I bought a bicycle from a man in Port Orchard today. I gave it a test ride and loaded it into the back of my borrowed big SUV. The bike’s old owner had a big friendly poodle, who had to wear an old sock over an injured back leg.
The radio came on when I turned the ignition. It was a Radiohead song, which sustained itself for five miles, until I reached the ferry dock, ending as I shut off the engine.
There was an hour’s wait for the next boat. A sugar craving led me to wander away from the dock in search of a convenience store.
I stopped on the way back to watch goats eat the grass around the “Welcome to Southworth” sign. A man pulled over across the street and asked me, “Where is Manchester?”
I resisted my impulse to recite, “Across the Atlantic Sea,” a lyric from Hair. “I don’t know. Sorry.”
The goats wandered away, so I headed back toward the car. The ferry workers were at the fare booth teasing each other about how many dates they had.
The ferry arrived soon enough. Workers in orange vests directed traffic off the boat – pedestrians first, then cars.
The deck was cleared and the row of cars that were headed for Vashon Island were coaxed on board. Vashon Island is the first stop, but the fare is higher than the longer trip to West Seattle.
I looked over the cars that were passing by. A bald eagle glided out over the water toward the dock. (There was a scurry of excitement in the cars parked around me.) A crow flew in and took a couple of swipes at the eagle. The eagle circled back and gave the crow the evil eye; and you’ve never seen the evil eye until you’ve seen it given by a bald eagle. The crow cackled. It was a draw. The eagle flew low over the dock, maybe 100 feet overhead, and perched itself in the trees on the other side of the ferry terminal.
The ferry ride was uneventful. I drove back into downtown on the Alaskan Way viaduct. It turns out that this is the best way to get a grasp of Seattle’s skyline – coming from the south, driving just above street level.
It’s not important what I was thinking after I noticed that the fuel gauge was pointed below E. What’s important is I’m here now and the biggest story is still the price of gas. The car didn’t putter to a stop on the slopes of Seneca Street.
Across another body of water, by bridge this time, to my sister’s house, where the kids have access to more Silly-Putty than you’ve ever seen. It turns out that, these days, Silly-Putty won’t pull an impression off of newspaper. Apparently Silly-Putty didn’t changed their formula; the papers changed theirs’. I think it might have something to do with DRM?