15 A Decent Docent

Soon, an older woman wandered into the gallery. Her legs were blanketed in a tweed skirt, and a green badge pinned to the mud brown vest covering her satiny shirt proclaimed "docent." I asked if people in Indianapolis were as isolated as Hopper characters. She breathlessly demurred, "Oh, I can't say."

For a town where "everyone talks," no one seemed to want to answer my question.

"Well," I asked, "as a docent, what would you tell people about these paintings?"

"It looks like a hotel you just wouldn't want to stay in," she despaired. "You have four people, and nobody is paying attention to anyone else. If there were a human touch, it would make all the difference in the world. I find myself avoiding a lot of Hoppers. They make me feel lonely."

"Are there any old hotels like that downtown?" I inquired.

"Not any more. There was one: Forty-ninth and Meridian. I think they made it into apartments." She nodded goodbye, and I headed downtown, hoping to find a Hopperesque hotel lobby of my own.

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