The Internet went out yesterday, causing me to have a mild freakout because a) I’m on deadine and b) I LOVE YOU, INTERNET. I guess I could have used the 3G on my phone, but it’s not the same when you have to do research, stream music, and, when words fail, hatefollow people on Twitter.
As far as I know, there was a service outage that wasn’t repaired until sometime after I went to bed, which was early because it’s easy to sleep when the Internet isn’t there to distract you, and also in lieu of having the Internet I spent three hours reading (new issue of Food and Wine, more of the GNR biography “Watch You Bleed,” and the first few stories in Denis Johnson’s collection “Jesus’ Son”). I also spent some of my downtime thinking about stuff, and this is where I apologize because shit’s about to get deep, even though I’m sorry I’m not sorry since what I’m about to write will probably dovetail into something else later this week. Which will be more embarrassingly funny (to you) than deep (for me), so I guess I’m saying you’re welcome.
This past weekend, Graham said that he and Luke had planned a surprise for Courtney and I, and that we were going somewhere by public transportation around 2:30pm and should dress warm but they couldn’t tell us anything else. So I dressed warm. Seattle’s not that cold – not as cold as Midwest winters, anyway – but depending on where you are in the city in relation to water, flat land, and wind, it’s always best to put on the layers. On a normal day I wear sweater tights under my jeans, slightly colder days mean I tuck a scarf into my coat. Just walking somewhere requires a medium amount of logistical planning in regards to how rain and cold affect your personal comfort, and remember, it’s always easier to take off the layers you have than wish for the layers you didn’t bring.
I wore a thermal shirt under my t-shirt and running pants under my jeans, plus two pairs of socks and I brought my knit hat. Of course, it turned out to be sunny and not all that cold, so by the time we got off the bus around Pioneer Square, I was more sweaty than I was happy about thinking ahead. When I mentioned this to Graham, he assured me that I’d eventually be glad to have dressed that way, and when we got on the ferry, I understood. There’s a world of difference between how you feel downtown and how you feel while moving across Elliott Bay with a wind coming out of the Olympics, and I felt perfectly comfortable here:
At one point during the sunset (!) trip over to Bainbridge Island, Graham asked if I was afraid of boats. I guess this was a legitimate question, because I’d begged him not to “surprise” me with a ride on the Ferris Wheel, and he knows I require at least two alcohol beverages before boarding an airplane. I also have a condition we refer to as “Clenched Butthole” while driving, or rather, mostly while other people are driving, because I was in a car wreck once about ten years ago and for some reason, I’m still a little bit traumatized. So I understood why he asked, but I answered in the negative. No, I was not afraid of boats. I mean, I guess I’m a little afraid of boats, because no one wants to think about drowning, especially in the glacially cold Puget Sound. But I can swim, at least. I can’t fly. Anyone who doesn’t understand a fear of heights would do well to remember that.
Since then, I’ve been thinking about all of the things that scare me. Heights, of course, and more than one mode of travel. I experience a surge of fear every day when I leave for work and later drive home from it, partially because Seattle drivers are fucking ridiculous and also because I’m a fucking pussy, okay? At some point in the past few days, I realized that I’m only truly comfortable when under my own locomotion, that is, walking around on my feet. While this doesn’t get me very far very fast all of the time, it’s still a little bit of confidence when I need it, and it’s telling that I have never felt more comfortable in getting myself somewhere on foot than I do in Seattle.
For the most part, I know where I’m going. For the most part, I feel safe. For the most part, I feel like I belong and I live here, and have some sort of responsibility to roll my eyes at the tourists who treat certain parts of town where people actually reside and go to work like Disneyland photo ops. I feel at home here, and I haven’t decided if this means I am exactly where I’m supposed to be, but man, it sure feels like it.