Here is the active city. I relocated from the quiet study area up the curved stairs to the loud, dragging musical chairs of dim lit main floor, with dark wooden tables and walls painted black. Here there is warmth in my fingers. I feel the wooden beams bend when someone walks by, like a trampoline without harnesses or safety nets and the pulse of the floor is discordant and off tempo with the punk rock music haunting through speakers in corners. Here I am, I silent speech of acknowledgement and limited disgust, pride that I’ve moved on. Proud I’m not a lizard in the sun. Proud I’m not a self righteous slug. Proud I’m a sad Washington native returning with internal triumph not zero external fanfare. My friends drag their bodies around unhappily and like huge sacks of wasted days. Cheer up guys. Look around. This is beautiful.
I brought new eyes back up with me. My musical interlude was masked in fervent baked nightmares. Now about them. The graphic figures of those unbelievable dreams that have become a passing chapter in my life. They are caricatures of warm bodies and the embodiment of shallow ideals. Imagine a dense fog of plexiglass surrounding your head. Imagine an impenetrable fortress of bubbly, happy-talk, even as the ground beneath your feet ruptures open and the lake of fire hurtles toward you with amazing, tectonic force. Imagine watching a train wreck in slow motion but feeling too high to act heroic. Imagine dying uselessly.
Right place, wrong people. When I was land locked, the relationship was wrong place, wrong people, until the bitter end when I found real potential in real friends. They dropped acid and I dropped out. Now again to my anti-climactic triumphant return. But another diversion. I had planned this, moving to Seattle, two years ago. Before I dropped out and they dropped acid, I ranted and raved in my head about returning ‘home’ to the northwest and finishing a degree and living a life among trees and clean air and liberals. If those wrong people had the right attitude, things might be different. I do not regret leaving either location. In the end, I find myself in Seattle either way, just with a stronger opinion on matters I previously could not care about. They were so contrary to me that I resented them. They made me care about politics! What!
When they say, “The streets are clean here!” They mean that there are no homeless here. I assure them that there are absolutely homeless individuals here and that many will freeze to death in upcoming winter nights if they do not head toward warmer climate or get indoors. They scoff.