Have I ever mentioned my crippling, debilitating fear of heights? The terrible sense of vertigo I feel looking up or down if I am not solidly planted on bedrock? My innate panic each time the doors of a glass elevator open? The trouble I have getting onto a down escalator, standing at the top and letting three or four steps go by before I can psych myself up enough to get on one?
Well, it has suddenly become relevant and worth mentioning, because I am away at a conference for a few days in Atlanta, and this is the inside of my hotel:
Yes, that's right. The inside of my hotel is hollow, and the elevators are in the middle. We are staying at the downtown Marriott Marquis, whose website proudly and repeatedly boasts about their 37 story indoor atrium.
You have to walk across a tiny bridge to get to the elevator, from any direction. I know, because I circled the entire lobby level going, "I can't walk across that. There has to be an elevator near a wall."
All of the elevators are in the middle, and they are all made of glass:
I thought I was doing sort of ok with the glass elevator until I got on one that had another person on it. Before I could say anything, or even hit the button, she said, "Oh, gosh, it'll be ok. Just turn around and face the doors. It goes really fast." I can only imagine what I must have looked like since total strangers are spontaneously consoling me over things I did not say out loud.
The elevator is only half of the nightmare, though. After you get off, this is the hallway that you have to walk through to get to your room:
Oh, I'm sorry. Did I say "hallway"?
Because what I meant to say was "three foot wide continuous balcony overlooking 37 stories of continuous wide open space".
By the end of the conference I will either have acclimated or died. In the meantime, I have three hours before the welcome reception. That should be just long enough to convince myself to leave my room and get in the elevator again.