All That One Wants

Yesterday I walked down to the waterfront. Pier 61/62 is closed – loaded down with construction for Summer Nights at the Pier – so I walked south to the piers with the tourist shops.

I watched things happening in the sound. A boat headed out from the next pier and let someone out into the sky on a parasail that had “Visio 2000” printed on the side. A single jelly fish inched its way through the water. A couple, speaking German, walked by.

There’s a semi-enclosed area filled with as many plastic tables and chairs as will fit. Scattered among the tables, there were a handful of tourists sipping beers, sometimes with dazed looks in their eyes. There are places like this everywhere I guess. A gaudy spot for tired tourists to sit when they’ve walked to far, have had enough museums for a week, or killing a couple of hours before going to the train station next train – considering what they’ll do in the next city.

I did that last summer – Champs-Elysées, the Mexican restaurant in Vienna, and the Franz Kafka Cafe in Prague? If I did, that’s not how I felt. I felt really good (when I wasn’t figuring out if it was correct to seat myself – yes – or pay for my tea immediately – sometimes), worn out in a good way, confused but not defeated. I’ll have to explain this better another time.

Later I went to the film festival screening of The Princess and the Warrior at the Egyptian. The director and the star of the film were there for a little Q&A after – they were the German couple I’d barely noticed at the pier.

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Kids say the darndest things.

“It’s not like she skips school to go banging or to sell drugs. She just likes to skip. But she’s square. She’s hella’ square.”
-A girl to her friends On Pike near the market

I’m crossing Pine at Broadway toward SCCC. A teenage couple is in front of me, their shoes are making clicking sounds against the pavement. When they hit the sidewalk, the boy steps forward onto his right heel and pushes off with his left foot. He coasts a few feet and repeats on the other foot. The girl follows right behind him. They have wheels set into the heels of their shoes.

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Caffe Minnie’s is the place where people go to eat at odd hours. Each dish has a pile of fried potatoes scattered over one side of the plate, and all of their food pretty much tastes just like those potatoes. Though, more than one person has reported that the tomato soup is excellent.

My sleep patterns got all out of whack after a long nap on Wednesday. I had a night of tossing & turning, reading, and pacing around, so I gave in and headed out for a bite at around six. I ordered an omellete and a cup of Darjeeling; and settled in to read the Stranger. The food arrived – and I worked through the heavy omelette, and picked through the dry potatoes. That was just about right.

They serve a small scone with breakfast and it’s a pretty nice piece of work. Mine had a single currant right in the center.

The food doesn’t matter, I sat there and watched Broadway. The clouds hung over us, foreshadowing the coming day of uninteresting weather. No one walked by the window. Aside from the deliverers of the newspapers, who were long gone by now, there were few signs of life.

I finished a second cup of tea and headed back home. Walking back up Broadway, I saw the first signs of commerce – brief glimpses of slow movement in a few shops. The Gap girls folding t-shirts. The old guy cleaning up at Dick’s.

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The Disadvantages of Living in the Moment

I remember when it was raining and sunny at the same time.

And I remember when I stepped into a theater soaked to the bone after a rainy walk. I waited in the crowded lobby and dripped into a paper cup of too hot Earl Grey.

Those were moments.

But there was another time, in the company of sunshine. You were there and you said something to me and I don’t remember what it was. It was perfect, what you said, and I looked at you and you were perfect. And I said, “You’re amazing,” almost aloud.

Then I stood there waiting for the perfect moment.

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I have a ticket to a movie at the film festival and Naomi decides to go too. She goes outside to smoke, while I shut down my PC. I stroll out onto the sidewalk, catch a glimpse of someone on the periphery and turn my head with a, ready to go?, look. I’m expecting Naomi, but it’s my neighbor Darien, heading inside. I plant my feet in the sidewalk and turn my head in both directions, trying to spot Naomi.

“How’s it going?”

“Good,” I crane my neck to look behind Darien.

“Where you headed?” He steps into the doorway and finds his keys.

“I’m going to see a movie.” I step closer to the curb and try to look around the corner of the building to see if she’s in front of the other entrance. But I’d need x-ray vision.

“What are you going to see.”

I’m not prepared to give the title and then rattle off a synopsis – so I answer vaguely, “A documentary at the film festival.”

“You going alone?” This is usually the case when we pass each other here.

At this point I must be spinning around in circles and looking up in the sky to see if she’s hovering above us. “No, I expected, . . . I’m looking . . . for my friend . . .”

I can see into Darien’s mind at this point: “Ah yes, his friend.” That’s what I’d be thinking anyway.

Just then, Naomi steps out from amongst the cars parked across the street.

“There she is. See you later, Darien.”

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A Vat of Molasses

On Thursday, Mari & I followed up on a little misadventure, we went to Sara’s birthday party for real this time. (Sara really knows how to throw a party, by the way. For her thirtieth, she rented out the 35th floor of Smith Tower for god’s sake.) I like seeing the particular slice of Amazon people (& others) that go to Sara’s things. Mari wasn’t feeling well and headed home after awhile.

Sara coaxed people over to the stage when the band started playing. I wandered around the crowd some, anchoring myself to conversations and acquaintances, then cutting myself loose after a few minutes. Dan was wearing a utilikilt. We talked about it for a minute. Actually now that I think about it, the conversation about Dan’s kilt was with Ben, who seemed to know a lot about it.

At one point, ready for another drink, I was interpreting the logic of the line at the bar, and saw Mark getting ready to leave. I took the chance to catch a ride back to Capitol Hill. Mark and friends dropped me off a couple of blocks from home and headed downtown, to another show.

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A hip young reporter at the begining of Q13 Reports At Ten struggles for words and misses the point:

“We’ll take you to the vigil for . . . the . . . police officer . . . who shot that fellow.”

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