Wednesday I worked midnight to noon, then went home, packed, and didn't manage to get on the road until nearly 4:00 PM. By the time I arrived at my hotel, I had been conscious for about 24 hours. There was one stretch, near the end, when I had pulled into a rest area and, once the car had stopped moving, realized that I had no idea what was going on in the recorded book I was listening too; keeping the car on the road had required so much concentration that I had failed to parse the story for more than half an hour. Scary stuff, but I survived...
On Thursday I could not find a parking place within limping distance of the hotel. I injured my right Achilles tendon in February (I have no idea how), my usual parking garage, now sold out, was near the limit of my reasonable range at half a mile out. I cruised a bit, then went and watched a movie (the first of an eventual eleven, to be detailed elsewhere). I returned after the movie, again failed to find a place to park, and went back and watched two more movies. Then I went back to my hotel, went for a swim, and decided to watch one more movie.
Friday, I didn't even try to find a parking place. I did determine that a cab from my hotel would be $16 each way, $20 with a tip, and decided against that route. Instead I saw four more movies and then crashed for the night.
On Saturday I went back downtown, found a parking spot, limped to the convention center, and found a place to rest my ankle while I planned my assault on the dealer's room. I completed a short shopping list for Dementia, and checked in at the Flying Buffalo booth where I said hello to Rick Loomis and had some conversation with Steve Crompton. Along the way I bought a small white goat plushie and recited "Long Pork Stew" for the vendor (who was probably a vegan from the look of horror on her face, though she did laugh at the punchline), and recited "Runesong" for a tee shirt vendor. Then I headed for the nearest exit before I drowned in the white noise.
I had two phone numbers, one for Deb, Clueless Tom's ex, and one for Tim W., who, with Scott B., was running RPGs somewhere at the con. Deb's number turned out to be not valid, and I couldn't bring myself to call Tim. I started to dial three times, and then admitted that as much as I would enjoy conversation with Tim or Scott, I just wasn't interested in going back into the convention hall to see them. The further realization that I would generally rather watch a movie than play a game was upsetting. I decided that I was done with the con after about an hour and a half, limped back to the car, and saw two more movies.
I had the hotel room until Monday morning, on the assumption that I was going to be doing con things, or hanging out with con people, on Sunday night. That seemed unlikely, so I checked out on Sunday morning and came home. I stopped at the theater one more time and re-watched a movie, and said good-bye to some of the staffers that I had become conversational with after spending nine hours a day at their facility.
I have come home from GenCon and said, "Never again," before. I am not going to say it this time. I think I can say with authority, though, that it will never be more than a day trip again.