Seattle doesn’t look good in sunlight.

Seattle doesn’t look good in sunlight.

A non-native’s ten-month stay in the Emerald City Part I

We moved into our apartment in Seattle, Washington, on 1 January 2019 after living in an airbnb for about three weeks while we searched for said apartment, and we will move out of this place on 31 October 2019. Since I’ve been mentally checked out of here for about two months now (after a rousing experience with some Chinese “entrepreneurs” went sour quite quickly after discovering that the “management” had some serious “issues”), my mind is clearly revealing some of the theories its developed about this place, and one of them regards the rain.

We had lived in South Korea for the past five years, and upon our departure, moved to New Zealand. Our plan was to fly to Auckland and decide whether or not we would stay. Under the assumption that we would love it and want to live there (oh so badly), we booked departure flights ten weeks after our arrival, hoping that would be enough time to decide whether or not we would stay (and we booked that flight to Honolulu [a cheap destination from NZ, quite frankly, and cheap enough to flush if we did indeed stay {and we had to book outbound flights because we lacked visas for our arrival but can easily stay with US Passports for up to three months as visitors}]). Unfortunately, after about ten days, we realized that there was no fucking way we were going to stay there. As urbanites, willful city mice, Auckland was not enough of a city for us, and NZ as a whole is rural. Obviously, we knew this going into it, but we thought that there would at least be some character to the city, some culture, some anything. But alas, Auckland is a little baby city and will require quite a lot more time to really mature into something interesting, a place of real interest. And NZ really feels like the edge of the world, and we were wanting to stay connected, get reconnected.

These things I am saying about NZ may seem obvious to most of you, so just go ahead and call me The Idiot. Despite having about two months to burn in a place we didn’t want to stay (for us, meaning no longer wanting to spend our money in), we tried to make the most of it. I started a Meetup for writers and met a handful of people (one of whom was American, funnily enough) who were all very friendly and amicable but who lacked … ambition. Everyone was so content, and it was a beautiful thing to behold. Just not the place for us.

And so, we also spent many hours of those two months deciding where in the United States we were willing to live. After much debate, we settled on Seattle. The climate in Seoul is a sort of hellish nightmare-scape. I needed some relief from the bitter, biting, relentless cold of winter and the melting, muggy, suffocating weight of summer. Seattle is supposed to be temperate. Seattle is supposed to be gloomy. Seattle is supposed to be wet and rainy. Seattle is supposed to be mild. And it is, but it’s also way too sunny for its own good.

From what I can gather from strangers is that this past summer was unusually sunny. The last winter was unusually snowy as well. The temperatures and climate overall were more extreme this year than past years, which screams to me climate change, duh (and Seattle has supposedly made some major changes, but those changes are not being reflected in the cost of living). And so, to my theory.

Native Seattleans were born into a climate of rain and gloom. Sure there are sunny days but not like the ones of late. Thus, there is a certain air about them, a somber sort of goth depression and a “don’t give a fuck” kind of attitude. This demeanor and thereby aesthetic suits rainy days, the gloom and darkness of long stretches of overcast spitting-type rain very well, extremely well; the two came together out of the climate conditions of Seattle itself. In the bright light of a sun-filled day, the look is a bit heavy.

Seeing a Native Seattlean in broad, cloudless sunshine feels like seeing a turtle out of its shell; they look a bit naked, pale, white. And maybe they are all trying to soak up as much sun as they can, when they can, but the general aesthetic is not pleasing. The worst part, however, is the climate change. This past summer, Seattle felt like a place where there is a lot of sunshine, but the type of people who live in places with a lot of sunshine are not like the type of people who do not. Thus, there were a few instances of people who live in sunshine climates strutting around in Seattle during the height of summer, and even they looked out of place. Seattle’s climate forces people who exist within it to dress and thereby look a very strange way. There’s really no way to look good. Not that looking good is important or even worthy of something about which to be written.

Anyway, Seattle feels full (and I use “full” in comparison here as this city feels mostly empty, either dead or dying or preparing itself for a boom) of mostly people who have been shipped in for work in the tech sector. We have met few natives and we’ve met even fewer people our own age (everyone being either older or younger than us), yet everyone we see while walking around seems to be our age. And obviously, Seattle, too, feels like a little baby city with a little too much sprawl, expensive public transportation, and nothing to offer as far as the fun of “street culture” (street food, street fashion) is concerned.

It’s raining again after about two solid months of hot summer sunshine, and I’m excited and energized by the gloom that rainy weather brings. This is why we chose this place for our ten-month stay, after all. I cannot honestly admit that it has been nice, but it’s been whatever it is that this time was supposed to be. Is it someplace I would ever like to live again? No. Am I upset that I lived here during this time? No. My point is simply that Seattle looks good in the rain; the sunshine only highlights its flaws.

On Healthcare

On Healthcare

What the fuck do you need your ‘beloved’ health insurance for if you can afford to pay for all your medical services OUT OF POCKET?

Duh.

The thing that these idiots (the “central” liberals and anyone like them) who continue to bash the healthcare plan supported by Warren and Sanders fail to understand revolves around the specificity of their lack of understanding around the concept of COST. How much should medical services COST? The argument boils down to the simple fact that the Dems are divided on the issue of whether or not the government ought to set the COST for medical services.

That’s right, the liberal party in this country cannot even decide whether or not the government ought to control the cost of medical services and procedures. What kind of fucking “Developed Nation” is this? Healthcare, the everyday services that every single fucking person (in the world) needs, is essential for a healthy, equitable existence.

IF the government controls the COST, that means that medical services and procedures will be set by the government, and if the government is working and serving the public (as opposed to the corporate interest, power and control in Warren’s sight-lines), the COST of medical services and procedures ought to be cheap enough to afford if you are a living, working (whether for minimum wage or not, and this is a wholly other issue) person in the United States. Obviously, when the government isn’t working for the people, we all shrink small into ourselves and convince ourselves that we can make our own decisions, provide for ourselves better than our government or anyone else can, a la Andrew Yang and his “freedom dividend” (which is a great idea, just not yet). Yang doesn’t believe in an America run by a government that cares and feels responsible for its citizens. Yang is a pure capitalist, dangerous and selfish.

Bottom line, No one is going to “take away your health insurance.” The progressives (Warren and Sanders) desire to make medical services and procedures CHEAP (in cost not quality), cheap enough for you to be able to stop shoveling money into your insurance premiums (and deductibles and co-pays) and pay for your medical bills yourself (which you already are plus payments to insurance providers), AND have some extra money, the money not being paid to your insurance, if all goes to plan. Not to mention that your healthcare needs (medical services and procedures) will no longer depend on your employment/employer. This will also lift the burden off small business owners who have to provide insurance for their employees, when really, the government could just make healthcare so affordable that if you pay an employee a healthy, equitable wage, they (employees) ought to be able to pay for whatever medical services they need whenever they need them. Do you honestly love that job you’re doing solely for that healthcare coverage? Didn’t think so. Thus, if American healthcare coverage is so cheap that you can work anywhere and afford to pay out of pocket for any medical services or procedures you might need, you’re free to do whatever you want for work. Uncouple your health insurance from your employment, and you are free.

The point that Warren attempted to make in the September #DemDebate (but could not due to her admitting that taxes will rise) is that yes, your taxes will go up a bit, but you will not have an insurance payment! Duh! So, yea, you will pay more in taxes (technically), but overall COST of medical services will be so cheap that you will not also have to pay money to some fucking insurance company. That money you save from NOT paying insurance crooks ought to be more than the taxes taken out, so when all is said and done, not only will you be able to afford all of your medical needs, you will save money AND no longer have medical bills to pay. If all goes to plan.

Duh.

Don’t be stupid. Vote in your best interest, not against them.

The He

The He

[New Chapter Sketch for the manuscript, Book II: Bromides]

“It smells like bread proofing,” I state in a soft whisper. “Shhh,” Ladybug shushes gently with a smile that could melt the heart of any cat lover. Looking around, I realize what it means. Of course, we could not have found ourselves in such a place of luck so as to be in the presence of freshly baked bread. Dreams need to be dreamt, nevertheless. We press on, slowly, through the immense downtown library, among the shoals of homeless who, forgotten or left behind by the system, are left to the only institutions within that same system that allows their presence. “It’s not so bad, though,” I attempt to clarify, relating back to the comment about the smell. “But to comment on the smell at all admits that a smell exists, which ultimately, at least here among those who hold this particular sentiment, means that the smell is bad, unless of course, among the company of those hunting for the perfect scene, eatery, with the same intention of being thusly able to consume the delicious thing smelled,” Ladybug explains. “That was deep,” I express, in genuine awe as Ladybug often finds itself within the throws of … cynicism. “You don’t need to understand everything to understand what is good, what is right,” Ladybug states, this time with a pointed finger directed at me, just below the brow between the eyes. I feel a bit cross-eyed. “Now, where is this damn kid?” Ladybug asks aloud to no one in particular. “I am asking you,” Ladybug rectifies. “Oh, well, how am I supposed to know?” I ask. “Cause you are why we are here. Je-sus, fuck-ing, christ, man!” Ladybug whisper yells. “If the Librarian sees you, you will die,” Ladybug warns. “Then we need to get up somewhere high so that if I am seen, the Librarian won’t be able to get me,” I offer. “Yea, sure that might work. Outside,” Ladybug instructs. We head back out into the cold.

Carefully, we find a series of trellises and steps up and around the backdoor, service entrance, and atop the HVAC system, we easily maneuver the totally mod, unfinished, exposed urban interior of the mid twenty-first century post-modern aesthetic. Ladybug stands atop the tip of my nose looking down, fluttering from side to side from time to time to reach a view from an angle I cannot supply. “There he is,” Ladybug whisper-shouts with a point toward a window on the far wall from where we are. “There, in the window, sitting with his manny,” Ladybug laughs; “Manny. Ha!” “I’m not sure if I can make it over there,” I admit. “No problem. I can easily fly,” Ladybug shrugs. “Just head on back toward the front door. I’m sure I’ll manage once I’ve convinced him. Or maybe just hang out here and watch out. And come a little closer. If I don’t come back up here to get you, then he’s made a run for it, so meet me at the front doors. If I come back to get you, then obviously, I’ll be here, and I’ll tell you what’s up. Okay?” Ladybug suggests. “Yea, sure. It’s no problem, except that your plan leaves me completely out of it, which means,” I begin. “Yea, they won’t know, but they don’t need to know everything,” Ladybug points in the vague direction of “everywhere.” “Fine, well then you’re going to have to tell Attila, or I will,” I counter. Ladybug feigns suffering, “Fine.” Just as it begins to flutter away, it looks back at me and says, “If he makes green, run toward him.” “What?” I ask but Ladybug either doesn’t hear me or pretends not to.

Carefully, I make my way atop the silvery, metal air vents toward the far wall where the windows ensconce comfortable, bench-like seating. I can easily see the boy in the window, and he seems upset for some reason. And he storms off. I try to follow from above, but there seems to be little to no way to make it all the way across to where the restrooms are. I hear the flutter of Ladybug, “He’s real mad about something. I wasn’t close enough to hear, but he’s gone.” “He’ll be back,” I state. “How do you know?” “He just went over to the bathroom.” “Oh,” Ladybug nods, standing upright in front of me now. “This is just me standing,” Ladybug clarifies. I nod. “Go back,” Ladybug demands. “Oh,” Ladybug nods, standing in front of me now. Ladybug gives me a stiff look. “There,” I point, seeing the boy emerge from the doorway into the bathrooms. “Excellent,” Ladybug jumps as it flutters away, back to the window where the boy will inevitably sit himself back down.

I feel like I have been sitting and waiting for quite some time now, and I cannot hope to see Ladybug from this distance, and the boy just sits there in the window, reading. Perhaps, Ladybug sits atop the book’s pages. I cannot know for sure. There really is little to nothing left to say about the situation at the moment, and I cannot know how much time will pass until something does, so I will sit here and wait, and as soon as something happens, I will let it be known, I say/think to no one and everyone.

The boy makes green. Made green. Is making green! I jump from the top of the air vent onto the top of the book shelves, and run along the top until I can jump straight at the boy as he attempts to vanish. Just as I fling my body onto the boy, grabbing him around his torso as tight as I can, I hear the shouts of Ladybug as it flutters into a safe tuft of fur between my front arms, “You’re a Lingerer, now!” As quick as we turn to light, the boy appears, as an adolescent or young man, in some … garb … of the kind you would find a person in while in a hospital. “It’s a psych-ward for the mentally ill, and I am a young man,” the boy-man clarifies. “Don’t mind her,” Ladybug interjects. “She is why we are all here,” the boy-man clarifies. “And where is it that we are?” Ladybug asks. “When,” the boy-man clarifies. “Right, of course. Are we on Earth?” Ladybug asks, in utter excitement. “Yes,” the boy-man answers. “Oh. My. God!” Ladybug exhales with a strong squat and simultaneous flexing of its upper legs upwards, while its middle legs flex inward, and its head screams upward through both blessed and cursed excitement. “Yes, both blessed and cursed. Did you hear that?” the boy-man asks. “Of course I heard. I hear everything,” Ladybug warns. But we still do not know when we are.

“Yes, right. So, when is it that we are?” Ladybug asks. “The Numerical Years, which roughly translate to the hundred years between 2020 and 2120,” the boy-man defines. “The now,” I accidentally whisper aloud. “Yes,” the boy-man supports. “How is it that you came by this Lingerer?” the boy-man asks. “It’s a long story, but it is why we are here. You, of course, know why we are here, yes? Please. Please know,” Ladybug pleads. “How would I know. I didn’t send for you, and if you weren’t sent here, then how did you get here?” the boy-man clarifies. “Is our arrival a signal?” Ladybug inquires. “Good question,” the boy-man thinks for a moment. “When were you before now?” the boy-man asks. “The middle-most peak where the three peaks meet,” Ladybug answers. “Oh, that’s impossibly far away,” the boy-man states with little to no actual tone of being impressed; “How did you get here?” “Through the corridor,” Ladybug answers incorrectly. “How then?” Ladybug asks. “We traversed through the corridor to find ourselves atop the middle-most peak where the three peaks meet,” I answer. “There’s a gap,” the boy-man offers; “You must be in the past or the future from whenever you were, but not yet at the moment right after when you were occurred.” “Why does this keep happening?” Ladybug laments, full diva, atop the surprisingly soft linens of the boy-man’s private sleeping quarters. “What has been happening?” the boy-man asks. “What hasn’t happened? I was late in delivering Dei,” Ladybug begins. “What?” the boy-man nearly whisper-shouts. “It was fine, but then immediately after that, the lorikeet, oh shit, where is that bird? Dammit! Well, first we were trapped in the circle’s corner, but now, it seems I’ve lost it all together,” Ladybug explains. “What else?” the boy-man asks. “Uh, well, then we’re here now, and we don’t know why!” Ladybug sighs as it rolls over onto its shell, distraught, burdened. “The why of a thing rarely matters,” the boy-man consoles.

Sniffling, teary-eyed, Ladybug rolls itself over, “What?” “What?” the boy-man asks, and then he turns to me, “He is fine. Just use he or him.” Frozen in the beauty of his IS-NESS, my heart races. He smiles, and rubs me behind the ears. I want to die in this moment right now. He chuckles. I will die now. He returns his attention to Ladybug, and I’m jolted alive. “What did you just say?” Ladybug reiterates. “The why never matters,” he states, when really he stated that “The why of a thing rarely matters.” Ladybug sits on its haunches. “So then what do we do?” Ladybug asks. “We wait,” he answers, with odd swiftness. “For what?” Ladybug asks, desperate again. “Who knows,” the he shrugs as he lies back on his bed, arms poetically crossed behind his head, feet crossed at the ankles, looking upward at the cloud-printed wallpaper that lines the five sides of the cube that is his personal living quarters. “Are you going to sleep?” Ladybug asks. “No,” he states. “What should we do?” Ladybug asks, again. “There’s no way of knowing for sure,” he states; “For now, you can familiarize yourself with this spacetime, or whatever, just chill.” “Ugh,” Ladybug exhales, exasperated, falling back onto its shell. “It’s not a shell,” Ladybug insists, palm atop its forehead, anguished.

“You wanna rest?” Ladybug finally asks. “Yes, please,” I lie. “Fine, just go be whatever. I’ll stay here with him, and if anything bad happens, I don’t know. Just, I don’t know,” Ladybug dismisses, on all sixes now, heading toward his (the boy-man’s) head, hoping it will get a chance to really talk to him. “Shut up,” Ladybug suggests with a wave of its hand. I curl up at his feet, although they smell an awful lot like another set of feet I’ve smelled, but that seems irrelevant. He’s warm, and he snugs me deeper into his knee pits.

Too Muchness

Too Muchness

It’s just too much.

I feel as though I’m afflicted with a phobia. If I were to guess, I’d guess that it is not an actual pathology, however, it does feel like one. I fear that I am afraid of too much. Not that I’m afraid that I have too many fears. That’s not it. Instead, I’m afraid of everything in a state of “too much.” For example, I am afraid of running too much. After realizing that to maintain my current (this was years ago) running ability (which isn’t even enough to brag about or even bring up really, nevertheless), I had to continue running every single day, and that was (is) too much. I quit running (although I still go out for a few jogs a year) cold turkey about two months after this realization. On a different note, one of my more vivid remembrances of “too muchness” happened roughly around the time I began having to wear makeup on stage for performances (as a gymnast, I never had to wear makeup for competition [although, perhaps I should have], and so, when I switched to dancing, the prospect of stage makeup sounded fun, albeit a little gross). I had worn makeup on stage when I was a child, but this time, I had to wear it as a young lady, and when I saw my own reflection, I liked it. I also then immediately understood that I would have to wear makeup like this every day or else, everyone would know when I wasn’t wearing makeup, or if I was wearing makeup and they saw me immediately after having seen me without makeup, etc., etc., &c., down the rumination wheel I spun. Until, ultimately, I decided that I would never wear makeup (off the stage) because people could see it, which meant that they could see when I didn’t wear makeup, which meant that I had to wear makeup every single day, and that was too much. There are other examples, but I strive not to bore.

Currently, I’m struggling with a different sort of too muchness, and the realization around this particular iteration spawns a bit of truth that I would rather not know. And please, save your judgments of my patheticism as I am very aware of how pathetic my situation is, not to mention the problematic egotistical nature of the situation. The issue is this: Although capable of writing every day, I do not out of fear that I will write too much.

The reality, however, may be less “ewe” and more “oh” once you’ve heard the underlying fear. And that fear is that I am afraid of scrutiny. (Boo, ewe.) I know the rules; I know the game. You’ve gotta write a lot, all the time in order to succeed. It must be an act to which you are fully dedicated. And I, I am only willing to dedicate myself so much lest it becomes too much. But I honestly do not even know what “too much” even means. Like, what the fuck? I decide to sit down and write, and as soon as I attempt to do so, a stupid fucking voice inside my head reminds, “Well, once you open this faucet, you could write for days on end. And that’s too much.” Too much what!

I don’t know.

And apparently, I cannot know because the problem inside my head is inside my own fucking head creating the problem that’s inside my own fucking head. This is why therapy and therapists exist, in case you were ever wondering. Goddammit, my nails are too fucking long to type fast, effectively and efficiently right now. Ugh.

Essentially, I’m stuck inside this psychological nightmare wherein I must write, but if I get carried away, I’m somehow afraid of writing too much (with no regards to how well I’ll write, mind you, and when has writing too much ever been a bad thing), but at the same time, I also fear the scrutiny and criticism of those who (I want to have) read my writings if they (the writings) gain any traction, AND I also fear that I will never be read at all, ever. Yea, I know; I’m a pathetic loser. And so, I suppose, the only thing left for me to do is to just write about this issue of “too muchness” in the hope of finding or knowing the signal to all this noise. The fear, most likely, revolves around something about how, I’m afraid that the next thing I write will be my last. It’s like they say, Hope floats on the death-farts of Dreams.