September 7, mid-afternoon
There's a language to hotels. It's another kind of bubble. There's a few things to learn: Do they do the towel recycling thing here? Are there any interesting local TV channels, preferably public access, with arts programming? (Victoriaville, Quebec, has excellent public access.) What's in walking distance? But for the most part, you know how things work. That's what hotels are for, to make you feel at home and not confused. At least in Europe and North America. I stayed in a hotel in Morocco without a clock or a telephone – and my watch had broken – but I don't know the North Africa rules. Another hotel in Lisbon inexplicably hung the “Do Not Disturb” signs well above eye level in the bathroom. It took me two days to even notice it was there. This was a violation of the common code, a grammatical error in the language of hotels.
But this, this is a Holiday Inn on the bypass in Ontario, which feels distinctly like where I grew up in central Illinois. I know how to negotiate the space, and have just enough time for a quick rest before the first concert on the first night of the Guelph Jazz Festival. And enough time for the last song on the CD, the shortest one here. But this feels more sinewy today, unless “September 6” just changed my perceptions. So brief I'm nervous to write because it seems it should have ended already. Eighty seconds, right? No. Two minutes. I misread. And the fastest two minutes on the record, I think. I wish I could remember the record. I did like it, though.