July 15th, 1999
Up at the usual time, finish packing, take a cab, get on the
airplane. The sequence is done by rote. I watch my fellow travellers
and wonder at the mix of people and styles. Lots of overweight men and
women, which isn't unusual, I guess, but I'm struck by the eclectic mix
of body shapes and attitudes. Makes me understand the desire to paint a
street scene, where unlike the photographer, you can render each
individual as you wish, working them all together like my airport crowd.
Even the occasional "beautiful couple" seemed off kilter, as if this
actually were a painting set against a wall and I was one of the
figures with his back to the viewer. Body language a blizzard of
communication, glances like thunder storms, some happy, some peaceful,
some something else. Maybe I've overdone my medicines.
A guy in his sixties, bald on top, long hair pulled back at the sides
of his head into a pony tail, dressed completely in denim, flushed face,
slightly protruding eyes. I should have checked for cowboy boots. I look
at how I'm travelling today, denim as well, grey hair, black socks
and shoes, even a dark blue T-shirt under the denim shirt. How much of a
cartoon do I look mixed in with the others? Who might conceivably care and,
if so, why? Young women with tattoos on their arms, sometimes their hands and
more than once on their back, just below the neck at the top of the shoulder
blades. Have no idea how her generation perceives these, how exotic or
pedestrian tattoos might have become. Are they something young women
do to kill a summer afternoon before they start high school in the Fall?
Styles change. Hip moves on.
The plane is full, the Seattle airport is full and I should have made a car
reservation before I left. Worked out all right when they discovered I
wanted to rent one over the weekend, but stupid. Place was packed. Place is
probably always packed, will be packed and probably was packed when I was
there last except I just didn't remember. Spent five minutes sitting in the
dark figuring how to adjust the seats and exterior mirrors before I could
start it and get out on the highway. A disadvantage, perhaps, of owning and
driving a 20 year old antique. Arrive in Seattle at my aunt's house in
Ballard, say hello to my aunt and my mother who has been staying with my aunt
while my sister and her family are out of town on vacation.
My cousin Denny came by and provided the subject for the picture. On this
laptop screen I have no idea what it will look like up on the web, but I'll
find out next week when I return. Meanwhile, bed, some sleep and then some
The banner photograph was taken with the digital camera at my aunt's house
in the Ballard district of Seattle this afternoon. Ya takes what ya gets.
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