Sunday, February 6, 2011

....Certain spaces are very noisy. Airport terminals would be one--almost no matter the time of day or night. People speak at thrice the decible on their cell phones, planes erupt thunderously upon take off, a door alarm invariably starts bleeping (as it is now), children squawl, espresso makers chuff and suck and fight for breath like a wounded dragon.
Hotels are also noisy spaces. People in the hall always forget to keep their voices down, so you can hear them cursing or guffawing as they stagger down the hall outside your door. People nextdoor keep their tv turned up loud ("Real Housewives, Atlanta"). Guests in the other room open and slam their door repeatedly. Above you, a maid or someone reconstructing the furniture pattern for a possible disco party, screetches table legs on the floor(your ceiling) and pounds on walls for whatever reason.

....Last night the wind whipped so hard outside my hotel window that it sounded as if dozens of children were shrieking. Their terrifying squeals were real-sounding and scared me. There's nothing worse than a frightened or hurt child. Consequently, I slept very little.
Right now, I'm sitting at Reagan National airport, enduring hour three of a five hour flight delay. Kind of sucks. Kind of sucks a lot, but what are you gonna do? I'm trying to let things bother me less, however, my butt is already pretty sore from sitting on this chair. I'm sure that when I stand, people will think I've somehow fitted a square pizza box into the back of my underwear.

...As I started to report on the previous post, AWP was quite an experience. So much stimuli. It's a writer paradise, to be sure, what with all the books and writers and literati-type stuff.
I saw Sapphire ("Push") and Mary Gaitskill read. Mary shared a long excerpt from her upcoming novel. It dark and chilling. She was brave to read some of those passages in front a crowd. Most people would have a hard time reading a graphic sexual abuse scene involving a child. Not Mary. Her writing--the sentence flow, cadence, word selection and movement-- was spectacular, as always. Mary's themes make my novel seem like a jolly trip to Disneyland.

...Thursday night I went to a reading at John Hopkins University. Sarah Lippmann read. She was freaky good. Roxane Gay rocked. Been Loory was witty and fun. Kara Canditos's poetry was stunning and recalled JT Leroy's point of view (yes, I know JT Leroy is a fictious author).
Afterward a group of us went to the Black Cat and had a blast. Roxane, Mel Bosworth, Christy Crutchfield, Rae Bryant, Sara Rose, xTx and others. It was loud. There were libations. The following day, my head felt large, mishapen, and made of stone.

....Once home and organized, I'll do a better posting. I caon't think as sharp in unfamiliar places, especially ones as choatically loud as this.

....The guy over my shoulder is telling me his marital problems. He's talking quite boisteriously into his cell phone. Things are not going well for the man and his wife and I am sorry for him, but I wish he would keep his voice down and I wish he would speak more lovingly to the woman on the other line.


  1. Agree on the airports. The worst is the Overhead Voice, reminding you every fifteen minutes that if a stranger so much as looks at your luggage, you should immediately report them to a TSA official. Best overhead announcement, though, was Charles de Gaul: "Young women are pretending to be deaf and dumb in this terminal. It is a scam. Please do not encourage them."

    Hotels, though, it depends. Some are loud, with ice machines and door slamming tourists and drunken conventioneers. Others I've found near holy in their quietude, like everyone is moving about on cotton tiptoes so not to disturb. I'm not sure which of the two I prefer. I had a hotel one, I forget where, St. Louis, maybe, where I could sit in the bathroom and the heating duct piped in the conversations of the family in the room next to us. Eavesdropping is a guilty pleasure of most writers, I think.

  2. hey frankie,
    thanks for reading. just saw your post.
    yes, eavesdropping is, by nature, a writer's responsibility. we do it with our eyes, too, locking everything down and storing it for possible use at some future point.