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A Capitol Hill Sunday

October 5, 2009

A tall, stoic man plays a purple, electric harp. A wannabe Pirate with a three-corner hat gazes in amusement. Perhaps he’s sidetracked, late for a game of Dungeons and Dragons. His friend’s mother’s basement can wait.

I pass by a couple necking near the bus stop. Either she’s insanely short or he’s awkwardly tall. It’s all relative.

Heads and shoulders sit convivially, lounging on food and drink, telling stories of what happened when on which day this weekend, and what’s to come this week while working away until Friday.

As I leave the ATM, the tall-short-necking couple approach. Even odd couples need quick cash.

I cross back to the other side of the street, almost tripping on a jutted-out reflector, and Pat Benetar blares from the metrosexual-friendly retail establishment. “Love is a Battlefield” is quickly drowned out by the Electric Harp Man’s serene tune. It’s a shame his open instrument case is empty, especially considering I have ample singles in my back pocket.

I question in my head where the Pirate fellow went when out he walks from the Rite Aide with a bottle of Mt. Dew and two dollars in hand. I assume the money will fill Electric Harp Man’s empty case and this makes me feel better about withholding my contribution.

I ascend down the hill and a woman carrying groceries and emotional baggage flings her half-empty coffee cup to the ground. The crashing splash is upstaged by the woman’s weeping. I wouldn’t have noticed her had it not been for this. She’s well-dressed — some may call her “trendy” — and her emotional state is visible to passersby and patrons on sidewalk patios; visible to everyone but her. Why wouldn’t it be? She turns a sharp right into a dark alley. I hope she’s together enough to make it home. Not 50 seconds later I arrive at my front door.

Thin layers of wood and paint separate my feet from the blaring bass beating melodically on the gay bar’s ceiling. The jukebox is a crowd favorite.

This is a place riddled with awkward and satisfying love, public displays of blinded angst, and musical musings for whomever will listen.

I love this city.

Seattle Panaramic

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