Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thrills, bills, and coffee spills.

It was my sincerest intention to write each day of the drive, and also to detail each and every glorious little thing I've noticed about THIS FUCKING MAGNIFICENT CITY.

But...acclamation, while fun, is a harrowing thing. Sorry for the delay. Here we go:

First and foremost, and this is the only way I know how to put this: Seattle is the most aesthetic city I've ever seen. There are hills. Go on top of one, and you will see at least five of the following: a sunset, a gynormous mountain range with snowy peaks, water, Mt. Rainier, a bus, a tree, a space needle, a big shiny glittery skyline that will just make you scream with excitement inside: "Look at me! I live in a city!", and either a seagull or a crow (I find both pleasing to the eyes and ears). I can see all of these things except Rainier from the back of my building, where I am at this moment sitting.

It's almost unfair. I want to say I'm pissed that I didn't grow up here, but I'm not. I am so delighted to be seeing all this bright squeaky new stuff with bright squeaky new eyes every day that I almost can't stand myself. 

Other things I've seen (I'm starting a tally):
- People watering their lawns because it hasn't rained in more than four days: 5
- Superiorly adorable puppies: 7
- Men in kilts: 4 (my favorite was the one who paired it with a Betty Boop shirt)
- Thrift stores within walking distance: 8
- Grown men playing on a swing set: 2 (or 1 pair)
- Fascinatingly beautiful people of unknown gender: 768 (averaging one every ten minutes of a waking day)

Some of these lovely people are friendly, others are sort of shifty-eyed and seem to want to hurry past. Everytime I meet someone new and tell them where I'm from, they say: "People are so much more passive aggressive here, you know." Passive Aggressive. No, actually, I don't know. I really never had a firm grasp on what that means, and I still don't. I expected people here to be more loopy --mountain-loving people with thick socks and crazy eyes who always seem to smile and who talk to strangers. The people I'm seeing are not that. I'm kind of relieved, (I saw enough of those in Shepherdstown for a lifetime), but I still can't necessarily decide how to describe Seattle-ites.

Off the bat: they're young. Even the older people I meet have this shrieking aura of youth clinging to them, like they just aren't aware that their eyes and mannerisms are supposed to change with time. People here walk fast and talk slow. I repeat myself often and sometimes am looked upon as if I'm speaking a foreign, troll-like language. They stare when they listen in an almost intimidating way, and yet they smile when I least expect it. That's the ongoing theme here: the unexpected persona. A tired girl who looks like a zombie but carries a box I can't budge. A shy-faced skinny boy with sudden, bold, blind-siding confidence. Smiling people who don't wave back and drivers who slow down but then get pissed when you decide to cross the street. Voices don't match faces, expressions don't match words, it's all willy-nilly and frightful. I guess that's passive-aggressive?

And so I've had a few of these moments already: I don't know anyone. I don't have a job. I don't have the money to do this. But I slap myself awake at once. I do know people, warm wonderful people, both here and back home. And I will get to know more here, once I learn the secret code or whatever it is I'm not getting just yet. I will get a job, because I'm able and aggressive and not very particular. And I do have money, eeking in from various delayed design sources. I just have to remind myself that it's been a week and I've already done unexpected things myself. I've successfully driven. I've already earned a parking ticket. I've already done indulgent, sweet, sticky things and have already not regretted them for a moment. I've climbed a tower, sang to strangers, and tried soup that cannot be named here because my computer doesn't even have the right buttons to spell it. I'm exactly the same only no one knows it, and that creates layers upon layers of challenges. I'm as dandy as ever and moving right along.

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