I’m not sure anything could be more relaxing than a walk through the Seattle nighttime drizzle with the air so fresh and everything so soft yes this is the softness that I love. Except, the next day, when it’s suddenly sunny and I’m in the park taking off all my clothes and sitting on the bench by the reservoir in my boxers to take it all in, eye mask and sun hat as well, of course, and then I’m walking back to my apartment and I think: I love this place. And, that actually happens a lot here, on my walks. I love the little white flowers with yellow centers growing out of the grass, the trees with branches that cross the street and then oh, those pink flowers up ahead and so much green green green yes green, how could I ever live without this green?
So I love it environmentally – it’s a good balance for me, this neighborhood, my walks to the park and back, different textures for my feet and eyes. And it’s when I’m by myself, these moments of loving it here, usually, so what does that mean exactly? How do I stretch those moments into everything else, that’s the challenge, in the this town so entrenched in a middle-class mentality that people talk about gentrification as “increasing the density,” and brand-new buildings filled with tiny efficiencies are described as affordable housing. There is more here than this middle-class mentality, but it’s so so hard to find. And I find myself with middle-class dreams, walking into an open house in a building I’ve always fantasized about, 1920s Frederick Anhalt Tudor-style building and wow, it’s even more gorgeous than I thought with paned glass windows on two sides and air streaming through, even a window in the bathroom and a real kitchen, laundry in the back stairwell which seems a bit strange and a fireplace, who needs a fireplace, but really, these floors, the original floors and so much light and the trees right outside the windows.
Over to the post office with Beth to rescue my mail and then there is more to catch up with and the sun is going down, maybe down enough that I won’t need sunglasses, no not yet, maybe soon, maybe soon another walk and more air, I can feel it coming in through my windows, of course, but also cigarettes and pot and laundry detergent or fabric softener but now it’s fresh, right now, and I don’t know if any of this would really be different in the middle-class dream of condo ownership, right? I would have certain things like my own laundry, but who knows if the neighbors right downstairs with smoke in my breathing space, right? Soon I’ll be ready to start working on Sketchtasy again, back to mid-‘90s Boston, and what will that mean for how I feel here? Only two days back, and already I got that sensation of loving it here, in those moments, and I didn’t really have any of those moments in San Francisco. Maybe just once, walking on Post, flooded by so many walks on that exact corner and the texture of the light as the sun started going down and suddenly oh, so much to remember but it didn’t make me feel calm really, maybe calm for a moment or two, maybe a few blocks as I stopped up on Bush to look at that view that used to soothe me, wondering if it would still be the same, it almost was, in that moment, but then there was the next moment.