Consequently, about a year later, the seed to revisit germinated. Soon, I yearned to return. Wondered what could happen. And hoped I would gain insights that would destroy false tenets I had held true. Plus, I needed to thank the spirits for the experience they bestowed on me.
Oh, crud. I’m at the Goldfield Hotel.
Fourteen months after GFH, Ken and I travelled to southern Nevada to hike and escape winter’s early chill. As we entered Goldfield, Ken turned right onto Columbia Street and parked underneath a lone streetlight beside the looming landmark that had transformed my life. The town felt gripped by the dark, moonless night. Silence pervaded.
I hadn’t asked him to stop. My courage evaporated. “Why are you stopping?” I asked trying to keep my voice even.
“I thought I’d grab a snack. Want something?”
I shook my head.
Ken hopped out of his GM Sierra and strolled to the back.
Plywood covered most of the lower picture windows. Slowly, I took in the large quarried stone and brick building that once held 150 guestrooms. I’m okay. It’s okay.
I whispered, “Thank you. Thank you for all you’ve shown me.”
Ken bumped around, moving suitcases to get to the food.
A resident in the Goldfield Hotel?
A movement caught my eye, something not too far from the top of the street lamp. There, on the third floor. The lacy, almost sheer white curtain parted. A woman peered around it. Short, brunette pin curls framed her face. She didn’t acknowledge me.
I glanced down at the truck door handle. Someone must be ghost hunting in there, I speculate. That’s gotta be it.
My gaze returned to the window. No curtain. No woman. I must’ve had the wrong room. I scanned the façade, all four floors as far as the light allowed me to see. Not one window was draped.
The tailgate slammed shut. I startled. Ken walked to the hotel and tried to look between the slabs of plywood.
When I’d visited GFH in 2007, furnishings were sparse: a player piano, Baby Grand piano, bar, check-in desk, switchboard and wall safe. Nothing else.
A few days later, I still pondered the woman among the lace curtains. Then it sank in. Those upper windows hadn’t been covered for more than 70 years.