Sunday, June 8, 2008
Dixie Palms Motel
St. George, UT
The morning after my trip to Colorado City and Mountain Meadows and my night in the Dixie Palms Motel, I woke up to find Smiley standing in the parking lot outside my room, and I found his innocence as welcome and reassuring as the new morning itself. After I took some pictures of him, he said, "Isn't it great to have a nice neighbor, if only briefly?," and I felt the exact same way.
He invited me into his room for coffee and told me how he took care of the motel grounds and worked with kids on the weekends. The room was his home, and he showed my some of his belongings and the contents of his icebox. He said that he stocked up on a week's supply of cheeseburgers from McDonald's to save money, and reheated the burgers in his microwave, which I thought was pretty gross, but I kept that to myself.
Everything about Smiley spoke of kindness and gentleness, and I felt lucky to start a new day on this note.