April 5, 1998

Beauty

Angie rode with me during a somewhat interesting Sunday morning drive, and the best part of it all was just her sheer wonder and joy at things.

The morning was somewhat chaotic because they wanted to get to Seattle proper for a bit, and see the Fremont Troll and also meet up with some of Angie's friends somewhere in Seattle. I picked the Pike Place Market mostly because it is somewhat central to the city and because it's a very big place and because there was food all around. Really great food, in fact. So it was likely that we'd find something for breakfast.

Regis wanted to be in on any breakfast activities, so I called her when folks started getting up. It didn't help that Daylight savings swapped in the middle of the night and they effectively lost an hour during their sleep. But we managed to get folks up around nine or nine thirty, get themselves together while I ran to a cash machine and got myself some money. Then I called Regis to tell her when we were coming to pick her up and then Bryant and I caravaned to pick up Regis at a Starbuck's, where most folks got something for the drive across, and then we drove to the Fremont Troll.

It was a gorgeously strange Seattle day. Curds of grey-white clouds amid milkly blue, and occasionally breaks of outright sunshine next to misting moments of greyness. Angie marveled at it all. At the water on either sides of the floating bridge, at the bridge itself, the landscape, the scenery, the sky, the mountains shadows about the edges of the bowl that is the City. At the Troll, she climbed to the very top and had her picture taken with no fear at all, and delighted in the magic that could be found under a City bridge.

She brought out a lot of the mystery and magic that I've always enjoyed about Seattle and pointed it out to me anew with new eyes and bright eyes and lots of wonder. I enjoyed that immensely.

On the way from the Troll to downtown, we got stopped by the Fremont Bridge opening for a ship to pass through, and instead of it being any kind of annoyance or impediment, it was fun. It was really keen to watch the bridge rise nearly straight up in the sunlight, to see the masts of ships going by and to tell her of the time on the Barge when a couple guys were up in the crow's nest started grabbing the bridges that went by overhead, and one of the grabbed the Fremont Bridge and it started going *up*. He dropped safely in to the water, but it was startling to feel the drawbridge go up. Also to share the thought from too many Hong Kong action movies that some car really ought to be charging up the bridge's slope as it went up.

When we all got to the Pike Place Market it was really fun watching Marith and Angie as we walked through the press to the main area to meet up with Angie's friend. They were standing by the huge brass piggy bank that's about the size of a four hundred pound pig in the main market. We were nearly an hour and a half late, they were about an hour plus late as well, so it worked out beautifully.

We ate over looking the Sound and the Olympic mountains as the sky cleared and Angie caught up with her friends. There's a Sound View Cafe just on the Sound side of the Market. Mostly healthy foods, but we got breakfast as they served it until 1 pm, and we got there around 12:30. Enjoyed just sitting and talking and watching folks and sitting in the sunshine and soaking up both the physical and the social warmth. It was fun to just watch and listen and be mellow. At one point Regis said that Angie sounded just like Jordan and I listened for a while and nodded and said that, yeah, it did sound like I used to, sometimes. No commas. Commas are for those that can wait. Regis was astonished by how much I'd mellowed with the years. It's true. I have less instant energy and more mellowness.

But also, perhaps, more patience.

It was fun to wander back through the Market following the random walk of Angie and Marith as they darted to and bought things from the various stalls that caught their eyes and hearts. At the very first one, which Marith stopped at, I saw a little white beanbag mouse that also had a scattering of pale rainbow plastic spots all over it which were kinda of the same stuff sequins are made of, but these were flat and shiny. Kinda as if the mouse had been dipped in variously doped silicons, and it shone different pale colors in all directions. I loved it on sight and bought it as Marith bought a seven foot gold snake. The lady laughed and thought the mouse was for the snake.

There was the honey stand, the flower stands, the buscers and the t-shirts, tie-dyed and painted, hand dyed and shaped. There were lovely earrings that glowed with deep colors and the jester's hat stand with hats of Many Colors and bells and deep, thick velvets. There were pictures of Seattle amid lightening and sunshine and with a fat silver moon. There were people on all sides and much laughter and peering and exploration. The color and bustle were all cheerful for a sunny Sunday and it was a laughing experience to go through it with new eyes to see all the beauty and living grace of this little city by the Sound.

When we finally exited the Market, we stood on a Park and got the first clear glimpse of the Olympic mountains. They were far off and enormous, covered with snow and mist and the shadow of the clouds rolling along the horizon.

And so we parted in the parking lot and I hugged them happily and they hugged back, Regis and I led them through the maze that took one to the interstate freeway and saw a flurry of waving as they departed. Going back south.

I dropped Regis off at her apartment, played with her cats a little and then went home and took a long, sun-drenched nap, curled up like a cat on warm flannel. Then, when the sun went down, John and I went to Trader Joe's and bought groceries and then ate at Cucina Cucina as they had lovely smoked salmon fettecini and a really gorgeous steak with crisp-fried onions, mushrooms and a lovely dark gravy. Our special meal for before the surgery. We'd wanted to go out and do something fun beforehand. Just good care on John's part.

Then we watched the first two episodes of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer as Angie had left the tapes that had *all* the episodes that exist on them for us to enjoy. Keen.

Sleep came dreamlessly after a session in the hot tub.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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