“He is becoming extremely, unpleasantly famous. He wasn’t expecting fame, although he secretly longed for it in his twenties just like everyone else, and now that he has it he’s not sure what to do with it. It’s mostly embarrassing. He checks into the Hotel Le Germain in Toronto, for example, and the young woman at the registration desk tells him what an honor it is to have him staying with them — ‘and if you don’t mind me saying so, I adored that detective film’ — and as always in these situations he isn’t sure what to say, he honestly can’t tell if she really did enjoy the detective film or if she’s just being nice or if she wants to sleep with him or some combination of the above, so he smiles and thanks her, flustered and not sure where to look, takes the key card and feels her gaze on his back as he walks to the elevators. Trying to look purposeful, also trying to convey the impression that he hasn’t noticed and doesn’t care that half the population of the lobby is staring at him.
“Once in the room he sits on the bed, relieved to be alone and unlooked-at but feeling as he always does in these moments a little disoriented, obscurely deflated, a bit at a loss…”
–Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven