Sunday lazy Sunday.
I woke up this morning with sunlight slipping through the cracks around the blinds. It is a beautiful day, and a mad idea comes to me. I have an errand to run in Belltown; why not walk there and have something to eat beforehand? It's only about a mile and a half (famous last words), and I could use the exercise. With an eye to the cool autumn air I slip on a vest and wrap a scarf around my neck, sling my backpack on, and head out. And it is a perfect day for a long walk, cool but sunny, without anything more than the slightest of breezes. But the Macrina Bakery is farther than I remember, and as I zig-zag across downtown and cut towards Belltown I begin to feel as though I will never get there, and the closer I get, the farther away it seems. But at last I am there, and it is jam-packed as usual, and I write my name and number in my party (1) on the clipboard, and wait my turn. (There are only about twenty-five seats, and it seems like your best bet is to come with a friend, instead of solo or as a group of three or four, or god forbid, five).
There are five stools at the counter, and two couples are seated ahead of me. One lone man is tucking away at his meal, and I resist the urge to tell him to hurry up. (He's very cute, with tousled dark hair and glasses, and when he stands up at last I see he is wearing a turtleneck sweater under a corduroy blazer, and carrying an army-green canvas bag with a red star, probably a souvenir from some Communist country. But right now he is the only thing standing between me and my brunch). It's hard to stand here waiting for a seat whilst all around you people are eating their omelets and smoked salmon-and-scrambled-egg-bialys. The waiter decides not to even attempt to pronounce my name, and as I am standing right there, merely points to my name and asks, "is this you?" (For the record, my name is pronounced Kai - like "hi" - ru - like the "roo" in "kangaroo." It's not that hard. But if you're drunk, you can get away with calling me Kangaroo, like my friend J. used to).
At least when you have to wait for a seat, you have time to peruse the menu and decide on what you want. The wait is only about ten or fifteen minutes, a record for the Macrina (usually it's half an hour), and I have mentally shuffled between the toasted bialy with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, or the waffles, or the french toast, or...ooh! Eggs scrambled with bacon, topped with cheese and served with toast, herb-roasted potatoes, and salad. I order a cappuccino and the egg scramble and settle in with a James Bond novel found at the thrift store. In short order a laden plate slides into view, followed by a small fruit salad. I eat my meal - this is probably one of the best places in Seattle for brunch - and watch the sole chef move around the kitchen, pouring beaten eggs into pans and turning waffles onto plates.
And then it is time for the long walk home.