SEX AT DENNY BLAINE
You were definitely having (what appeared to be hetero-sexual) sex on the beach at Denny Blaine with your girlfriend late in the morning on a Saturday. Everyone within a 10-towel radius could see your thrusts.
BUMMED IN BELLTOWN
On a Monday night, the sounds of a bad cover band were drifting out of a bar while you were sitting on some sort of electrical box, swinging your legs back and forth. You had a big smile and a cardboard sign that said, "Will eat pussy for a place to stay." No one was interested.
SEA-TAC WEED LOCATOR
You were returning to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport from Palm Springs on a Sunday afternoon, a tennis racket and Coach bag as your carry-ons. As passengers deplaned, you were texting. "Where is the pot?" someone wrote you. "In the sock drawer," you replied.
JESUS, THE C LINE
On a rainy Sunday morning, you boarded a mostly empty C Line to West Seattle, wild-eyed, saying "hello" to strangers, too happy for a guy on a bus. Then you sat down and it all made sense. On the back of your pink baseball cap, handwritten in crooked black marker: "Try Jesus" and an arrow pointing upward.
HALL & OH, SNAP
You were singing "Sara Smile" karaoke-style in the front room of Columbia City Theater. You made a sincere stab at reaping Hall, but you barely sowed Oates.
SIGHING IN WEST SEATTLE
You, your husband, and teenage daughter went to dinner at the Seattle Fish Company in West Seattle. It was packed. You wanted to sit in a particular booth, but it had not yet been wiped down. Your husband and daughter quickly found a different booth. But not you. You stood there, in the middle of the small dining room and sighed loudly, repeatedly, hoping the harried server, anyone (or everyone?) would pay attention to you. Your entitlement nearly suffocated the room.
On Pike, near Vita, on one of the first cold days of the season, you shouted, "I WON'T LOVE YOU!" to an imaginary person on the sidewalk. "Won't love" is more complicated than "don't love." Even when shouted, "won't" felt like a kind of mercy extended to the empty space. You had a sign. It read, "Respect everyone."
BEACON HILL BRIGHTNESS
You and your wife, probably both well into your 80s, were walking home from Fou Lee on Beacon Hill. She was pushing a rickety metal shopping cart. It was bright out and she was squinting, so you stopped, picked up a flattened cardboard box, and walked next to her, shielding her from the sun as your arms trembled. Everyone should be loved like that.
CAR BAILER ON BOREN
You were stopped at the light on Boren near Denny, in a car with a young man—presumably your boyfriend—talking loudly and making big gestures. It was hard to tell if you were having a good time or a very, very bad time. Then you got out of the car and made it clear, yelling at him: "Yeah, I am happy. I am thrilled!" You slammed the door and walked to the sidewalk with your backpack and your green hair, head held high. He looked angry but also stunned by your defiance. It seemed like a victory.
QUESTIONING THE SPOONING
For living such a harsh life, you look surprisingly fresh-faced and serene, sleeping in the doorway, spooning with your boyfriend. What circumstances led you to where you are? Are you in love? What is it like trying to be intimate in public, among trash?
BUS TUNNEL RIFLE CANE
Guy on the bus platform in the International District: Why do you hold your cane straight out in front of you like a rifle? Why were you holding the cane and walking along as if you didn't need it, rather than using it? What street or traffic or weather conditions, or what bodily sensations, cause you to start using it? Are there days you carry it without ever using it at all?
PEPE LE PEW CHEZ TOULOUSE PETIT
To the Frenchman pulling the Pepe Le Pew act at Toulouse Petit in Lower Queen Anne: Under normal circumstances, loudly insulting a restaurant's wine while flirting with every warm body in striking distance would be nauseating and obnoxious. But congratulations to you, monsieur! You pulled it off. Your repeated declarations that "zees merlot ees sheet!" actually sounded charming, and your relentless pansexuality made both the girls and the boys at your table blush. We're sure you've moved on to other hunting grounds—those of us within earshot gathered you were part of some touring company performing at On the Boards—but you've left a few Seattle-dwellers wondering how often your over-the-top game actually works. What's your batting average, champ?
PINE STREET BIKE PIZZA
You were riding your bike up an incline on Pine Street, over potholes and cracked pavement, with no hands on the handlebars because you were using both hands to eat a slice of pizza. How?
MUSIC WORTH WAITING FOR AT CHAPEL
You were sitting onstage at Chapel Performance Space in front of a Mac laptop, staring intensely at the screen and not moving a muscle. This was a concert, but you produced no music for 10 tense minutes. But the sparse crowd was exceedingly attentive and polite. Was this perhaps an extended cover of John Cage's 4'33"? Eventually, you coaxed from your computer some weird, wired electronic emissions, which sounded fucking incredible, largely because of the uncomfortable silence that preceded them.
BIKE VS. VAN, CHAPTER MCMXLIV
You were riding your bike down Roosevelt Way when a white moving van drove past you and, with no warning or turn signal, veered right across the bike lane and into a driveway. You slammed on your brakes at the last second. You were infuriated by how the van almost hit you, cursing, and you banged on the side of the van with a closed fist, yelling as you maneuvered past it. You were followed by an older cyclist who stopped, stood, and politely told the driver, "You didn't use your signal." The driver nodded, indicating that he recognized his mistake, and said nothing. He was not overtly apologetic. You had already gone on with your commute anyway.
SOUTH LAKE UNION SIDEWALK MANSPREAD
Technically speaking, we all own the sidewalk. But last week, you were taking your half out of the middle, slowly lurching through the Belltown/South Lake Union border zone and staring into your phone. With your slacks and button-up shirt, you looked neither young enough, nor dumb enough, nor desperate enough to excuse such behavior. As you move into the future and your time on earth continues to dwindle, the rest of us have a request: If you're strolling down a crowded pedestrian area and need to stop or suddenly slow down—to check your phone, to admire the architecture, to contemplate your own ephemerality—please pull over to the side. Next time, you might get rear-ended. On purpose.