When I arrive, I’m in good health. Caffeinated, awake for 5 hours. I park and wander towards registration. Then back towards pre-registration. 30 lines back and forth. I queue up. Squeaking is everywhere. Someone’s handed out squeakers. I just have my briefcase with my laptop. I pop in headphones. I check chats, someone isnt that far ahead of me and has taken a picture of the crowd in front of them. I idily try to guess who. I’m listening to the rest of a podcast episode on Anselm and Ontology that I started on the drive up. Mostly cause I liked the word’s sound, and wondered if I could use it in a sentence when I met Masie’s parents.
Im nervous. Overstimulated. I keep dropping my briefcase, and making a loud thud. I settle for clutching it in my arms, like a big rectangular baby. I’m so glad I didn’t dress in anything yet. Folks who suited up beforehand are getting hot. I wish I had a mask. The queue moves on, loud and chattery.
Eventually my line is sheparded, single file, into a different room down the hall. My anxiety reaches a soft crescendo, like an orgasm specifically for feeling bad. It’s swarming with volunteers checking people in. I’m checked in by a slight, steady nerd who butchers my fursona’s name. I get a badge and hustle out. I rush to an elevator that takes me to the wrong part of the hotel. I bustle around and a volunteer points me in the right direction. I arrive at the introductory panel at 10:07, find a seat near the front, pull out my laptop, and begin to take perhaps the most… Useless notes I’ve ever taken. The speaker is just some spectral 50 year old white dude who’s been to a bunch of cons. I walk out at 10:45 after asking and getting answers to some questions that didn’t really need to be asked. WiFi is for guests, hotel rooms are the best place to change. Shame I didn’t get one. I go to my car to suit up.

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