Saturday, March 05, 2005

I've been meaning to tell you that I finally saw my first rat downtown this week. People talk about rats in most of the cities I've been too: in Florida they joke about how the rats have to be especially vicious to fight off the alligators. In New York City, old bums would whisper out of the shadows of doorways at me, "Be careful of the rats, little girl. They like to nibble." In Chicago the locals spoke about the rats in the same whispers they'd use to speak about cancer and racism. And here in Seattle people have always mentioned the rats in the skeptical tones they save for urban legends. But I saw one, I swear.

It was Tuesday, and I was downtown on my way up to Capitol Hill for my date that would last for eight hours and which I'll still talk about incessantly if you show even the smallest amount of interest. I was twitchy and nervous and looking all around and glanced at the sidewalk just in time to watch a big rat run across it and pop down into a sewer grate. No one else seemed to notice, but since I'm not in the habit of hallucinating rats, I'm pretty sure it actually happened.

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