Consuming Obsessions

I just washed dishes with bar soap. I’m at a Homestead Studio Suites hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida. I ate Chunky soup and a decent asiago-cheese bagel from the convenience store for dinner, with some of the wine that survived the trip in my suitcase. There’s a kitchenette in my room, so the soup was hot, but the supplies are pretty basic–no dish soap, no complimentary shampoo, no Kleenex, only one roll of toilet paper, and Showtime instead of HBO. (But there is wireless Internet access.)

For someone obsessed by capitalism, this is really slumming it.

It was my first time on a plane since the summer of 2000. I made a friend at the gate, a businessman (wealth management, no less) who’s a runner and triathlete. He said of triathlon, “It’s so consuming!” (This was in a positive way, as he described his $2,800 Guru bike, which he bought after his first race.)

Yes, it is–this is why I’m in Florida, for a level-one coaching certification workshop for USA Triathlon. Tomorrow, I meet thirty-nine other geeks like me. Tonight, I try to sleep through the buzz of the air conditioner and the stench of the room deodorizer. At least the dishes smell clean.

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