Portland to Boston to Montpelier -- August 29, 2007

Contrary to what you might think if you have any sense of direction at all, in order to go from Portland to Montpelier, you have to go through Boston.

This excited me. Yes, it did decrease my time in Vermont, but I hadn't done Boston justice when I'd been there before. I had a second chance. In my first planned visit I'd had only had about five waking hours.

Abraham in the Portland Room had suggested I visit the Athenaeum, an impressive library he has membership at. But, though it seemed like a great place, I wanted somewhere I could take pictures of readers. You can't take photos in a library--it disturbs the peace. I called a Boston-familiar friend and gave him my whereabouts the run down--I have an hour and a half, I can't miss my bus, what should I do? Where should I go? He was driving through the Nevada desert to Burning Man and was about to lose reception. He did manage to give me a few suggestions, but in the end I came to the following conclusion: there's no place like the Greyhound station.

I could have interviewed readers sitting in the plastic chairs before the numbered gates, but, when I gave it some serious thought, the kind of thought that goes along the lines of--when will I ever again convince an employer that I deserve eight weeks of free time to pursue whatever I want?--what I really wanted to do was what had inspired the trip initially, what propelled my curiosity about books: I wanted to write. I found relatively ergonomic surroundings where people wouldn't trip over me. I opened up files of my novel that hadn't been opened in over two months and, of course, I wrote about my trip. Did I mention my laptop and I are having a love affair?

So, this is Boston. It even had an outlet.

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