I-5 ICE CREAM SAMARITAN
You were walking across the I-5 overpass to downtown Seattle gutting a half-pint of Häagen-Dazs with one of those little wooden implements that they plastic-wrap to the lid. A passerby dropped what appeared to be a little black T-shirt? They continued walking up the hill unawares. Without hesitation you scooped up the black thing, about-faced, walked uphill to catch up with the owner, and returned the black thing without fanfare. Your focus fell to gutting your half-pint as you continued on your way toward downtown, the red-and-white bouquet of traffic glowing below you. You earned every last drip of that Dazs, Samaritan.
YOU'RE SHITTING ME
Last Thursday afternoon, you, a gaggle of gray pigeons, were gathered, as you usually are, on the electrical wires above the corner of 12th Avenue and Jackson Street in the International District. As we walked innocently below, one of you shat—warm, thick, green-tinged guano—onto the back of our head. It slid down our hair and scalp. We screamed in horror and continued walking toward some place, any place, with a ceiling, paper towels, and a bathroom. Exactly two steps later, you (or maybe it was one of your companions—one of the most frustrating things about this whole mess was that we never actually saw you) shat on us again, this time hitting us just above our right ear. Just so you know, you filthy bird(s), we were in the midst of an extremely emotional day and we were out walking to take our mind off of difficult things. Your shitting on us—twice—made us wonder whether we should laugh, cry, or just lie down on the sidewalk and give up forever.
WAY TOO SERIOUS IN WALLINGFORD
We saw you on Friday night sitting onstage at Chapel Performance Space behind a MacBook, making what sounded like cartoon music created by a guy with a PhD in calculus. It was unhinged musique concrète, full of pings, bleeps, spluttering titters, and other microscopic slapstick sonic events. Your face was utterly stoic, though, even as your sounds struck us as hilarious. Yet nobody in the venue dared to laugh.
COFFEE, BLACK (TAR)
You had a Caffe Vita coffee cup in your hand and a spring in your step as you took in the anomalous early morning sunshine in Pioneer Square. In your other hand was a lighter and a crinkled square of aluminum foil with telltale burn marks in the middle. As a phalanx of buses zoomed past, you leaned against the door of an art gallery, smiled at us, and said, "'Bout to start my day with a good cup of coffee and the best heroin on the West Coast!" Happy trails, dude.
CENTRAL DISTRICT OBSTACLE COURSE
You, probably not older than 10, were pushing a smiley, chubby baby in a stroller down 23rd Avenue in the Central District. The entire street has been shut down for half a year, the construction blocking foot traffic, business entrances, and driveways. The baby stared at strangers and drooled. You looked to your right before a wheel on the stroller got stuck in a pile of construction materials near the sidewalk. You dug the stroller out and continued along the cracked footpath.
BEST HAIR, HANDS DOWN
You are the possessor of the biggest Afro in Seattle, which is somewhat surprising as you're a white man. We often see you walking purposefully around Capitol Hill, your nearly-medicine-ball-sized, reddish-orange hair swaying with the motion of your brisk stride. It is never not an amazing sight.
PILE OF TRASH AT PIKE PLACE
On Wednesday evening, on our way to drinks at the Athenian, we had the rare pleasure of strolling through Pike Place Market after hours, when most of the businesses and restaurants have shut down, the tourists and shoppers are long gone, and the custodial staff is hard at work sweeping and mopping floors. It was then, moments after marveling at the mountains of crushed ice at Pure Food Fish Market, which look stark naked without fish and shellfish heaped on them, that we saw you, a neatly swept up pile of trash, in the middle of the tiled walkway. Your contents—two fingerling potatoes, a tiny chocolate egg wrapped in bright-blue foil, many green leaves trimmed off of stems by flower vendors, and a smushed shiitake mushroom—hinted at the day's activities, at the many people who have worked and walked the Market before us. We toasted you as we sipped bourbon and stared out the window at the dark waters of Puget Sound.