There's only one occasion, really, on which I'm going to get pictures like these, and it's if I happen to have had to get on an airplane at 7:45 a.m. and then my airplane happens to have gotten held back because of a flow problem at National.
Flights without incident, from start to finish--leaving aside my inability to stay awake for enough of Sula and the skull-splitting pain I felt when we began our descent into Atlanta. I've never had such pain in my head before; it was bad enough that I imitated Ethan Hawke's pose on the publicity posters for Hamlet for a little while, thinking of my Chicagoan friend saying, "My brain! My brain!" And then it passed.
The hotel in which I'm staying may actually fit into Edmund Burke's ideas about the sublime; it's so crushingly large that it both expands and threatens to obliterate my senses. My eyes have to do far too much repetition even to understand what I'm looking at. My ears pop when I ride the elevator to my floor (35 out of 50). Tomorrow, I will bite the bullet and take pictures in the lobby, simply because this place has to be believed, and you might not believe it unless you see it. (Or maybe you will, and this is all a sign of my increasing acclimation to my tiny town, where our nine-story dorm is the tallest building in the county.) I think they built this place when the Olympics were here. It has 1675 rooms--enough for every student at Kenyon to have a single. I'm not sure why the Academic Mayhem hasn't made its way to downtown Atlanta yet; the two hotels in which I'm spending all my time could accommodate the bulk of the convention. One whole wall of my room is a floor-to-ceiling window. I look out at a peculiar and lovely building, and now (in the nighttime) at a glittering swathe of Atlanta.
But first, a wonder: the office building you can see just to the left of the reddish building in my last photo there, all its lights ablaze? All those lights just blinked out, floor by floor, like dominoes falling.
And I doubt I mentioned it, but I am, happily enough, reunited with my computer; it did return in time to come on the trip with me. Everything that was on the machine is gone--but all my programs are sharper and newer, and so it may well have been a blessing.