she hits the wall

Too overstimulated to be social, too wired to go back to the hotel room.? So, thanks to Ethan Marcotte, I’m at Halcyon, a coffeeshop on 4th.

I can feel myself start to hit the wall psychologically.? It’s all just a little too loud & crowded.? Oh, who am I kidding?? It’s way too loud and too crowded.? And I enjoy it, but only in brief spurts.? And I call H, to see if she wants to hang out, but she’s already settled in for the night, and I don’t want to ask her to drive an hour into town.? She likes this sort of scene even less than I do!

I know this feeling, an eagerness to be liked, to get attention, while at the same time being utterly overwhelmed by the noise and press of other people.? By sitting here, I’m attempting to pay attention to it without just giving in and whimpering in a corner in my hotel room.

I’m feeling both maudlin (as if on cue, Depeche Mode comes onto the sound system) and brusque.? Chloe-like, in some ways, for the 24 fans in the audience.

its a question of lust
its a question of trust
its a question of not letting
what we’ve built up crumble to dust

how’s that for tired and nostalgic and maudlin?

and for today I’m tired of having the same conversation 879 times in the course of an hour.? especially since I can hardly hear most of it.

somebody should set up an introvert’s lounge at sxsw interactive. a place for those of us who struggle in being social to back away for a bit and recharge w/out going all the way back to our respective hotels.? a spot designed to reduce overstimulation.? cool, quiet, comfortable.

don’t I sound great complaining about my vacation?? if I can manage to get enough rest, I imagine I’ll do fine tomorrow, get back to having fun and being engaged.? at least that’s what I tell myself.? right now?? not so much.

the opening party was…whew.? hit my claustrophobia buttons, much like my Bumbershoot experience of a few years back, which felt like being digested through the crowd.? as with every other thing here, I did meet a couple of interesting people, including a very cute and engaging local.? but so very loud, and so very crowded, and like I said, when I called H to see what she was up to, she was in for the night.

the higher ed webbies get-together was good…again, too fscking loud, but otherwise lots of good chitchat, got to meet Andrea, who I felt as though I knew already, and Glinda, who I sort of know through Andrea.? Glinda’s husband is a hoot, too.

had a really good hard cider, Ace, from California; something to look for later.

took lots of pictures.? heard “10:15 Saturday Night” (Cure) at Buffalo Billiards, and the guy sitting next to me (David something) said when he was in high school he used to play that in a band out on the streets of Austin, on the upright bass.

I told my secret from the play panel to someone else, a couple of someone elses, and the sky didn’t fall in.? again, I felt free.

in some ways, this space is as much of a trap as it is a mode of self-expression.? I have built myself into this, and I can’t be someone different now.? okay, maybe that’s putting it too strongly.? but it does seem that way.? (again with the google-ability. put my name in that textfield and hit enter.? I dare you.)

and that sensation, combined with the noise, combined with the crowds, the overstimulation, induces a feeling of shearing apart.

I thought my bus was at 11:25, but it looks like there’s one at 10:45, so I’m going to go now…..

5 Replies to “she hits the wall”

  1. Sorry we didn’t get to chat for longer at the university social thing. (I agree with you—it was too loud!) Let’s meet up tomorrow (or whenever) and break down some of the sessions. Maybe you can introduce me to Andrea, too; I didn’t get to meet her at the social.

    Hope you have a rejuvenating evening. The first day/night was pretty overwhelming for me, too. I’ve got some thoughts on that, but I’ll save it for a future conversation.

  2. Also I think it was because there is no one on one time in a quiet place with just people you know. Am I right?
    Take a breath and just think about other things like home.
    I hate that when it is either tons of people or no one too

  3. Rob: I think I’m going to “design & social responsibility” — maybe we should meet up at lunchtime, maybe with Andrea and/or Glinda as well. I could use somebody to chat with in a less overwhelming environment.

    Elizabeth: thanks. you know the score very well. I had a lovely phone chat with C which was a bit of a long-distance hug.

  4. I think the introverts’ lounge is a great idea. I’m going to start agitating for one (or finding my own) at the BigCons I go to.

  5. I talked to several other people who described themselves as basically introverted, working very hard to be sociable. somehow that needs to be recognized.

    if you manage to get one going at a BigCon (or any con!) I’d love to hear about it.

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