Bare toes in Ballard: Aren’t they cold?


We saw you shivering at the crosswalk at Northwest Market Street and Leary Avenue in Ballard on a Wednesday, waiting for the walk signal. LADY, WHERE ARE YOUR SHOES AND SOCKS?! It's been colder than a witch's tit in a brass bra! Maybe you'd just gotten a special Thanksgiving pedicure. But still. You at least need some socks with your flops.


We also saw a lot of men in flip-flops this week, including one a block from Seattle University, one on East Union near 15th, and one on Pike Street. These men waving their toes in the cold were often wearing basketball shorts and puffy jackets, as if their upper halves live in the present chilly climate and their bottom halves are still on summer vacation. Perhaps it is easier to make the transition to winter when half of your body pretends it doesn't exist. Or perhaps all you guys are from the Midwest, and these temperatures mean nothing to you. Or maybe you are not actually human but some warm-blooded species masquerading as human. We are keeping an eye on you.


You, an old lady, were sitting near the bus station at Third and Lenora downtown on a recent evening. You were in a wheelchair, and you were talking loudly to yourself about a dick and how good it was. We didn't catch everything you were saying, but we heard you snigger after remarking on the sheer size of the dick. There was a twentysomething man nearby who tried to ignore you, but it was clear from his face he was disgusted.


On a cold and wet Saturday evening, we entered Lucky Seafood, the turquoise-colored former gas station turned seafood market on Beacon Hill. We were looking for Dungeness crab, of which there were none, but instead we caught sight of you, a young girl around 8 or 9 years old in a lilac bathrobe and pink slippers. You were twirling joyfully amid burbling tanks filled with live eels, king crabs, and oysters while a woman, possibly your mother, deftly scaled large fish. The scales caught the light and were glinting as they flew through the air by your face. You moved beautifully, without any self-consciousness. At first we thought you were wearing the robe for warmth, since it's cold in Lucky Seafood and this is the season for layers, but later, upon reflecting, we realized that you weren't wearing any pants. Do you live next door to Lucky Seafood? Do you live at Lucky Seafood? Do you just take baths there?


You were a young couple holding hands and practically skipping east on Pine Street on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Annoyingly, you jumped into every puddle you saw and obliviously splashed whichever unfortunate people happened to be near you. Because this is what young lovers do, apparently. NB: Your love triggered a lot of hate in the two blocks down which we followed you.


We saw you get on to the morning bus, which was crowded as always, with your baby in a front-facing harness on your chest. There were no open seats and the aisles were packed with people. Your baby's tiny legs stuck out of the harness holes and bounced slightly as the bus lurched forward. You maneuvered into the area behind the driver and leaned against the side of the bus and somehow slipped off your backpack, which you were wearing on your back in addition to the harness holding your baby to your front, and struggled with the zipper as you tried to get your wallet back inside the backpack. After what seemed like an eternity, your wallet was secure and your backpack zipped back up. We couldn't see your baby's face. You looked weary. You were a young mother having to stand on a fast-moving bus and keep your balance while carrying a baby on one side and a backpack on the other. After a few minutes, someone seated in a front row saw you and said "Excuse me" to the people in the aisle so that he could find space to stand up and give you his seat. You pushed past a few people, thanked the man, sat down, pulled the too-big beanie off your baby's head to look him squarely in the face, and breathed a deep sigh of relief.


In the rush to make your homey home seem even homier on Thanksgiving, your wife placed large candles around the house. She set one of these candles beneath an expensive lampshade, because of course she did. There were the buttered rolls to consider, the potato pot was boiling over, pies needed to be arranged, and where was Nana going to sit? Luckily, you noticed the smoke billowing up from the shade and blew out the small fire before anyone could see. Then you turned the lamp to hide the burn hole and said to anyone who was listening, "Let's not mention this for now. And maybe let's check the other candles around the house." That sort of nuanced disaster management comes only from years of experience. Salud. recommended