Day 3 in Chicago
Hello Nick Hornby. Hello Dorthy fucking Allison. Hello Marilyn Robinson, Kim Adonizio, and Nick Flynn. Hello Dinty W. Moore and Steve-my favorite-Almond. Hello Ron-also-my favorite-Carlson and Janet Burroway. Hello Peter Muldoon. Hello pictures of Obama all over the Windy City. Hello over 8,000 registered participants at this 3-day event which hosts more than 400 sessions in this 80 year-old epic hotel.
I finally know my way around. I’m getting smarter about my money, too. No, I would not like you to open my bottle of wine for me (which I purchased at the grocery store six blocks away), but thank you for delivering the bottle opener. And no, when my bottle of wine runs out I will not be ordering one from the bar downstairs at the cost of $10 per glass. No, I will not drink the bottle of Evian water at a cost of $7 even though you have placed it on the kitchen counter of my hotel room as though it were a gift. No, I will not order room service because you add a 21% gratuity, plus 10.3% sales tax, and a $4.25 per order service charge plus cost of items. No, I will not use your workout room at the cost of $18 per day. However yes, I MUST pay for my Internet access (as if the $700 in room reservation fee weren’t enough) at the cost of $15 per 24 hours.
And however yes, I will spontaneously purchase a super cute black t-shirt from some chipper undergrads at the Book Fair for the excellent price of $10 because it has printed across it two of my favorite things on the planet aside from Andrew Bird: an antique typewriter and two birds (pecking at the keys). Yes, I will sing in the shower and in the hallway and whilst strolling about my grand hotel room. Yes, I will jump on the king sized bed multiple times and invite my friends to join me in doing so. Yes, I will open my windows even though I am on the 9th floor—because I find central heat suffocating after so many years of wood stove heating. And furthermore, I will leave those windows open especially wide when the snow starts to fall at this late hour, the city lights blurred by a haze of white flecks falling ever-so-slightly down like little angels come to melt their wisdom into the city streets.