A ceiling of yellow spots, tub grime, faulty HBO, not even a top-drawer Gideon Bible. It was a not a hotel room befitting of the name Hilton. That a Hilton had been cast to a collapsed stockyard town to sit amidst crumble and muck, its only skywalk attached to the Medicaid hospital, wasn't befitting of the name Hilton.

But it's right that I'm here. I have been cast. I am at the corner of crumble and muck. I have collapsed. I am a tragic relic, an embodiment of disaster, not unlike the city's airport, best known for the video of a jumbo jet wing dragging the runway before igniting into a pure fuel fire and bursting toward a cornfield.

Perennial is on the hotel bureau, shot in sequence: Perennial to the nines, Perennial next door, come hither, sassy, serious, pert. Short brown hair above her shoulders, cut into a hard, cute do to frame her. A little, funny smile for a Miss America hopeful. The eyebrows of a firebrand, an actress.

And, then, Perennial's purple eyes, wild opalescent plum, holograms, shade shifters, the sunset beyond the last plank of the dock, the catch in your breath, the stop of the world.

"It's a problem," she says over the phone. "I have to wear Audrey sunglasses. Very glam."

She laughs. "My saying, that. I am. Very glam."