Automatic Knowledge


It was early, doubly so with the jetlag, and I hadn’t slept much in the night and sliver of morning that had been available for snoozing.

Helping to run the venue had once been such an all-encompassing enterprise, and now the role I had been asked to fill was quite simple. Early, but simple. It had been eighteen months since I was last in the building with responsibilities, so I was anxious. Mostly tired, but also anxious. Waiting. It was an incredibly familiar feeling — cold ride in the still dawn met by a waft of catering chafing dishes warming eggs and bagels.

At the previous height of all that, I used to have so much intrinsic, automatic knowledge and intuition about these events, shepherding information and occasionally egos through a process of floorplans and catering details and instead here, now, at the end of November leaning off into the final edge of 2018, I just kind of barely knew anything about them. Intentionally, but still disorientingly little. What had once been a swell measured by a buoy far out at sea, now without report crested as the wave onto the shore. I was up beyond the line of the last high tide — a measure of defense against whatever variables couldn’t otherwise be controlled. Or predicted.

As if there were a difference.


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