Life as an Extreme Sport

ASBH, wrapped

I’m still in DC, sitting in the hotel lobby, wishing it was at all possible to simply snap my fingers, find a transporter, and end up at home, in bed, with the cats. I’d settle for a second best of in my hotel room bed, but they wanted the room so I had to check out. Bother.

I’m beyond tired, of course, although I didn’t have the as many days “on” as I was expecting. The hotel nicely arranged for me to have a good chunk – about seven hours – of Saturday off, courtesy food poisoning that afflicted everyone who drank from the creamer provided on our end of the table. Since I tend to take my coffee half cream, half milk, it was… unpleasant, to say the least. And of course, I did come back out as soon as I could, and went back to working. Because I am either ambitious or dumb like that – most likely some from column A, some from column B.

But it was a good conference, my glow cubes were an unmitigated success, and it was gratifying to hear, over and over, “oh hey, you’re Kelly….”

started up again almost 12 hours later, at home, as I am lectured by two upset cats
As I was writing, I got a variation of the “hey, you’re Kelly” and was joined in the lobby by an undergraduate student who “belongs” to a friend of mine. I ended up spending the next five-ish hours talking to her; we were joined, at one point, by a doctoral student up in Montreal I had met earlier in the day. The two have similar interests, so I played the networking game.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading and thinking since I started the above, and I’m not really sure what I think at the moment. I mean, I am – the conference was a success, I don’t think I screwed up badly in any political sense, and so forth. It’s just, as I was telling Michael when we spoke briefly earlier, that post-conference is a lot like post-teaching, in that the adrenaline drops out of your body and you realize how much of yourself you spent. It’s post-teaching blues magnified beyond belief. Only it’s also got an element of post-acting in it, too. When you’re in a production, you’re thrilled and delighted, and spend every second of the day with a small group of people – and the minute you close curtain and strike the set that final night, and walk out of the after party, how much you loathe every single person you just spent the last 6 weeks of your life with. Every quirk is an annoyance, every personality quirk a flaw. You hate them all, all the people you see and spend hours with daily, and never want to see them again – for about a week.


The rest is still a jumble, I think, of things I need to process. It has been hard to not reflect on the last year of life, and the differences – it’s such a clear way to mark both time and change.

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