He stopped to ask me for directions. I looked right at him, took a breath before speaking but then he suddenly stepped away. My hands went up to relax him. “Swimming. I went swimming,” and motioned to my eyes. This was exactly what I was hoping to avoid. Poor guy. He stepped away just as he was asking for directions to University St. downtown Seattle. My chlorine red eyes scared the crap out of him.
I walked back toward Capitol Hill and stopped in the grocery store. At the check out I was finally brave enough to look up at the cashier. He didn’t flinch. Still, I felt a need to explain my red eyes. He said it didn’t matter. “But I just scared this guy 20 minutes ago.”
“He must not spend a lot of time downtown,” he replied.
At another QFC last week, a man jumped from the balcony onto the sign and then climbed down onto the shelf.
This is why no one flinched at my red-chlorined eyes.
Speaking of red, I have a new thought about Valentine’s Day. I used to be a bit of a scrooge about this holiday. “It’s all about making money! You should celebrate your love every day! Not just one day.” But I’m a hypocrite. I love birthdays. I appreciate that person all year round but I absolutely love birthdays.. I love to celebrate the individual…
I had a really good Valentine’s weekend. *smiles* *blushes* Ahem..
This inspired some new thoughts.
Since I appreciate things year round but I love one special day to celebrate a particular person/remembrance/cause.. why does Valentine’s day get such a bad rap?
We all know it’s all the other things that are important. We know it’s not the flowers or the candy or the wining and dinning. So why do people get so bent out of shape about it? There’s no reason to. It’s a lovely idea. Forget all the marketing. It doesn’t matter.. but don’t be too prideful and stuck on principles to celebrate. *smiles* That’s my advice.
Finally, Seattle’s weather impressed me. On Valentine’s Day, it poured and it was windy. This was the nasty Seattle winter I had been expecting all along.
But over the previous weekend, I saw little flowers popping up out of the ground. Spring is on its way. I’m ready. 🙂
My First Seattle Anniversary is coming up, March 1st! I can’t believe I’ve lived here for almost one year. It seems long ago and like yesterday all at once. My, how time flies by. My life is completely different from when I have arrived and I am so happy for this. I came to Seattle with a few hundred dollars in my pocket and a friend offered his futon to crash on. I will forever be grateful for this extension of friendship. In one month I found a job and an apartment. A month after that I lost the job (the office closed down), my purse was stolen along with my IDs and beloved Canon Powershot. It was hard for a few weeks. I’ve been juggling part-time-going-nowhere jobs but I’m happy. I’m so happy I have one.
Because I came with almost nothing. I struggled for over a year back in Ohio to find a job. When I finally found one I was lucky to walk away with $8 in tips at a short-lived waitressing job. My family member needed frequent hospital visits. I wasn’t just balancing eating a real meal vs. ramen. I was calculating how much money I could spend at the store (often only $5 every few days), walking instead of driving (in blistering cold winds and snow), I was auditioning for a dream music program (and failed). My heart was broken over a lost (or never was) love. I won’t tell you about the far worse parts of that time period (nor the truly awful things that have happened to me in Seattle).
Then these friends of mine stepped up to help me when I was in dire need. They were utterly selfless and unhesitatingly gave to me. They were angels.
A year later I’m living in my dream spot where all of my favorite things are at my finger tips. I walk to work. Do you have any idea of how good it feels to walk to work? Sure I’m rained on but I always relish the sun just before work. I read my Economist and chuckle or scorn. Coffee is plentiful (even bad coffee is good coffee here). Conversation is plentiful. Fresh fruit is plentiful (even when it’s limited because of the unexpected freezing we’ve had). I’ve been “well-to-do” parties. I’ve been jell-o wrestling and dancing until 4am. I’ve been enjoying the best beers all year round (by the way, Collin, I like Manny’s now). I hear great music (like the Sam Marshall Trio, like Jack DeJohnette, like Kids and Animals).
I’m taking voice lessons with a musician I admire. On Mondays I firmly spank the ground with my feet in Flamenco classes. In two weeks I try out snowboarding (no, really this time provided the weather doesn’t flare up a nasty storm again). I eat at wonderful restaurants.
I am Free here. I have my freedom.
That is a precious thing to me. As a rule of thumb, I make the most of where ever I am. Years ago, I lived in Las Vegas for 6 months. It was never a place I wanted to visit again much less live there but I was happy because there is always something good to gain from each place.
But Seattle is different for me. I can do anything, it feels like.
Last year, my sister said to mutual friends back home,
“Well, I think April is finally settling down.”
“Yeah.. she’s in love.”
“WHAT?! Who’s the guy?!!!”
“No no, not a guy,” my sister said. “It’s the city. It’s Seattle.”
Falling in love is a balance. The rush of newness vs. the test of time. Well, Seattle, it’s safe to say I am in truly, madly, deeply in love with you. I am forever yours. It was a hard, hard year.. but it was worth it.
Ah geez. I’m welling up with tears inside. Damnit!