A young couple heavy with luggage, on their way to Alaska, to see the Aurora Borealis. They're passing through from Pittsburgh. Do they have any other business up there?
"No. We've just always sort of really wanted to see it," the husband said.
"Yeah. I can see that," I said.
Deep voices nearby, another totally unrelated strand of conversation, happening right alongside: "Whoa, back up. If you're from another planet, how'd you learn how to speak English?"
Just another afternoon somewhere on the 4.
"Hey, man." Subdued. Older guy in dirty street clothes, talking to another fellow in similar garb.
"You still goin' to that spot?"
"Do they still have that one cook there? Fat lady, brown hair? Beatle cut?"
"I don't, I don't, maybe."
Stretching back, in a voice reminiscing the rose-hued past: "She was the shit, man. I'd come halfway across town when she was up in there. She made that skinless chicken,"
"Mufuggah smelled good, man," he says wistfully. "Every time."
There's a truthfulness in his voice that registers. The man's a romantic.
Garfield student Patrick and myself, chatting about anything and everything, cruising through the shifting principalities of Jefferson Street. We're in the CD; now we're in Seattle U territory; now approaching Swedish Main and Harborview. The conversation propels us up and down the gentle grades. He's got his athletic gear on, presumably just coming from practice.
At first we're talking about how friends of mine will sometimes come ride a round or two, and how it's a fun way to pass the time; then we're discussing the benefits of having interests in unrelated fields; now we're talking about how photography has a difficult time capturing the impression of immense size, perhaps because our peripheral vision contributes greatly to our perception of a large scene, and this is a key missing element in such photographs. There's a freedom of sorts in the air; I realize I don't often hear the young folk speak so openly or honestly, without worrying so much about being cool or sounding too smart. I get excited by people like him. Promise, in the new generation. You just have to look for it.
I was southbound on Third between Pine and Pike, rolling gently down the left lane. We had just left the Queen Anne folks- they all got off at Pine- and are now beginning to round up the motley crew that will comprise our Harborview/Central District group. I always enjoy their company. It's six-thirty pm, and things are quieter now. Mellow. I've got my left hand on the wheel, no need to rush, my right arm stretching up behind me. Magic hour sunlight fades, washing the open expanse of Third in a muted blue-gray. The accumulated sensation of all this makes the thought hit me- right now, I love this more than anything. During this particular moment, today, there's nowhere else I'd rather be. I have found myself, if only for a moment, here, in this growing space.
It's a pleasure to be sharing stories again. I told you this thing wasn't going anywhere. Work on my show has been exhausting and rewarding, and still very much in full swing- I hope you're able to make it. If you're a reader or visitor to my blog, that means you're invited!