By Charlotte Richardson-Deppe
ARTIST STATEMENT: A hotel near the airport in the suburbs of Chicago. The final night of choir tour, the spring of my senior year of college. I’m leaving someone’s hotel room party with several friends to go back to our rooms, flushed and happy, wearing this shirt.
A man, middle-aged, enters the elevator. He makes conversation; I tell him that we’re a college choir on tour. My friends and I exit the elevator, go into our hotel room. I think nothing of it.
The phone in my hotel room rings. My friend picks up the receiver, confused. A man (the man) is on the other line: he asks if a girl in a black and white striped shirt is staying in this room. The three of us make panicked eye contact with each other; gesture violent shakes of our heads, mouthing silent no’s. My friend on the phone lies, says no she isn’t in this room you must have the wrong room, hangs up. We are scared.
We double-lock the door to our room (the man must have seen me enter this room from the elevator). We call a male friend. He is tall and strong. He goes to the front desk, asks them to change our room. We move rooms at 1:30 a.m. We double-lock the door to the new room. It is hard to fall asleep that night.
Charlotte Richardson-Deppe is a queer textile artist currently pursuing her MFA in Studio Art at the University of Maryland, College Park.