Morning in an Empty Hotel Room

Dearest Rachel –

It’s Friday morning, just a little after seven (which means I’ve actually slept in after last night, to be honest). I’m awake, and it’s long before anything is supposed to start here at the convention. And there’s only so long I can convince myself that you’re downstairs, taking a dip in the pool, before I have to face the reality that you’re not here.

I should probably just switch the lights on, rather than continue to skulk about in the semi-dark. It’s not as if I need to worry about waking you up, after all. But it just feels like too much trouble. I crack open the drapes, enough for the sunlight to invade (the window faces the east, after all)and fill the place with light, but not enough that anyone can look up and see in. Hopefully.

It’s a beautiful morning, without a doubt.

I need to shower and get dressed. Not that I need to impress anyone with my appearance (as if!), but after a day and night in the near-August heat – okay, maybe just the night, but still – I should render myself at least presentable before stepping out in public.

I’m so busy soaping myself up that the water rises well past my ankles before it occurs to me that the drain in the tub isn’t set to ‘open’ by default. I have to reach down in the middle of the cascade to remedy this. I wonder if I use up more water showering as opposed to bathing (not that I ever would think I had time for that). Of course, I’d probably compare well to Daniel, who empties and refills the tub several times through as the water gets unpleasantly cool.

Maybe, as part of the remodeling process, I should look into installing a tub for him that keeps the water warm, like a Japanese ofuro. Hey, it’s a reasonably appropriate thought to have occur to me at an anime convention.

I mean, it’s nor r/showerthoughts, but these are the things that occur to me while I’m standing there. And yes, once again, I am thoroughly distracted from the things I ought to be focusing on.

Lord keep us safe today – and throughout this weekend – and may everyone have a good time here after such a long time away from all this. Keep an eye on Daniel (and Ellen and Chompers, too!), and give my best to Rachel when You can. Thank You for the time we had, and thank You for whatever else You in Your wisdom have planned for us yet.

Amen.

Now it’s time to get on with the day.

It occurs to me I didn’t pack everything that I meant to. While I’ve put on the Ucchan’s shirt (as per Friday convention tradition), I seem to have forgotten the matching cap back at home. I also didn’t bring the Lain bag, which held the lanyards and all the other paraphernalia I might use here. Jan meant well to keep all the anime convention stuff in a single place with the memorabilia, but when it means rummaging through a huge pile at the last minute – and yes, I realize that’s more on me than her – it does pose a problem as far as getting things together in order to go.

Oh, well… got to make the best of it.

I show up at the registration lines which was apparently supposed to open at eight. But the doors are closed. A staff member is making the rounds asking for volunteers to fill the registration booth; which explains the delay. The problem is, as I mentioned last night, you apparently need to be registered in order to volunteer, so how does this work? Besides, I’m well aware that there’s a separate place for sponsorship registrations, so I have to get that squared away before volunteering. And with this crowd, that isn’t going to be easy:

This is not the end of the line. This is the middle of the line; where it folds over on itself.

I finally found the small niche where they’re registering sponsors. I check in, sign the book, and the girl (who probably recognizes me from my shirt) welcomes me back and hands me my swag bag.

I had the option of a green or blue. You know why I took this one.
The double irony of this “Magical Immortality Drink” is that I’m pretty sure it’s your precious Baja Blast.

It seems that, among other things from this crazy year, T-shirts are unavailable as part of the sponsor’s gift bag due to ‘price increases’ (yup, that’s inflation for you), they were able to offer a cup for the local soft drink distillery who has a booth in the dealers’ room – if I remember correctly, it used to be $10 for all you could drink for the weekend at previous conventions. Not a bad deal; I may still buy a shirt just to continue with the collection.

Squared away as I am, I stop back by the volunteer booth; there’s nothing else on the schedule until this afternoon, so why not make myself useful? The only place anyone is needed is at registration (naturally), so I look for the young woman in charge.

“Can I help you?”

I proffer my card – yes, volunteers are given cards to identify themselves (and apparently, to keep track of time spent, in order to be eligible for special swag) – “I should be asking you that question.”

She taps another volunteer, who leaves gratefully, and I take her place, offering badges and lanyards for pre-registrants. To be sure, the folks staffing the ‘at-con’ registrations are far busier, but I think I’m seeing more faces this morning than I usually do in the course of an entire convention.

It’s pleasant enough work – everyone is reasonably patient and looking forward to the festivities, so we’re all cheerful and polite. Or maybe it’s just Iowans.

The first two hours go by almost unnoticed, in the blink of an eye, as there is a long unbroken line of people with names between R and Z. The third hour slows a bit, and I wonder if I can knock off to complete this letter – at which point, it starts to pick up again. It keeps going to the point where I wonder if I’m even going to make opening ceremonies. Not that I cared as much about that as you ever did, but I guess I want to tell you about it.

Finally it does slow down, I get my time card punched, and I head out.

More to come after I get this phone charged, and everything organized.

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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