March 01, 2007

Tunnel

Tunnel

Somewhere in this city, people must be buying vegetables or cooking dinner or changing diapers or watering plants, but all around me, I see only people with nametags carrying styrofoam cups of coffee, hurrying across carpeted floors beneath flourescent lights. No one actually lives in a big conference hotel; staying here is sort of like being on spaceship, with no connection to the rhythms of everyday life. Without natural light, I lose all sense of time; I get lost in the tangle of hallways and escalators and partitioned-off ballrooms that have no windows.

After a satisfying but exhausting day of going to session after session inside this gigantic hotel, I felt claustophobic, eager to see a plant, a tree, a baby – something real. When a friend and I escaped from the hotel this afternoon, it was raining hard, and the buildings that loomed high above us seemed cold and impersonal. We ended up wandering through a maze of concrete and glass that seemed promising with its lights and curving shapes but that led us ultimately, to our disappointment, to a mall.

11 comments:

Linda said...

I hate the stale hotel air and the unnatural lighting that characterize conferences. I have to get outside just to breathe whenever I go to one.

Songbird said...

Oh, sorry it was a mall! But I love your pictures.

Leslee said...

I hope you find some grass to run your toes through today!

Yankee, Transferred said...

Great photos. I can imagine your need for something a wee bit more natural, though.

Nels said...

Oh, I remember that tunnel well from CCCC. And the mall, too. Malls don't bug me too much, but because that one is in such a tall building, it felt very cramped.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Conference time and debate tournament time are similarly disorienting...

It sounds like you need some rollerskates -- of course, I doub your doctor would allow that... a shame.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Conference time and debate tournament time are similarly disorienting...

It sounds like you need some rollerskates -- of course, I doub your doctor would allow that... a shame.

(un)relaxeddad said...

I spent a year, 10 days a month, living in hotels. Weird stuff. Your post reminds me of the Marriot in Detroit - I arrived there at 11:30pm - NOTHING OPEN! No room service, cafes, wasteland all around. I ended up sneaking around the detritus of the trays outside neighbouring doors stealing beernuts.

julieunplugged said...

This is an unbelievably cool shot in spite of the lack of natural surroundings. Wonderful.

Arwen said...

Sometimes you can find babies in Malls. And trees. But mall trees (if they are real) always make me feel like a radical anti-vivisectionist. That I should smash their pots and liberate them.

Kyla said...

KayTar enjoyed the photo. She mistook the lightbulbs for bubbles and exclaimed "Beeeeeeeeeee!!!!" while doing the sign for bubbles. She usually isn't so excited by photography. :)