I lost my hat on the second day of AWP. I recommend all of ye bookfair wanderers, panel-goers, anxiety sufferers and ennui-filled writers to lose your hat at AWP. Did I have to search for agents, publishers, magazines, books, professors who forgot me, friends who look at me bewilderingly? Did I have to worry about my talk at the panel? No, I did not. Because I had lost my hat and spent the next 2.5 days looking for it. A little OCD is good for the wandering soul.
Overall, the AWP was great success. I saw nearly everyone I meant to and had at least one drink with each of them meaning I had too many drinks but got to see all the good people. The panel was great even though at 9 in the morning on a Saturday. It was jam-packed with people sitting even in the aisles. The readings I went to were all pretty good and the buzz overall positive. Professors talked to me. No one turned their heads. The magazines and publishers shook my hand.
I always get home expecting something major to happen, but I do that after every trip. I need to focus on the one thing. That is the getting back of the hat. Which is somewhere, lost in Chicago. But I miss it. And maybe it will return to me. It was gray wool with tassles and one yellow and one orange stripe across the top. It was lined with black flannel so the wooly outsides did not make my head itch.
I would like my hat back but if that is impossible, I would like it to please be spring so I have no need for a hat.