I’m out on the roof of an apartment building in Belltown, sitting around a table crowded with paper plates, ketchup bottles, and strangers. We’re eating barbecued burgers. We’re losing sunlight, and the dark clouds are getting more ominous. I refrain from pointing out that it’s probably going to start raining any minute.
A family is eating their barbecued meal in the little room that opens out onto the roof, fifty yards away. Whenever one of us crosses paths with them, one of the men in that group gives us a verbal poke in the ribs: “You can leave the beer on the counter over there. I’ll watch it for you.” or “You said you’d do our dishes, right?” The Mariners game is playing out on a big plasma screen TV that we can see through a window. Look away from the TV, and you can make out part of the giant scoreboard screen shining through the framework of the stadium across town. Occasionally the wind will carry the bass of the stadium sound system all the way over to us. Then the distinct voice of Björk drifts up from the waterfront. I’m convinced that I can tell which song she’s singing each time a new one is started. The lyrics are at the back of my head, but I can’t quite connect. Late in the evening, the squeal of a train braking on the tracks seems to compliment Björk’s howlings perfectly. (Wait. Is that a train or is it part of the music?) It doesn’t rain.