City Conference – haibun

JULIE - 2015-02-04 17.40.36

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
a violinist
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?

a section
of verdigris dome
above the high rise

© Julie Thorndyke

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