - I find myself saying: “Um... honey... don’t throw your room key out…”

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