Saturday, September 17, 2005

Life on the Road...

I'm sitting here in the lounge of the Atlanta Holiday Inn. It's 6:55am, which means my body thinks it's 3:55am PST. This is the part of an author's tour they don't tell you about. I flew out of LA at 9pm and I've been on a plane ever since. I arrived into Atlanta, and of course there are no rooms ready because the hotel is sold out, and no one has awaken to leave yet. They're all warm and snuggly in their beds, the bastards. But even if they'd left, I still wouldn't have a room because the cleaning staff doesn't arrive until 8am. So I wait. In the meantime, I have to get some sort of rest because I have a signing at 3pm regardless.

This tour has been particularly taxing for me and I'm not sure why. Over the years, you get used to having nice sized crowds at one signing and then one person who randomly walked in to your signing at the other. You treat those two imposters just the same. But I think the travel is starting to wear on me. Too many cities and too much time in airports combine to make you weary to the bone. The one saving grace is that I still LOVE talking to people, so the signings themselves are fun. But everything else can go to hell. For example...

Two days ago, I signed at Howard University. Lovely, lovely people. For some reason, I'd gotten a hotel room in College Park, Md rather than in DC because the Roberts hearing had pretty much locked down the hotel rooms and rental cars (until I got an Avis hookup from the in hotel Avis office, which is BRILLIANT by the way). No biggee. But that did make it a bit further to Dulles airport (45 minutes away without traffic) and I had an early morning flight. So, after I speak at Howard, I get up at 4am, shower, and then roll out of my Holiday Inn room around 5pm, which theoretically should be plenty of time to get to Dulles at 6am for my 7:05am flight. But when I get to my car, insert the key into the ignition, there's nothing. Not a peep. Apparently, the lights have been on all night. Uh oh. So I run back to the hotel lobby, call AAA (thank God for that) and then wait for the jump. And wait. And wait. Finally, the guy from AAA comes around 6am, and I'm off to Dulles. I miss my flight, so instead of getting in at 9:30am, I get in at 12:30pm. That wouldn't be a biggie, but I speak at Cal State Dominguez Hills at 7pm the same day.

My eyes are bloodshot, and I'm tired as hell, but the Dominguez lectures turns out really well. A day later, I'm chilling in Atlanta at the beginning of the end of my Friends With Benefits tour. At 4:00am PST. I'm tired.

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