After you drive for one week straight, no matter how coked up you are on your new life, no matter how jumping hot the city is, you don't exactly hit the ground running. Instead you hit the mattress whimpering. That's just what I did for a few days. I'd wake up in the middle of the day, stretch into a different position on my bed, flip over the pillow to the cooler side, and go back to sleep. Blinds kept out the sharp September sunlight and a fan swirled the noises of the outside world into whiteness. My boxes and backpack remained untouched at the foot of the bed and while my phone collected messages.
I was recovering not only from the drive, but also the physically brutal days I spent in Idaho on the most dangerous, mind twisting, knee blowing trek of my life. My sunburn reached an apex of pain and then peeled against the sheets. And on another level, my brain and body and circadian rhythms were adjusting to the cataclysmic shift my life was undergoing. I always get tired and need to sleep when the things around me are going through a profound change. In high school, when I learned that the creator, director, head coach of Adventure Quest had been molesting the boys around me and was going to prison for a long time, I fell asleep right there on the ground where I got the news and slept for about five hours straight. It's like emotionally-induced narcolepsy, and unfortunately, it can also go hand and hand with insomnia. Ironic, ain't it.
Fortunately, this time there is no bad news. It's just that waking up in a new bed, in a new house, in a new neighborhood, and having your weather patterns effected by the Pacific instead of the Atlantic, can be disorienting when you take it all in one shot. Better to sip slowly.
I began to venture out of the house. Down 35th avenue. Market Street in Ballard at dusk. Back to the neighborhood bar with the ultimate friends. During these excursions I have to convince my mind that, contrary to all sensory evidence, I have not actually gone back in time. That actually, a lot has happened to me since I left and even if it's not immediately visible, it's right there beneath my skin. You can come back to live in a place you've been before, and be a completely different person. You can.
That's one thing I'm sure of. I'm a completely different person than I was when I left.
However, most of the old pleasures of the city remain the same. Like Wallingford at sunset:
Writing all evening at Cupcake Royale in Ballard:
Greenlake walks in the afternoon:
This one is for Jason Tabert, who asked me the other day to write a post that was....happy.