Wednesday, June 21, 2006

reality betas

In a way, I'm glad that the jewelry store isn't open when I rush over there as if to complete all my chores before my flight. My watch battery remains unfixed, my inability to either manage or be on-time has a really great excuse now, even as I try to catch a plane. What it means though is that I can no longer gauge how long we sit on the runway, how long the flight takes, much less how long my enormous layover in Denver is. Too tired to do the math when I finally arrive in Seattle, let's just presume it's been a long fucking day and by not affixing a number to it, perhaps my jetlag won't take hold.

(As life can't help but creep into the work, I realize two upcoming pieces make mention of "time," how these dissimilar artists both disavow and deny it, their music contesting such tides. A lyrical genius says (not sings, mind you): "Time will take care of itself, so just leave time alone.")

Upon landing, I somehow find my way to a Seattle restaurant that does not serve espresso at 11pm, but the sushi is killer, even if they gild the lily a little. Even though I write in up to seven cities, I've really only ever spent time in one of them. Cranking out pieces in a little green room, linking to such articles online, receiving printed checks in the mail, these places just seem like distant clips from Shangri-La or something. Now Seattle is a reality.

Being at a rock show in a new town makes me feel slightly anthropological as I look around at the new settings, the new kids and what their outfits are here. In the daylight, the town seems to really dig shows. Scores of fliers abound, everyone from Prince Paul to Buck 65 to Black Angels to Jose Gonzalez (and holy shit! there's also a flier for Love Battery) flapping along walls and lampposts. Stacks of the Stranger and Seattle Weekly are in nearly every shop doorway. Getting on the bus, I see people reading the weeklies. Perhaps because there is so much more competition for eyes as in New York, where you can also choose between New York, New Yorker, TONY, and (for the sickos out there) NY Press.

For the first time ever, I actually step inside the offices of one of my employers, the Stranger. Dig through the archives to see my words in newsprint; it has that same sort of rush as when I head to the street corner on Tuesday night to find my words in the newest Voice, despite the ink not being fresh any longer.

I'm not here so much for business, but for vacation. I spend the morning taking care of my interview so as to enjoy the sensations of being in a new city. The sky is milky with clouds to where every corner and building front stands out vividly in the skyline. Yes, Seattle is a bustling metropolis, but I notice more space between the noises now, to where once the bus rumbles past, nothing really takes its place. It's an increase of silence, a calm so hard to parse back home. Call it an unclenching on my part, even as I down as much espresso as I can at every opportunity. The only thing that occurs more often today than such sipping is overhearing references to Reality Bites and Singles.