Seattle Skyline view from Queen Anne Hill.

Image via Wikipedia

Today I looked like a native, no tailored wool trench, three-inch stilettos, pencil skirt and low-cut sweater.  No . . . I am transformed to fit into the landscape of this place in a tan leather jacket several sizes too large . . . heavy, beat and worn.  It was given to me by a friend, nothing I would ever buy.  My big brown boots, always comfortable to walk in, are the perfect compliment to my khaki pants and beige t-shirt.  The only concession to fashion is a fitted vest, rust with a bit of the ideal shade of green to flatter my eyes.  Ahhh yes, let’s not forget the most important accessory of all in this town, the stylish cup from the expensive latte stand at the train station.  Don’t tell anyone, its cocoa.  I still can’t stand coffee, but it makes a great hand warmer and a steal on a bitter, cold morning for only three bucks.

 

Exiting the train tunnel, I escaped from the herd of commuters by racing across the street against the traffic light right in front of a Metro bus.  I lengthen my stride to reach that same bus before it leaves the next stop.  The smiling driver scolds me for playing chicken with him down the road.  We chuckle and chat for the few blocks to my stop.  It’s a short ride and an easy walk, but it cuts through the park where the homeless sleep . . . the “bad” part of the city.  Was it that long ago I laughed at those fearful to travel on foot through the little makeshift camp?  Faded from my memories, are the days of my youth when I would crawl over drunks and vagrants to open the office each morning in another metropolis I loved and called home.  There the bums were part of the scenery, either nothing to take note of or someone you greeted by name.

 

This particular bus drops me at Madison.  It is a steeper climb up to Ninth than either Spring or Seneca (the next two stops), but it’s a cold morning, the exertion feels good and warms me up.  I note the progress of the many construction sites I traverse.  If you look out across the city at this time of year, you can’t count the cranes piercing the sky with their phallic, steel frames.  Crews work long hours, at a frantic pace to take advantage of the limited production season.  I start to come alive as my blood pumps faster and the chill air fills my lungs.  I pick up the pace enjoying the awakening of my body to the day.

 

The skyline is a compilation of structures I have somehow come to know by name . . . Columbia Center, Two Union Square, Washington Mutual Tower, Wells Fargo Center and the Westin Towers, staid old-timers to the newest architectural wonders like the WaMu Center, IDX and Madison Towers.  I’ve become acquainted with the urban trails that shortcut through and between these monoliths.  I make my way past cookie-cutter, drones lining the streets waiting for the next bus or sitting in their cars stuck in grid locked traffic.  I’ve learned which streets run one-way and their direction.  I can make my way in this human habitrail without thought or notice.  I have been doing it that long now, almost a decade.

 

My smile reflects the haughty attitude of my indigenous fellows, scoffing at those suburbanites and tourists still totally dependent on motorized transit to make their way through this conurbation with much the same scorn bestowed on useless umbrellas with their inane holders peppering these wind-blown, rainy streets.  More each day I become one with this city that I never believed held a place for me.  Today, it seemed just a little like I might feel at home here . . . someday.

 

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