Saturday, September 14, 2013

Bryan, Alex and Maurice

I'd be remiss as I recap my WorldCon weekend not to mention my roommates in Room 1820 of the Marriott Rivercenter Hotel.

The room was reserved by Bryan Thomas Schmidt, who I have been dealing with this year because of my participation in the Raygun Chronicles anthology. Bryan posted on Facebook a number of months ago that he would be looking for roommates. When I realized I would be going to the convention, I asked him if he still had space. He said I'd be the third, Alex Schvartsman was also on board.

Just before the convention he mentioned Maurice Broaddus was also going to join us. That made four people with two beds and a cot, but that didn't particularly bother me, especially since I am a very sound sleeper and easily sleep on the floor - as I did Thursday night. As it happened, everyone's schedule was so staggered that at any given time anyone could find a bed space.

When I arrived at the hotel at about 8 p.m. Thursday, when I went up to the room, Maurice and I arrived at the door at the same time! I'd never met him before, so we exchanged greetings and then went off our respective ways.

Both Bryan and Alex were in the room when I came back just before midnight. Bryan traveled from Kansas, Alex from New York - Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, to be exact. I had never meet Bryan in person; I'd heard of Alex. Both are dedicated anthologists, and they talked "shop" a lot for a couple of hours; I'd chime in occasionally with a comment of observation. They both are much more involved in the genre than I am.

They are also both friendly, nice guys. Alex imported a brown paper sack of authentic New York bagels from his neighborhood bagelry, which I appreciated. Having lived in New York City in the 1970s and 1980s I remember what real bagels were like*.

I snoozed on the floor that night; what discomfort I suffered wasn't from the floor, but from the fact my legs were sore from the long drive. Come the morning, we saw that Maurice never came in and the cot was unused. Bryan had commented that Maurice kept hours like a vampire, and he was sorta right. I didn't see Maurice much, but he was pleasant and friendly when we chatted. He had traveled in from Indianapolis.

I never spent any time except in passing during the con with Bryan; Alex came to the Sidewise Award presentation Saturday. He's the one who took the photo of Rick Wilber, Cat Valente and myself that's in the previous post.

We were all pretty busy, so that's not much of a surprise our paths didn't cross that much. We also all have our own friends. The event we all might have been expected to attend together - the Hugo Awards - I skipped because I decided I needed to do hydrotherapy in the hotel pool, or else I would be very uncomfortable driving home Monday.

I have Type II diabetes, and as a result I have neuropathy in my feet and muscle weakness in my legs. I try to be very careful in caring for these conditions. As I mentioned before, my legs were sore after the six hour drive to San Antonio; by Sunday things were only worse after all the walking entailed at the convention. I realized if I didn't do something pro-active Sunday, I might have difficulty driving home. The Hugo Awards were the logical time to hit the pool; my presence wasn't going to make much of a difference, anyway.

* Alex mentioned that because they were genuine freshly made bagels, they had no preservatives and would go stale quickly, and he was right. By Friday afternoon I "had" to east the last two because they were rapidly fossilizing.

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