Saturday, March 30, 2013

springtime notes.

I woke up this morning with the sun flooding into my room, and I had an afternoon matinee at the Seattle Rep, so I did what I often do and walked downtown to catch the Monorail. With the spring sunshine there were people everywhere, and I was early, so I sat in the Seattle Center Armory (formerly the Center House) for a little while, reading Twitter on my phone and people-watching.

I saw an old woman at the next table, and realized it was the same woman I used to see outside the Seward Park PCC when I still lived in Mt. Baker. Markedly older now, perhaps, but recognizably her. Sometimes I’d see her at other supermarkets, or at a park. Often she would be selling plush flowers on bendy pipe-cleaner stems, for $1. There was something childlike about her. Today she seemed - as she always has - reasonably happy and cared-for, and I wondered again where she lives or what resources she has available to her. I hope there will always be someone looking out for her, that she won’t get pushed to the margins of society and fall off the edge.

Later, after the play, I ran into my friends Mike and Jenise at the Seattle Center fountain. I hadn’t seen them in a while, and we got to chatting, which meant getting on the Monorail later than I had anticipated. It was full, so I kept walking further and further back, found an empty seat, turned and saw my old neighbor Laura, who still lives across the street from my childhood home. She looked exactly the same as I remember her. She was not young when I was a child; I can’t even guess how old she must be now.

It’s getting hard for her, living in that light-filled house perched on a steep cliff. “I’m going to give it one more year,” she tells me of rattling around alone, but she still takes the Light Rail downtown and then the Monorail over to Seattle Center to see plays at the Rep and Seattle Shakespeare. I hope to be that active when I am her age.

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