Damn, I love this place. Sitting at waterside in the shade of late summer grapevines, watching kayakers ply their way up the ship canal and under the Fremont Bridge. Overhead, like a forgotten melody, yet another ancient Beaver on floats rumbles westward to the islands, or parts unknown. At my back lies Fremont, haven of the comfortably weird and self-proclaimed Center of the Universe (it’s right over there, where the 50-foot rocket/art perches at the corner of 35th and Evanston). To my left, under the bridge is the Fremont Troll. What, the bridges in your city don’t have trolls? It’s somehow comforting to be here now, as five hundred miles to the south, Burning Man is reaching is frenzied pitch. I find myself wondering whether Seattleites – especially those from Fremont – make it out to the playa much; somehow it feels like there’s just a touch of that escape from what burners call “the default world” right here, every day. Just enough, enough to remind you that “normal” is a choice.
I could live here. Come to think of it, I have lived here, and I could easily do it again. Yeah, I know I’m here in the glorious late summer Seattle sun. That February is cold (don’t speak to me about cold!), dark and wet, wet, wet. But I lived here for seven years, remember? I know that there’s joy and beauty in the rain, too. The engulfing dark, lush green. The splash of kids dancing around the raindial on the hill at Gasworks Park. The ferries. Yes, the ferries. We’re not even gonna start on the ferries. I love riding ferries in the rain – so sue me.
But that was then, a long time ago. And possibly again, a long time from now. Can’t live in either of those times. For the moment, I’m gonna live in the now – now, when it’s 5:40 on a Friday evening and it’s time for me to stroll down the street to absorb the glorious weirdness on my way to dinner with an old friend. Now? “Now” is a good time to be here.