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Jean Motel and Restaurant - Temple, Texas

Highways 81 anw (sic) 190 South Temple, Texas
An invitation to Texas hospitality. Lovely rooms with wall-to-wall carpeting, central heat, air-conditioning, telephone, television and radio. Swimming pool, recreation are for children. Beautiful dining room with steak grill, specializing in charcoal steaks and buffet luncheons.

I’d watch the hell out of an ep in which Sam and Dean go to a bar and get drunk and shoot pool, hustle the locals and drink most under the table, then walk back their dive motel with their arms slung around each other’s shoulders singing Highway to Hell and laughing like idiots.

I believe in a lot of things that make the other math majors give me dirty looks. I believe in unconditional love and total freedom and the mutual exclusivity of the two, I believe that knowledge is infinite and empathy is as well and that every romantic entanglement I’ve ever had has been profoundly affected by my Venus Mars Square. I believe that God might be the omnipotent ruler of the universe judging every decision we make or he might be the impersonal boss who’s off screwing his girlfriend in the almighty equivalent of a dive bar slash shady motel and leaving his deadbeat assistant, who wishes he was paid in something besides ambrosia and nectar, to watch over things. I believe that the world is all chaos and we rely on sheer dumb luck more than we like to be aware of, and that we have to do our utmost to never lose faith in ourselves but ultimately lie back enjoy it because it’s going to happen to us anyway.

In certain ways, the physical is simple. It’s human to feel carnal desire and it’s mortal to give into it, “The sweetest submission, drinking it in, the wine, the women, and the bedroom hymns.” But it’s empty because it can’t sustain us forever. All the gold and the guns in the world can’t make up for the warmth of a woman’s flesh, and the warmth of a woman’s flesh can’t hold a candle to the woman herself. There is holiness in worshipping a human being but there is far more power to being an equal of whom we worship. Maybe that’s what love is at the end of the day, acquiescence to mutual ownership and we obsess over the potential of love to such a degree because we want so badly for it to be real but it so very rarely is. The reason we keep doggedly flirting with people we don’t even like, and repeatedly listening to all the songs which try to reassure us that love really exists despite infinite evidence to the contrary, and behind drinking so much that we can manipulate ourselves into feeling something resembling love, is to escape the hollowness. We have everything we could ever want, the golden nails and the lace and the skin of all the pretty girls and the pretty boys, but we want more than that, we crave the sanctity that eludes our hedonism for whatever reason and to unearth the holy while immersed in the conglomeration of the profane.

“Bedroom Hymns” is about sex and religion, the physical and the sentient and the abandon of enforced morality to human ecstasy. Sex is like death; it’s either a formidable entity to be healthily feared or it’s lionized as the ultimate goal of life, and neither extreme is accurate or healthy. The French call the orgasm “le petit morte”, the little death, because it’s supposedly the ultimate mortal sin, and Dante himself deemed the second circle as the place for those “carnal sinners who subordinate reason to desire.” But, the question behind “Bedroom Hymns” is, how is succumbing to something so primal a betrayal of any kind?

“I’m not here looking for absolution/Because I found myself an old solution” because denouncing sex as ultimately “unholy” is paradoxical since the prophets themselves weren’t remotely chaste, and moreover, the desires and activities of consenting adults in the privacy of their own bedrooms resolutely aren’t of anybody else’s concern. Of course, the converse is also false, since sex itself isn’t inherently holy because it’s a personal choice to be made by individuals of their own volition. Some people can have casual sex with no emotional repercussions, some people associate sex with love, some people will never have sex in their lives, and nothing is more or less valid or deserving of respect. It’s as ancient and modern and as holy or unholy as you want to think of it.  

But love. Love is never easy. Love is selfish, love is angry, love is ugly, love is beautiful and tender and can tear you apart and put you back together such that you forget you were ever broken in the first place. Sometimes, love isn’t even enough because we, perhaps unfairly, possess an undying yearning for togetherness and a tie to each other beyond romantic love- a craving for something more than physical attraction and shared interests, the belief that destiny is taking care of us, wrapping us in a blanket and protecting us from the harshness of the world. I don’t even know if it exists for me since I have a habit of bringing out the worst in what could otherwise be love, but if I give up the blind optimism in its existence, then the world will be even bleaker than it already is, and ergo, I’m blatantly disinclined to abandon that faith.