I’ve been in Seattle all week. As such my time has been pretty catch-as-catch-can, and instead of a coherent post, I offer this hodge-podge:
It’s rained most of the time. This has not been shocking. The sun came out for one afternoon and it was like the government had collapsed. What’s happening? The world makes no sense! What are we supposed to do!?
My wife and I disagree, regularly and vehemently, about the quality and density of the traffic around Seattle, particularly in the I-5 corridor from about an hour south, to 45 minutes north of the city. She insists that it’s not that bad. I insist that it’s a circle of hell which you could leave, except that the exit is a quarter-mile ahead and traffic is at a complete stand-still. A low point of the drive up, in the literal sense, but a high point in the matrimonial sense, was when she called to ask if I was there yet, and I said, “Actually, I’m sitting completely still on the interstate, about 65 miles south of Seattle. Isn’t that weird?”
Technically, I’m not in Seattle, I’m in Bellevue, which is just across the lake. Mercer island is nearby; a clear view of its houses with yachts pulled up out front. It’s an extremely wealthy community – from my hotel room I can see one of Microsoft’s main buildings. Also Expedia. Also Ch2mHill. Most of the stores in the area are tanning salons, beauty salons, gyms, restaurants, galleries… and Cash For Gold pawn-shops. Guess it’s not easy to stay this fabulous.
A bug flew in my eye last night. He was not going to go down without a fight. This was a bug with incredible spirit and resolve. It became like The Old Man & The Sea, but with me and a bug in my eye (which I believe was an earlier version of the book; The Not Old Old Kind of Young But Getting Older Man & The Eye Bug). I came to respect and love the bug, yet know that I must ultimately kill him. I wondered what the great DiMaggio felt as he tried to get a bug out of his eye. I fought the bug, then would rest, and he would rest, and then we would fight again – me trying to wipe him out, he trying to take out my eyeball, then – presumably – head for the brain for the kill-shot. Eventually the bug died. He died honorably, and I wept for him. Specifically, I wept in order to physically get him out of my eye.
Just up the road is 110th street. Across it is all the restaurants and such. Every time – every single time – I cross it I start singing Bobby Womack’s “Across 110th street.” Walking in the shadow of the Microsoft building, and the Expedia building, as expensive cars and heavily-styled women go by, and singing, “Across 110th street, pusher won’t let the junkie go free…” makes me laugh and laugh.
Oregon doesn’t have sales tax, so every time a buy something there’s a nanosecond of “Hey, what’re you trying to pull??!!” and then I calm down.