|The oldtimer two tables over at
Yak's said, "There are two types of people from New York in Seattle: those
who accept it and fit in and those disappointed who want to go back.
Which one are you?" Which was an unusual thing to say, seeing as how I hadn't
mentioned New York to this eavesdropping old man--full white beard and full
head of hair, eyes inscrutable behind thick round glasses, he reminded me
wearing goggles. He'd recognized my accent--not so much the sound as the
vibe behind the words, which he described as self-knowing, typical of New
York, the city he called home until a great sadness forced him to leave
and he chose Seattle ten years ago, a good place to disappear. These
things happen, encounters suspended in time, a mythic creature straight out
Campbell who arrives bearing a sign, posing a question, sharing a potion,
whatever is needed to guide the hero home.
Just returned from New York, Baltimore,
Wilmington, NC, the question of where
home is is much on my mind. Walking
back up the alley with library books and fruit
in my backpack, I stop by Hal's
have a laugh, and help carry a heavy window--the Beast--and get a big sliver
in my finger. A little blood, the pain is punctuation, a nail to hang my
hat on. No windows or doors yet in the empty spaces looking out from
this man's house.