I am writing this post from a room in the Chicago Hilton, where I was willing to pay $135 so that I could have a place to sleep for eight hours, of which I actually only slept about two. This does seem a ridiculous bit of indulgence, especially considering that my sister who recently moved back to my small Iowa hometown is currently pay $125/month for her rent. But, when I first went to my room, there was unfortunately somebody else still in there, which eventually led me getting a room for seven hours at $99. Plus, my new room is on a premium floor, which means that my present digs will probably be the swankiest way I ever spend a layover.
I had breakfast in the Hilton, where they sat me next to a seemingly-mostly-crazy older man, who, of course, insisted on trying to have a conversation with me even though I tried to provide every indication of interest in doing my grading. At one point, he said: "I come here a lot at night. To the bar. I meet a lot of women here. Classy women. Stewardesses. Flight attendants, I guess you are supposed to call them now. My son is a flight attendant. He's a gay. Or at least, he says he's a gay, I don't really think he is." He also insisted on trying to speak Spanish to our waiter, asking him if he had a pair of "scissero" for him to cut the tags off something and then asking him where the "banyo" was. According to his nametag, our waiter's name was "Ali," and he had no idea what this guy was trying to say to him, except for those moments when the guy lapsed into plain English.