Home > Travel > Entry 06/12/2008 11:07:59 AM – Mentat 416

Entry 06/12/2008 11:07:59 AM – Mentat 416

     …To continue where I had left off.
     Having taken a shower, and spending a little time at the room, I headed back to the airport to catch the express bus downtown in spite of the fact that D hadn’t contacted me, and in spite of the impending threat of rain.  I didn’t have to wait too long at the stop for the next 194 to arrive, and it didn’t take too long to get from the airport to Downtown Seattle.  But given that I didn’t understand the lay of the transit system, when we hit the stop at Chinatown, I jumped off thinking that it was the last stop.  Heh, it wasn’t what had happened was that there are specific laws in the downtown area against vehicles idling for any length of time.  Watching it drive off about 10 seconds after I jumped off, I shrugged, looked for a transit map, and once I figured out where I was, decided to check out Chinatown, and then walk downtown to get the lay of the land. 
     There was surprisingly little of Chinatown that was along the main roads, or near to the stop that I expected to see.  In fact, from where I got off, it looked more like a dead part of town.  Disappointed with the lack of color that I expected to see, like in Boston, San Francisco and even Chamblee in Atlanta, I headed up 3rd Avenue to the shopping district that I vaguely remembered looking at MapQuest the day before. 
     It was a moderate walk, and I didn’t mind it too much as the weather was pretty cool and there was no threat of rain.  I puttered around the shopping district, checking out a couple of the stores, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Abercrombie & Fitch before it struck me that I could go to any of the stores downtown that I could go to at Providence Place Mall, Emerald Mall, or the malls I used to haunt when I was still living in Atlanta.  In fact, I found myself mulling over the beginning of  Ringworld by Larry Niven where Louis Wu on his birthday, teleported to every major city on the globe in order to celebrate his bicentennial birthday noticed the homogeny of every city that he had gone to during this celebration.  And I realized then, just how accurate that book was thirty years ago when it was written, as I walked through the shopping district that day. 
     I stopped puttering around the major chain stores and headed back to Pike Place Market to check out the something a little more local.  Sure, Pike Place Market was extremely reminiscent of Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall Marketplace right down to the touristy ambiance there, but unlike the chain stores through 3rd and 4th Avenues; these were smaller vendors from the area.  I didn’t stay in there too long as it felt more like a cattle barn with people mulling and taking up places along the traffic routes, and headed outside to the park nearby (John Steinbrueck Park) to look over at Elliot Bay and Puget Sound.  Took a couple of pictures there, and looking over the sound and seeing the clouds getting darker and heading in my direction, decided to head back to the hotel for fear of being caught in the rain. 
     Well, it rained by the time I got to Pioneer Square Station.  Not too badly, but enough to get me adequately wet by the time I got into the transit station, and still more than a little moist by the time I got back to around where the motel was near the airport.  Looking out the window, when I got back to the motel room I decided I was going to call it a night and stay in if only because I didn’t want to change and get wet again, and skipped out on supper for the night as I ate lunch late and didn’t have much of an appetite at that point.  So relaxing, I turned the television on, got myself comfortable and started dozing while watching some random movie on HBO. 
     Around 11 PM, as I was dozing off, I got a page from D telling me that he hadn’t forgotten about me.  We exchanged text messages back and forth for a while before I called it a night and said that I would send pages through the next day.  I got one clear message out of him though — he wasn’t anywhere near Seattle, still in Idaho with his aunt at the hospital.  So with that in mind, I was going to enjoy the remainder of my vacation there, doing the tourist thing and trying to make a decision as to what I was going to do about all this with D. 
      I fell asleep pretty quickly, although was awakened around 1 in the morning with the noise of 20-somethings partying outside listening to Hip-Hop or some crappy nonsense for a short time before I passed out. 

     Saturday and Sunday, I did exactly what I had promised the night before — headed back to Seattle and did the tourist thing.  Did the Seattle Space Needle, Duck Tours, Underground (Pioneer Square), Seattle Aquarium, Science Fiction Museum and Experience Music Project.  Almost did the Pacific Science Center, but by the time I had finished three tours, I was pretty much toured out.  Skipped out on the Seattle Museum of Art because their primary art on exhibit was Impressionism, and I never could really get into the Impressionistic Era. I tried checking out the Festival near to the Space Needle, but when I found out it was Pinoy/Philippino and primarily food, I skipped out on that as well. 
     Some of the things that I learned during my touristy thing on Saturday was that at the Science Fiction Museum, I am a big geek.  In the group of people that were there, I found that I knew more about the books and the history of sci-fi than many of the people that were in the group.  Where some of them knew about 10 – 25% of the exhibits and what they meant, I was someplace in the 50 – 75% range.  About the only things that I didn’t know were some of the 50s and 60s sci-fi and many of the stuff that was going on behind the scenes. 
     Going through Experience Music Project, I was clearly out of my element.  While I was able to identify and occasionally relate to some of the music from the 50s’ and 60s, the remainder of the exhibit was completely lost on me, as it covered Latin, Jazz, Rock and Metal.  In fact, one of the concierge folk seeing the look on my face, asked me if I had any questions.  I smiled back and said, "unless it has 110 beats per minute or faster, most of this exhibit is lost on me."  I was disappointed that I did find a section of the EMP that covered Punk Music, but it was such a small part and didn’t cover half of what it should have.  There wasn’t anything of  New Wave, and anything past 1990 didn’t seem to be covered in any of the sections that I had breezed through, so I called it early and went out to hit the Space Needle. 
     The Space Needle brought back memories of the time I went up to the observation deck on Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls, although as a pre-teen, it didn’t quite hold the same wonder or splendor as going to the O Deck of the Space Needle did.  In fact, standing there looking over the Bay at the Regatta Race that was getting ready to start, I realized that I should make my way back to Niagara Falls and go back to the top of the tower to better appreciate the experience.  I admit though, that I didn’t stay up there all that long on Saturday because even though I don’t have acrophobia, the impending rain clouds that were once again rolling in, convinced me that I should head back to the motel room and try to stay dry if I’m planning on going out to lower Capitol Hill if I was going to check out the Nightlife in the city. 

     Throughout the day, as I was riding the transit, checking out the touristy places, and wandering about watching the tourists and the locals intermingling and interacting, I had made it a point to send D inspirational text messages to help him cope with the problems and the stress that he was going through with his aunt.  I also sent text messages about love, and support, and knowing the difference between going it alone, and knowing when you have a good thing in your life not to let it go or to run away back to the familiar — especially if that familiar is nothing but pain. 

     Saturday night, when I got back to the motel — I was knackered, and my feet were killing me from all the walking that I did — so I ordered a pizza from the Pizza joint across the street from the motel, and call it a night.  Sunday though, I made the determination that I was going to check out Lower Capitol Hill if it killed me. 

     Sunday, I did the Seattle Aquarium and Underground Tour in Pioneer Square that took up a majority of my morning and most of my afternoon, and sometime between the Aquarium and Underground Tour, decided to foray my way into Capitol Hill to get the lay of the land there.  Turned out that the maps from Downtown to Capitol Hill are extremely deceptive as it was only a couple of blocks from Nordstrom’s to many of the gay bars in the area.  Checking out the opening times on many of the bars, I stopped at Rosebud’s (Seattle’s smaller equivalent to Atlanta’s Einstein’s), got brunch there, and headed back downtown to pass the time before hitting one of the bars’ Happy Hour to check out the life there. 
     Which I did after the Underground Tour.  Ended up going to R Place for a few beers (3 I think) talked a little with the bartender, and a transplant from Portland, that just moved to Seattle a couple of weeks before.  Stared at the bartender for more than a little bit, getting the vague impression I’ve seen him before coupled with the feeling that he reminded me out of my past.  He got a little uncomfortable about it, and asked why I was looking at him.  Told him that he reminded me of someone, but couldn’t place it because my brain was foggy after finishing my first beer. 
     He said to me, that he did porn and that’s probably where I had seen him.
     I smirked and realizing as he said it not only knew he was right, but also that he reminded me of Don (the policeman that I dated 25 years ago) from Pawtucket.
     The bartender was Cole Ryan (http://data82.sevenload.com/v3/dl/jh/ufz8ovi/c112fbcc-a508-45d0-99e2-3f1511d46b58.jpg). 
     So after three beers, I called it a night, headed out to get something to eat for supper and made my way back to my hotel room before I did anything foolish or stupid because I was slightly tipsy from the three beers and little in my stomach at the time. 

     The trip home was a Charlie-Foxtrot of epic proportions.  First off, the flight out of Seattle’s 45 minutes late, once again cutting into the 90 minute layover that I had in New York City’s JFK Airport. Then we’re sitting on the ground at JFK for another  60 minutes while the plane that was supposed to have cleared out of the arrival terminal was still sitting there loading up.  Getting off the plane, and pretty sure I missed my connecting flight, I checked the ticker-board and saw that it was delayed as well and that I had at least another 10 minutes before it was expected to take off. 
     So, I bounded from one side of the airport to the other to make the flight.  Turned out, that the plane didn’t remotely make it to the terminal and that while I made it on time, I had at least another hour to wait before the flight were to arrive and another 30 before it was sufficiently fueled up and cleaned before it left.  It came in early, and I left within an hour and a half later. 
     Getting into Providence, I was prepared for the probability that my luggage didn’t make it, and it was confirmed the instant I saw all of 10 bags on the tram and none of them remotely like mine.  Filing a claim with it, they said that it’s en route and that I should expect it the next day.  Previous experience with Delta usually meant that the luggage would arrive sometime before noon.  When noon came and went on Tuesday (06/10), I called the 800 number and found out that it was expected to arrive after 4:30 in the afternoon with an anticipated delivery time by 6:30. 
      To make a long story short — the luggage didn’t show up on my front door step until 10 that night, and the pricks that delivered it didn’t even remotely ring the doorbell like they were supposed to.  Get the bag in, and saw that the lock was cut and there was this happy little note from the TSA explaining nicely the reason why they had to do it.  Checked the contents and with the exclusion of it clearly being re-packed by someone else, everything I expected to be in there was in there. 
     Although it did make me think about the inconsistencies about security at airport terminals, and gave me the distinct impression that the TSA working in the Delta section of the airport in Seattle was clearly spiteful about it.  I had followed the 3-1-1 rules as posted on Orbitz about fluids and what not for carry-on baggage for my checked-in baggage (to help expedite security procedures), and when I sent my bag through the X-Ray machine in Providence, it cleared without any issue whatsoever.  While I unlocked it just in case, I didn’t have to as it cleared without a request for inspection.  It had also cleared through Newark International Airport, as it had another TSA sticker there that was added when it was stuck there (like me) overnight.  The lock didn’t have to be cut then either.  But leaving Seattle, not only did they break the lock, but checking the times that the luggage did actually arrive in Providence, it’s clear that it was held overnight in Seattle for them to go through it. 
     There’s no reason for that!  None whatsoever, and my impression is that they were spiteful about it in Seattle because it was locked.  Sitting there last night, and the night before, I’ve thought that it’s high time to write my state senators and representatives and asking what the deal with the TSA is.  I mean, I’ve yet to hear whether or not the TSA has thwarted any terrorist activity since 2001, and the three times I’ve seen the TSA in the news it’s either them complaining of woefully under-manned and under-funded operations, or one scandal involving contraband things getting by at a location.  It’s purpose reminds me all too keenly of the saying, "if guns are [made] illegal, then only illegals will be carrying guns."  But more on that on another day… 
     So, I grabbed a taxi that got me to the Woonsocket border, and paying him from an ATM in Park Square, walked the remainder of the way, as all I had was my windbreaker, and messenger bag (AKA Man-Purse) and I could use the walk, as I needed to acclimate to the high temps and humidity that had descended on the New England area.  I got home around 2’ish in the morning, and eventually passed out around dawn. 

     Of course, over the last couple of days, my cat’s been going through her usual separation anxiety.  I can’t go anywhere in the house for longer than three minutes before she wanders about looking for me.  I think in about a week, she’ll be back to her normal, crotchety self; hissing and getting annoyed leaving me alone for hours at a time. 

     In spite of the disappointment that I didn’t get to meet D out there, I really did have a good time trouncing around the metro-Seattle area.  Particularly seeing that it had been more than a few years since I had last been back there.  While the cost of living there was a little high — as you can see by the 9% sales tax on routine things — house pricing made better sense for the area than it’s equivalent here in Rhode Island which offers only housing older than a century, and nothing in regards to the amenities necessary for say Providence to qualify as an "Urban" setting. I mean really?  $625,000 for a single family in Providence (Near to Atwells), for access to 1 mall, and 3 colleges within 20 minutes?  Where a house on Capitol Hill (Seattle) costs $325,000, and 4 malls, 2 colleges within 10 minutes?  It’s simply NOT logical. 
     I’d like to go back there again, maybe for a little longer.  While some of the people there are a bit on the scary side, I did like the general feel of the area.  The reason why I found the people scary is that for a town that’s well known for coffee — the people there aren’t in the least bit relaxed from it.  If anything, the natives are like crack-addicts before their morning latte or espresso, and afterward they’re so tense, and worked up.  Hell, one woman that I had the unfortunate experience of being in her way accidentally, stared through me as though I weren’t there, followed closely with a scowl on her face that I had the audacity of being in her way.  I tried making a joke with her apologizing that I’m new to town and that I’m trying to get the lay of the land, earned me a sneer and another scowl.  I thought to myself, "she’s an example of someone that needs to drink less coffee."  You could tell who the tourists were because they seemed less tense from their coffee experience. 
     I also liked the fact of being so close to the ocean without it smelling quite of the brine that I’m accustomed to smelling living near to the Atlantic.  Not to mention that the weather, while being a bit on the chilly side, was significantly more mild for that temperature than here… 

     Well, I’m going to go take a quick nap…  I’ll write about D and our discussions since the trip when I get back…

[Last Edited: 06/12/2008 06:20:26 PM]

     Now the issue with D is a complicated one for me to discuss, particularly given that even though we’re talking at the moment, things aren’t quite the same as they were when this all started three weeks ago. 

     Have we worked out some of the issues surrounding him bailing out and heading to Spirit Lake, ID to morally support his aunt who’s currently in the hospital?  Sort of. 
     Do I understand why he did what he did?  Yes. 
     Do I like it?  Eh, there have been better ways of handling situations like this.  There are also worst ways.  This fell someplace between the two. 
     Do I know where this is going?  Regrettably not at all.  I had to pose two questions to him that given what’s going on with his aunt, aren’t going to be answered really given that he’s been pouring as much support in his aunt’s direction.  1. What is love?  And 2. Is this worth fighting for? 

     I admit that for the 18 days prior to the trip, I didn’t expect him to contact me, and in the last week prior to the trip, as you know, I got those e-mails from him.  During those 18 days, I had tried working out whether I should follow through with my promise that if he were to leave me out there alone, and not show up, that I would pack up and walk away.  In fact, I teeter tottered back and forth between keeping my promise and being prideful about it, and continuing to fight for something that had been enjoyable, comforting, and made sense for the last 7 months.  During the trip the teeter tottering reached it’s pinnacle between the text messages that I had sent him, and on Sunday when I tried to convince myself to cut my losses, that I did what I could, and that it’s time to move on… 
     Sunday night after a few beers, I had worked on a four part text message that I wanted to send to him on Monday if he didn’t call or text me, basically saying good-bye, and at one point that night I had almost sent them off.  But I stayed my hand, part of me thinking that was a tacky thing to do, part of me thinking that if I’m a man, I should do it in voice instead.  So on Monday when I woke up, I deleted the messages, and sent off one asking whether it would be all right to talk to him when I got back into town.  He agreed and I looked forward to it. 
     I talked with D from about the time that I got into Woonsocket, ’til about 3:30’ish in the morning when he had to go because the batteries on his phone were dying and it needed to be recharged.  While most of the conversation dealt with nothing intense, I did eventually get around to it, laying out the reasons why I had called, left him those two questions to think about and get back to me with when he’s had a few moments of time to think it through, and my feelings in this. 
     I asked him if at any time through the last 7 months whether he had ever lied to me about himself, his position, positively anything that would involve him and his family.  He told me with the exclusion of the misinformation he had given me during the weekend when we were texting back and forth, he had never lied to me or lead me on. 
     The two of us felt better after chatting about all the difficulties the two of us had put each other through, and D apologized for me for clamming up and running the way that he did.  In fact, someplace during the conversation when we were talking, he was working on the assumption that I would hate him for what he had done to me by standing me up for this trip. 
     *smiling a little*  Twenty years ago, I probably would’ve been furious and would’ve cut off my nose to spite my face, but having gone through it enough, and having gone through a whole lot of other shit along the way — I mellowed out about all that prideful crap.  Hell, twenty years ago, I would’ve probably sat in my motel room the entire weekend waiting for him to show up and failing that, then start some sort of drama playlet about it working myself into some prideful bent.  This time ’round — I went out — enjoyed the time I had cruising around the streets watching people, checked out the sites and sights, chatted with him and when I had a moment or two to think about it, wrestled with how I was going to approach the issue with D. 

     My aunt asked me about it, and when I told her I was still speaking to D, she said that I was a glutton for punishment. 
     Tracy didn’t quite approve, but at the same time she didn’t offer any advice (knowing full well, I would do as I pleased anyway). 

     Me?  I still feel like I’m waiting to exhale.  I fight for what I believe in, and I fight for what I love.  And in the 7 months that D and I have been chatting, the support, the intimacy we’ve shared, the secrets, I believe is worth fighting for — even if it’s all sight unseen between the two of us.  The way two of us have had impacts on each other is also worth fighting for.  The fact that he can understand me when other people don’t is worth fighting for.  It’s all worth trying to keep it in my life.
     Now all I can do, is wait and convince him.  Let D puzzle it out for himself.  Which is what I’m relegated to do at the moment.  Which is why I feel like I’m currently holding my breath. 

     Well, that’s about it for the time being.  I’ll write again when I think of it…  Until the next time.
Categories: Travel
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