Back during the school year when I was homesick and couldn’t wait to come to Seattle during my summer break, I imagined that I would cherish every moment that I’m in Seattle; that I’d linger on the details, notice everything, take it all in.
It hasn’t been like that. I lingered on the details for about ten minutes, but then slipped back into normal mode, like a fish slipping back into the ocean. Rather than feeling the special glow of Seattle, I feel the reality of my desert exile fading like a dream. Now that I’m here, I have to remind myself that I actually live and work in California, and that I should take advantage of my time here.
I was already here for one cold week earlier this summer, before seven days in Kaua’i. Now I’m back in Seattle for ten days, renting out my friend’s house, ostensibly on a writer’s retreat. It’s day four of those ten days, and I haven’t gotten much writing done at all.
I keep running into people when I’m out. My first day back, I ran into M from the LA Karaoke League getting off the train; we ended up chatting at Espresso Vivace. There was Tall R outside the Columbia City Theater. The next day a former student check my groceries at Uwajimaya. Then I saw a Cousin R at the drug store. I can’t swing a cat around here! I had to reinstate my rule of #selfiesfirst, lest we forget.
The other day I went to dinner with BM and JF at Meet the Moon, because Sherman Alexie had talked about it. Then yesterday I went on a Western Washington adventure with H and K; Ocean Shores, Copalis Beach, Lytle Seafoods in Hoquiam, Jay’s Farmstand in Aberdeen. We were even in Downtown Olympia for a minute; we peed at the Governors Hotel. We also took a picture in front of the house we grew up in on Tumwater Hill.
At Lytle Seafoods, my sister and I bought a dozen oysters in a plastic bag; we sat at a picnic table next to the building (with a view of the stream and Gray’s Harbor, next to their oyster boat) and cracked those oysters with the oyster knives my sister carries with her. The whole day was fun but cracking oysters was the highlight.