Think of the Shingles


I shaved my head this morning. A number three. Hadn’t shaved my head in a long time. Used a number one and two for the back and sides. Tried to fade it. Shaved my beard too. Look 20 years younger. I could pass for a college boy again. Maybe. A college rower. A college boulderer. A college computer science grad.

The drive to Gig Harbor to visit my sister and brother in law was not as terrible as I’d feared. You could almost describe it as pleasurable, though you never would. I took the 509 down past SeaTac and then merged onto I-5. Stopped at Whole Foods Chambers Bay in Tacoma and went off the rails a bit. Got another Hop Tea, some of those pork buns that weren’t pork at all but just vegetarian, and another matcha latte. Walked around the parking lot. Talked to my mom on the phone. Looked inside a cafe called Anthem or something like that that looked like the kind of place where people might trade Magic cards. I consider anyone  from outside Seattle to be somehow innocent. Like if two guys in Fircrest are at a cafe trading Magic cards it’s somehow cute, I marvel at their innocence, but if they’re doing the same thing in Seattle I just think they’re losers.

I think part of the reason I want to move to Leavenworth is to recover some of that innocence. Like for example if I were to work in a cafe in Leavenworth that would somehow be completely acceptable, even cool. Meeting new people. Learning new skills, doing stuff with your hands, not doing some job that hurts the world.  But for some reason the idea of working in a cafe in Seattle sounds terrible, it sounds frankly menial, and I would feel like a failure. Drive two and half hours east, rad. Do it here, failure.


O sea.

Anyway, I don’t understand anything, I don’t understand how we’re supposed to live. Some things just feel wrong, like consuming more than you need. There is a finite amount of resources on this planet, so for everything you consume you don’t need you’re taking something from someone else. If you have three cars when only one would do, you’re consuming hundreds pounds of metal and plastic that otherwise wouldn’t have been consumed. You’re consuming more gas. More space. More space on the roads. More oil. More transmission fluid. More everything. If you have a 5000 square foot home when 2000 square feet would be just fine think how much more you’re consuming. Think how many trees had to die for that extra 3000 square feet so you could have a rec room for your kids who don’t give a shit anyway. Think of the amount of drywall and wiring and insulation. Think of the shingles.

I am of course guilty of this. Most of us in the US are. I drink more matcha lattes than I need. I don’t need matcha lattes. Gotta pick our battles, I guess. And if I somehow had a bunch of money, if I was suddenly making 200k a year would I not want a nicer car, would I not get that 2018 Outback I’ve been looking at when my ‘97 Subi is just fine? Would I not consume more? Of course I would. I’m sure I would. I probably would. Maybe I would. I’d get a nicer car, a nicer dwelling, buy even more expensive food, nicer clothes, nicer shoes, nicer vacations, nicer everything. At least I think I probably would. I’ve never made 200k a year but I’ve seen how people who make that kind of money or more live. They generally treat things like they’re more disposable, like our oceans and forests and deserts are somehow disposable, like the sky and the birds and the rain and the grass and the succulents gathering dew in the morning are somehow disposable. Like the coyotes and wolves and cougar and bears and fiddle ferns and hemlocks and cedar trees and hills and glades and glens and steams and lakes and rivers are somehow disposable. Like the canyons and boulders and rock and cliffs and buttes and crags and caverns are somehow disposable. Like they’re the only ones on earth, or at least the only ones that matter. And then they cover this consumption by making a charitable donation or by volunteering once in their life, thinking that makes everything ok.  But it’s not the the things you do once in a while, it’s the things you do everyday. This is a sermon to myself as much as anyone else. El mundo te ve como quieres que te vea. Don’t demand of others what you don’t demand of yourself.

Almost time for physical therapy. Well, still got an hour. Enough time to walk around Greenlake. Probably just. But will I do it? That remains to be seen.

I wish I had more matcha.


I meet up with Barry and we go for a walk. We walk from the Whole Foods in Roosevelt to the UW light rail station. I go to Capitol Hill and buy some books at Elliott Bay Book Co, and Barry continues on south. I walk from Elliott Bay to Madison Market where I buy a nitro chai that’s out of this world. Then I walk to 23rd where I get the 48 back to the U-District, where I get the 45 back up to Greenlake. At this point the sun’s setting, it’s just dipped below the clouds and is occupying a thin strip of blue sky just above the horizon. It’s glorious. People are walking around Greenlake. I’m exhausted. I’ve just walked five miles on a recovering LCL. I feel fucking great. I feel like the world’s my razor clam. I feel like I’m on a bus. I feel like I’m in my car watching the sunset. I drive back to Interbay and get pizza from Pagliacci. Two slices of pep. On top of the world. On top of the train tracks. Next to the Box Car.