I had coffee with Alissa this morning. Alissa is the only Fulbright Scholar I've ever known that wasn't someone who was teaching a class that I was taking, and so even though we're friends I still hold her in a little bit of awe. We spent a bit of time talking about how nice it is to live in a place like Seattle where we can be girls that do things alone. Neither of us grew up in towns and families that cotton to things like that. It was a lot of smoke-blowing and prevaricating, really, but also mostly true. It is nice that I can be in public alone. These are baby steps.
In the spirit of this, I headed down to Eliot Bay for the John Hodgman reading. (Actually, it appears that there may have been people I know there, but I had fallen into Raymond Carver and forgot to pay attention to who was walking in.)
Now that I have heard an acoustic version of "Baby Got Back" sung by a man in a coonskin cap, I can die happy.
Mornings, I kick through piles of leaves and think about slugs. I like how a slug's feelers are its eyes, how it has to be very careful just how it's seeing things so that it doesn't get hurt. I'm not sure how I manage to smile at my city but frown at its people, but most of my trouble is that I'm scared of you. Someday maybe I'll learn how to stop avoiding your eyes, learn to stop talking so fast, and then you'll see. And I think it's that day--the day that things slow down and you are able to see--that scares me so bad.