Tonight, I was sitting on the bus as it went down Third Avenue, passing all that is Third Avenue, and thought “I am so glad to be back in the city.” I guess I never really thought about it in that way. I went from working in the city, to working and living in downtown San Francisco, then straight to living in the woods and working in Bellevue. I like living in the woods (the other morning, I woke up and there was a deer looking through the sliding door at me. Was he watching me sleep? I’m not sure), but I fucking hate Bellevue with a seething fiery passion. I started to actively hate Bellevue the longer I worked there; Bellevue, Bellevue Square, shopping malls, people who shop at shopping malls, shopping mall parking garages, shopping mall security guards, shopping mall shops, driving to shopping malls, driving to Bellevue, did I mention Bellevue? I had a reoccurring verse from The Beautiful South’s “Rotterdam (or Anywhere)” repeat in my head as I walked through the parking lot, through the mall, unlocking the door, ingesting the recycled recirculating air in the daylight-free interior of the mall:
The Whole Place is Pickled.
The People Are Pickles For Sure.
And No One Knows If They’ve Done More Here
Than They Ever Would Do In A Jar.
On loop, those words repeated. The whole place is preserved in brine. All the people are preserved in their own insular brine. No one had done anything outside the safety of their own pickle jar. Or it could mean that no one had done more there than take a piss. They both work as far as I am concerned.
I guess I have learned that I need some amount of urbanity. I used love walking through the city on hot summer nights. In a t-shirt, hoping to catch a breeze off the bay when I rounded a corner of a building. I would think of Everything But The Girl’s “Five Fathoms”. I miss that time. I miss that energy.
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