HORSES AND COSTUMES IN COLUMBIA CITY
We saw you, five men in Civil War–era uniforms and on horses. You were in a Columbia City parking lot for apartments that are rumored to be very pricey. You were American, black, and proud. But at the moment of seeing all of you, we could not help being reminded of the very popular and catchy Bob Marley tune "Buffalo Soldier." We heard the lines about you being stolen from Africa and fighting for survival and fighting on arrival. Many people never hear about Buffalo Soldiers and their role in the old American wars until they hear that tune, which is on the Legend CD. Once the song was in our head, it got stuck there.
BEACON (HILL) OF SUNSHINE
The stresses of daily life can be so overwhelming that they lead us to do stupid things, like ask for cash back at the Beacon Hill QFC automatic checkout, then forget to take the money. Though we picked up a few groceries on Saturday, it wasn't until Sunday, when we went to pay for our morning coffee, that we realized we had left $40 dangling in the machine. Not the end of the world, but enough to make it seem like nothing would ever go our way again. Resigned to the worst, we summoned the will to hope for the best and called the store, only to be told that in fact the money had been turned in by a fellow shopper and was waiting there to be reclaimed. It felt so good to have our faith in humanity restored that we burst into tears right there on the sidewalk, and the bright summer sun dried them as we returned to the scene of our error.
RELAXING IN THE SHADE AT HEMPFEST
We saw you, a guy in his 20s or 30s in a white baseball cap, relaxing in the shade at Hempfest as EMTs tended to an elderly man sitting in the 90-plus-degree heat. While we all love When Harry Met Sally references, pointing at the man and saying "I'll have whatever chronic he's having" just makes you sound like kind of a dick.
IT WAS A QUEER, SULTRY SUMMER IN THE CAPITOL HILL LIGHT RAIL STATION
On a Saturday morning, we saw you, a woman in your early 30s, perhaps, intensely reading (but how else does one read it?) Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar on the platform at Capitol Hill light rail station. We hadn't seen anyone holding this once-popular novel since the early '80s, and it warmed our suicidal heart.
MAN WITH CURIOUS HAIR
You were a professional man walking toward downtown on Pike Street last Wednesday afternoon wearing casual business attire: neat dark jeans, dark shoes, a tucked-in collared shirt of dark blue, and a black cross-body messenger bag that showed no signs of wear. Your pace was measured, which gave the impression that wherever you were headed, you were precisely on time. On the top of your head was a Mohawk. It was chestnut and soft like a horse's mane. It was an unusually beautiful Mohawk. How do you keep it up there all silky like that?
RAPPING AT SEATTLE CENTER
You were a friendly fortysomething white dude with a smile that made everyone around you start smiling. When you approached us and our out-of-town friends near a bus stop by KeyArena on Saturday, you introduced yourself and told us you were homeless. You told us that you dreamed of a career in music and that you were convinced that you could make your million by rapping. Without any prompting, you gave us a performance, rapping about the day Jimi Hendrix died. We have some good news for you, sir: Your rap was stuck in our heads for the rest of the weekend.
THAT TRIANGULAR BUILDING ON 12TH
We saw you bitching about Seattle. While waiting to cross the street, you pointed to vacant storefronts in the base of that ugly triangular building on East Madison Street and 12th Avenue and remarked to your friend, "All that shit is empty! This city is fucked, yo." You have a point. But we suspect you haven't been following promising developments in city law: The mayor just signed sweeping legislation that requires developers to build or pay for affordable housing whenever they put up a new building. The law is not enough. There's a lot of work to do to stop Seattle from being fucked. And we (you, your friend, us) gotta do the work. But the city is not fucked, yo.