Seattle screams with verbs: Crashing, lurching, heaving, rising, shoving, pulling, dreaming.
There is nothing glamorous about our Lake City apartment. Third floor on a busy street, we do not see skyscrapers or the Space Needle. Our view is McDonald’s golden arches, and if I stand on tip-toe, I can see the red lights of Deja Vue. I misread the club’s sign as “Tea to make your day.” The sign actually reads, “T&A to make your day.”
Out my south-facing window, the sun rises pastel blue and grey over the car wash and sets pink in the clouds. My neighborhood birds are all beggars: Seagulls and crows scavenge fast food crumbs and French fries, scratching for more. There are almost as many people in my apartment building as lived in our whole Montana town.
I find street noise comforting. The persistence of sirens reminds me of nights sleeping in Grandma Lena’s West Hollywood, upstairs bedroom. “Say a prayer when you hear a siren,” the nuns taught us, and I still do. Bruce and I imagine the constant boulevard hum of traffic to be the ocean, which is close enough that we feel salt air breezes.
Goodies Mediterranean market down the street sells food from Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey and Persia, including HALAL lamb, beef and goat, slaughtered humanely; is that an oxymoron? The market prepares take-out baba ghanoush, made with mashed cooked eggplant, tahini and olive oil. Ethiopian spices are sold at a shop nearby.
Rapid transit is convenient, and Bruce rides the bus twenty minutes to work every day. I walk to the Lake City library, Lovely Nails and Spa, and soon to the Farmer’s Market. We use one tank of gas a month.
Eco-green policies are prevalent in Seattle. Our apartment building provides separate receptacles for waste management, including one bin for composting, another for recyclables and a third for whatever else remains. However, there is a lot of garbage on the street, including big stuff like mattresses, chairs and couches, lamps and mirrors. A person could decorate their whole place if they weren’t too fussy. Blue-tarp homeless tents sprout up under the freeway overpasses or any piece of unoccupied ground and are soon surrounded by refuse.
It was two months before I drove anywhere, thanks to Seattle’s winter Snowmageddon. Finally, I got behind the wheel, only to find a flat tire waiting for me when I left the yarn store. I called AAA and within an hour a repair truck arrived. Sonny Bone’O waited patiently in our back seat.
“Your dog has beautiful eyes,” the AAA mechanic said as he worked. “I don’t know much about dogs,” he told me. “Where I was born in Africa, I only knew about monkeys, lions and tigers.”
Oh, my. Another reason, I love Seattle.