April 23, 2003

Motel

My friend David took his three-year-old son Jacob to the aquarium. At the octopus tank David realized he had a problem: the tank was empty. This could only mean one thing.

“I guess the octopus went away,” he said, hoping to leave it at that.

Jacob wasn’t so easily satisfied. “I know where it went.”

“Where?” asked David.

“It went to the motel.”

This become a little joke between me and David. When your life is over, you go to the motel. Christ stayed at the motel for three days, then came back for a visit. Love, when it dies, moves to the motel where it spends its days flipping through the cable channels.

Recently I realized that the motel must be bigger than the world, bigger even than the universe. It’s so big you can’t tell it’s a motel because you can never stand outside it.