My Favorite Things About Traveling to Trade Shows

“I’m OOO until next Monday.”

getting to put my underwear and my work binders together in one big bag and taking it into the sky

the criminal thrill of seizing as many airline pillows as I can

the smell of each and every hotel soap in beautiful wet bouquet

using a tiny nightstand pencil to underline the most erotic sentences in the nightstand bible

the deafening hotel room silence

watching the same two movies over and over again on HBO

generic convention center coffee

that weird plastic envelope for receipts at the bottom of my purse

motherfucking exhibitor credentials

the sweet embrace of the pipe and drape, the plaintive murmur of the lights

Pretending To Listen

going off to the weird sequestered food section of the show floor and eating a sad hotdog alone

taking a xanax to calm down and then getting freaked out by the carpet

the very humid conference shuttle

intense conversations with the hotel bartender, who has a ponytail and a vest and a single earring and a goatee as if he is cosplaying all the characters from Aladdin at once

gatecrashing literally every party

hate-faving the conference hashtag

the secret blood-pact formed between the entry-level employees at neighboring booths

the illicit barter system for tchotchkes among the blood-sworn

using this barter system to swindle five attendees-only cupcakes from hideous salesmen who don’t know they’ve been had

genuinely intimidating your boss

walking around like you have a big important meeting to go to, when in reality, you are scum