I look out the floor-to-ceiling window of my extremely compact hotel room at The Line in Los Angeles. It’s my first trip since February 2020, and just looking at the rooftops of a city that’s not mine feels like an adventure. I slipped on the slippers and the ubiquitous hotel robe and pillow around the tiny space with the large windows, feeling chic. Then I fold back into the king-size bed of ironed sheets, like a sort of “pretty woman.” But, lying there, I can’t sleep. There is a smell, a stench, and no matter how hard I try to ignore it, I can’t.
I get out of bed and call the front desk. Can I change rooms, I ask, embarrassed.