Saturday, June 2, 2012
It's his day off and it's lovely out.
He's listening to a dumbed-down science podcast about lasers. Walking north past the Magnolia bridge on the Elliot Bay trail, he comes to a part where the path goes super narrow and is enclosed with chain-link fences topped with barbed wire. On one side there are maybe a hundred parked school busses. His kid might ride in one of them. He's around that age. On the other side of the fence there are train tracks, one after the other. He likes this part of the path where it's industrial.
He keeps walking and gets through the chain-link fence bit and it opens up with a few blocks walking alongside the idling locomotives. The noise of them blocks out the voice explaining the history of coherent light, wavelengths, unromantic truths. He takes out the earbuds and takes a few hits of weed walking beside the trains.
Now there are new overtones going on in the train noise. He walks past it and walks along the street towards Ballard. Up ahead he'll get a pork shoulder sandwich at Paseo. With jalapeños. (Gotta have jalapeños.)
Later he listens to a BBC story about impending economic collapse while walking beside the ship canal. There are sailboats queued up waiting for a drawbridge. They are headed out to Puget Sound. There are kayaks and rowboats in the water managing the small wake. Everyone's going for it today, he observes, congratulating himself a little bit. Then his phone rings.
Panic, then resignation. That area code means collection agent. He ignores it, then listens to the message. It's an old woman speaking Korean. Even though he doesn't understand, he likes her tone and listens a couple times before hitting delete.