I have saved coins in a money purse for the bus fare. The journey is quicker than expected. I walk the few blocks up to the Hilton, among crowds of office workers, students, tourists. There’s an optimistic buzz in the city-centre this summer morning.
town hall clock
chiming on the hour
on this corner,
another on the next
Through the revolving door, up the marble steps, follow the signs. That irrational moment of doubt – what if my name has slipped from the attendee list? Find the confirmation email, hold my phone up to the girl at the registration desk. All is well. I accept the canvas tote printed with company logos, hang the orange lanyard around my neck. Still time to find coffee before the opening address.
I sip it sitting in a chair beside the large plate-glass window overlooking drive where taxis and limousines pick up and drop off dark-suited men. A green wall planted with ivy provides a view.
Business like, I survey the profiles of day’s speakers. More of the same. Each year, the same words, sung in a different key. More bells and whistles. I was once seduced by a nineteenth-century passion for organising knowledge—time to let it go?
of verdigris dome
above the high rise
© Julie Thorndyke