The Old Apartment

Some time after my fourth heart surgery, I was finally allowed to start having a normal life again. I did what I should have done almost a year earlier and dumped my boyfriend, T, and moved out.

We had both been biding our time since I had initially gotten sick. Sometimes an illness can bring people together and bring out the best in someone. For, T, my illness was a huge hassle.

He hated everyone always wanting to talk about me. He hated having to visit me in the hospital (and didn’t do it very often). And he hated the way I wasn’t fun anymore. I could barely walk for months.

My sickness was probably the worst thing to ever happen to him. But I get it, we weren’t in love. Dating me was fine when I was fun, but when things got too real, he couldn’t handle it.

To be honest, our relationship was the worst I have ever been in. And I have been in some bad ones. Being sick kept me there as I literally was not capable of leaving. We were together for almost 4 years.

When I moved out, I was broke and physically very weak still. I had missed a lot of work and it took a financial toll. I needed some place cheap.

I was so broke that for that entire year, I would have to make a decision when buying my groceries. I could splurge on one thing a week. I usually had to decide if I wanted strawberries or lasagna. Strawberries won most weeks.

 

Yum! Food porn!

 

I was 27 and had never lived alone before. I always had a roommate or a boyfriend. And I had gotten rid of all my furniture when I moved in with T.

I found a furnished apartment across the street from the beach in a fairly bad neighborhood. It was a basement apartment in a house that had been converted into 3 apartments.

Basement apartments are almost unheard of in Florida, and this one was on a sloping property. The windows in the living room and bathroom were on the level with the ground. It was under 500 sq ft. Maybe even under 400 sq ft.

The ceilings were only 7ft, which is freakily low for someone over 6ft tall like me. Being on the beach meant everything was always wet. I had to mop the ceiling with bleach on a regular basis to keep the mold growth down.

The living room was the length of a couch and had a TV on the opposite wall, 5 ft away. The bathroom was smaller than a walk in closet. And I am pretty sure the building was built on an ancient ant burial ground. It was haunted with the ghosts of thousands of ants. I would find their corpses in piles, like tiny snowdrifts, all over the apartment. When I first moved in had thought their small crunching bodies were actually beach sand blown or tracked in.

 

They were mostly concentrated in the bathroom for some reason.

 

This was also where I had to take my laundry to a laundromat once a week. I know I have mentioned it several times. It was next to a seedy beachside bar.

But the price was right. The door locked. And I was safe inside. I had my first apartment.

There were two other apartments in the same house as me. The one directly above me was empty for the whole year I lived there. Sometimes at night I would lie in bed and hear things moving around up there. I blamed it on my disturbingly vivid imagination.

In the other apartment there lived three Czechoslovakian people. Two were married to each other and the third was a female friend.  I said hello to the friend a few times. None of them spoke English. After a few months I stopped seeing the wife. The husband and the friend had been having an affair and the wife moved back home to the Czech Republic.

There was an abandoned hotel across the street. It was a towering building about 40 stories, right on the beach. There were broken windows and on breezy days I could see the curtains waving in some of the rooms. It was like a scene from a post apocalyptic movie. I heard hobos would break in and squat in the lower levels. I never wanted to find out.

 

Pretty similar to this creepy thing.

 

Directly in front of my apartment was an empty lot. It was fenced off and for sale. Another condo waiting to be built. The lot was white sand, broken glass, and sand spurs. I could see the ocean between the buildings.

There was a house next to mine, on the other side of a private road. The set up was similar to my house. Several people lived in that basement apartment. They would sit outside drinking and smoking all night, every night.

A few days after moving in, I smelled the unmistakable smell of meth coming from that apartment. I knew the smell well as some neighbors had a meth lab at a previous apartment with a previous boyfriend. When they got busted, the cops said it was the largest meth lab they had ever seen. I quickly decided to avoid those neighbors.

I actually loved living there. I loved the freedom of being alone. I recovered well and gained back a lot of the strength I had lost during the past year.

When Christmas rolled around I was dating a new guy, M. He had lived in Japan for several years and was always talking about the buckwheat pillows they used there. I decided to buy him one for Christmas.

 

I find them uncomfortable.

 

One day, just before the holiday, I saw that my pillow had been delivered and that a neighbor had signed for it. I brought the tag over to the new Czech couple, but they pretended to not know what I was talking about.

I was confused and upset. The pillow hadn’t been cheap. And now someone had stolen it. I had no other neighbors that could have signed for it and I had no other gift for M.

One of the meth neighbors came running over as I trudged down the hill back to my apartment. He was clearly doing meth. The skin condition is unmistakable.

“Hey! We signed for a box for you today! Come on over and get it.”

I was hesitant to go into their apartment. What if the police chose that exact moment to bust them? Would I be taken to jail? Would I get fired?

I reluctantly followed him across the street. I waited in the living room while he went back into his bedroom to get it. I have no idea why it was in his bedroom. There were about 6 people in this dimly lit living room. People were lying on couches, chairs, the floor. Every surface was covered with bodies. And they all smelled awful.

The guy gave me my box and asked if I wanted to stay and have a drink. I practically ran from that apartment.

A few days later, I was making cookies to take to work. I created my own peanut butter cookie recipe that is amazing. My cookies are so good, that one time I had brought them to work and someone stole them off someone else’s desk and it turned into this huge investigation. HR was brought in for a resolution.  It was insane.

 

 

HR resolution cookies.

 

I decided to make a few to bring to my meth neighbors. I thought it would be a nice thank you to them since they had kept my package safe.

I made a dozen to bring to them. I used my fanciest homemaker skills and wrapped them in a white linen napkin and tied it with a fancy bow. I brought them over to my neighbors.

 

I’m capable of being pretty fancy.

They thanked me and after that would give me enthusiastic hellos anytime they saw me. But they never returned my napkin.

 

UPDATED: I’m including the recipe for Jana. But I am going to assume you guys know how to make cookies, in general.

 

1 stick butter (softened)

1 1/4 c. peanut butter

1/2 c. white sugar

3/4 c. brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1 1/4 c. flour

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

peanut butter chips

 

Refrigerate batter for an hour before rolling into balls and cooking for 10 min at 375.

 

If any of you make them, let me know how you like them!

Thursday Night, Family Night

In case any of you have been missing me, wondering where I have been or why I haven’t been lurking on your blogs lately: I have been writing  hella science fiction lately and it’s been taking me away from my blogging life. I’ll try to do better in the future.

As you may recall, my father is recovering from open heart surgery. He can’t lift more than 5 lbs. I went over to his place on Sunday to help him clear an area to build a shelf to go through his more than 7,000 vinyl records. And no, 7,000 wasn’t a typo.

 

7000 albums looks kind of like this. Only they are disorganized and stacked precariously and sliding all over at my father’s.

 

He lives in an old creepy farmhouse that has been converted into a new age church. My ex, A, used to say that it was abandoned by the living but haunted by the dead.

My father is a bit of a hoarder, but the stuff he hoards is actually cool. I guess that makes him more of an eccentric collector.

I have included some pictures here for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.

 

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The front of the building and the porch that is blocked off.

 

After I left on Sunday he told me that he had found a nest of black widows near where we were working. I decided it wasn’t worth mentioning that I had felt something in my pants, biting me, on the drive home.

I went back tonight with my brother,T, to move a few more things about.  I have mentioned my brother several times, but I forgot to direct you here for more about him.

First we had to move all the records we had stacked in one room on Sunday to another bureau. We were moving two bureaus up the stairs. The stairs that had no guard rails. And steps that ranged between three different heights seemingly at random.

 

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Peeling paint, creepy access holes, fancy chandeliers. It’s all here!

 

Then my father needed us to move a sofa bed couch out to the trash for him. It was pouring down rain in the middle of a terrible thunderstorm. I was sweating my ass off and had dropped a rusted nail studded board on myself and stabbed myself in the back with a key stuck in a door.

 

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The almost definitely haunted outbuildings that I almost got murdered at for this picture.

 

My brother went to move the couch from where it was standing on end, and knocked over a stack of boxes 6 feet high. He and I started cracking up laughing. We had narrowly missed a desk covered in crystals and knick knacks.

Once we both had this couch in our arms (and faces) my father tells us that it had “bugs.” I almost dropped the thing, fearing that he meant roaches. But no. Bed bugs? No. Termites? No. Just silverfish, no biggie.

T and I lugged this giant sofa bed couch outside, then set it down on it’s wheel and raced  it, laughing, down the long driveway to the curb. In the pouring rain. We got stuck a few times and nearly fell on the disgusting thing.

 

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My amazing photography skills at work here. But at least you can tell it is stormy as fuck.

 

But it was pretty fun. I could see that catching on. Two man couch races. It was like pushing a bobsled with four shitty grocery cart wheels through soft sand.

By this point, we were exhausted. Soaking wet from the rain and sweat. And I had been accidentally stabbed twice.

And that’s when we found the bottle rockets.

No matter what I find at my father’s place, I am never surprised. I suspect the Bermuda triangle actually has one point in central Florida at my father’s, one point in northern Florida at my mother’s and the third point extends out into the Atlantic. Anything could be there. And anything is there.

 

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This is actually the background on my phone. It was unstaged. Just a normal vignette of a human skull, crystals, incense, razor blades. That’s at everyone’s father’s house, right?

 

My brother, father and I went out onto his side porch and lit bottle rockets, from a planter on the covered porch, into his yard, at the garage apartment on the property. It was undeniably stupid.

 

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The garage apartment where the human skull was famously found.


But nobody got hurt. Except me. On the key and rusty nail.

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The old field really cleans up nice when it isn’t mowed.

Vomiting at Disney

Living in Florida means one thing for most people. Beaches and Disney (okay, that’s two things). I’ve spent most of my life at the beach. I even lived on the beach for a year. It long ago stopped having any appeal for me.

 

My treadmill.

 

But growing up so poor, I didn’t have a lot of experiences at Disney. I went for my first time in high school. I was 15 and it was my best friend, L’s, 16th birthday present from her parents.

 

 

Not something I would choose, but it was fun.

 

I had two best friends in high school, both were girls (that’s the first time I ever had female friends, let alone two). L and K. I’m not sure how the three of us became friends. We had met in middle school in a journalism class. We actually had very little in common.

 

K was sweet and feminine. Her family was very close. They went to church twice a week and had dinner together, at a table, with no TV, every night. I spent a lot of time at her house. It was like a TV family from the 50s. In a Twilight Zone kind of way. She was one of the prettiest girls I have ever known in real life outside of my sisters.

 

Who the fuck still does this? People with something to hide, that’s who.

 

L was very tomboyish, even more so than me (if that’s possible). Her parents were the most in love people I have ever seen, even still. She was kind of a redneck-y farm girl type. She drove a dually pickup truck, listened to country, and had chickens.

 

The gas mileage on this thing must have been terrible.

 

Everyone thought L and I were dating. But we weren’t. In fact, I hear K recently married her girlfriend and is very happy. I bet all those assholes I went to school with would be shocked to find out that she was the gay one and not us.

 

But I never minded my bad reputation. And believe me when I say, it was bad. Because it only served to prepare me for the bad reputation I have at my job now. Besides, I never took being called a lesbian as an insult.

 

So L’s mom took us to Disney. Her mom was a nurse for an OB/GYN and was hilariously funny. I adored her. I used to wish one of their families would adopt me. I suspect they would have if I had ever talked about my home life. But I didn’t.

 

L’s mom had gotten fast passes for our day. We felt so cool and important, skipping the long lines of people that were waiting. As soon as we arrived at Disney, we rode the Tower of Terror. Four times in a row.

 

Pukiest ride ever.

 

You might think this was a bad idea for someone that can’t even ride in the backseat of a car without getting motion sickness. And you would be right.

 

I felt moderately nauseous the rest of the day. But I was trying to not make a fuss and enjoy my day.

 

We went on ride after ride. I had an amazing time. It was my first time on anything scarier than a ferris wheel. I’m great on rides because I am kind of a wuss and will totally scream and shriek at everything.

 

I didn’t feel well when we stopped for lunch, but tried to eat my fried chicken meal. After lunch we went on the Haunted Mansion. We were all eating popcorn. And I think that’s what really did me in.

 

I kind of love this ride. But I do love ghosts and weirdo occult-y stuff.

 

I almost lost it then and there, but managed to keep the vomit in.

 

It was getting dark out and they all wanted to go to the Country Bear Jamboree. I have no memory of this show and my mind has instead substituted Lester’s Possum Park from a Goofy Movie. (That movie still makes me laugh).

 

 

It seemed at least this annoying and cheesy.

 

I spent the entirety of that show sitting on the floor. My stomach was churning. I felt disoriented and dizzy. The bears singing was impossibly loud and obnoxious. It somehow made me feel more sick.

 

I didn’t even make it to the end. I pushed out of that room and ran over to a low fence. Where I vomited my brains out. I puked so hard I’m pretty sure there was milk from back when I was breastfeeding in there.

 

L, K, and L’s mom came over, but I waved them away. I didn’t want to ruin her birthday. Plus, I hated being touched back then even more than I do now. I didn’t want someone trying to rub my back or some shit.

 

After I had retched 10-15 times, a Disney park attendant came over with a sprite. She asked me if I could please move away and puke in the nearest trash can.

 

It turns out I was puking over the fence and directly into the Splash Mountain waterpark ride. And I was disturbing some of the guests over there with the violence of my sickness. There had been actual complaints.

 

 

Isn’t this ride based on that super racist Song of the South movie?

 

That was enough to make me laugh. And knowing I was disturbing others actually did make me feel better.

 

Once I had puked out the entire contents of my stomach, gallbladder, and, I suspect, bowels, I felt much better. You can only puke so much until your entire body has been cleansed of food, bile, and other contents.

 

I didn’t go back to an amusement park again for over 10 years. But don’t worry, I have more stories from Disney to tell.

Losing It

Alright, I’m done yammering on about Seattle.

 

I’m ready to tell you about how I lost it…

 

My virginity.

 

I was never one of those people that put much value in being a virgin. I didn’t see the appeal of it. I still don’t. I didn’t so much ‘lose’ it as I did hurl it away from me like a live grenade.

 

 

Get it the fuck away from me!

 

I was ready to get it over with when I was 13. Luckily, mother nature, in her wisdom, made me completely unappealing to the opposite sex for many, many years. Which was good, because I have always liked men in their 30s and 40s.

 

By the time I was a senior in high school, I felt like the only girl that had never even officially kissed a boy. I was a fucking leper. And I was beyond ready to stop being a virgin.

 

 

I will venture to say that this is one of the best books on leprosy ever written. It changed my world view too.

 

I was always mooning over someone. But I am shockingly good at a) choosing the wrong guy. b) hiding my feelings so well that nobody in their right mind could possibly suspect I liked them in even a platonic way. And c) being so fucking awkward that even if someone did like me and I managed to show some semblance of interest I would put them off pretty quickly once they got to know me.

 

But that all changed when I met G. He was in my calculus class. I had never seen him before, which was noteworthy in my town. He was so handsome. He is still the objectively best looking person I have ever dated.

 

It turns out he was new at my school. And an exchange student from Germany. And in the wrong math class. We kept making eye contact the whole hour and a half.

 

I knew I would only get one chance to snatch him up for myself. I quickly scribbled him a ridiculous note with my phone number on it and gave it to him after class. For some unknown reason, he called me and asked me out.

 

We really got along. My awkward weirdness didn’t put him off. He got my sense of humor. And did I mention the accent and that he was really handsome? I still have a major thing for both foreign men and accents. They seem to like me more than American men too, even now.

 

I was ready to have sex before we ever went on that first date. But my friends told me I had to go out with him a few times. For some reason. Besides, I had no place to actually have sex considering we were two broke teenagers that lived at home.

 

I drove a pickup truck back then and decided that I was going to make it happen. In the bed of my truck. Like a total pimp.

 

My first car.

 

On our third date I brought a blanket and condoms and drove him out to a deserted orange grove. Orange blossoms have always been my favorite flower scent.

 

 

 

 

Sometimes, the smell is overwhelming in the country, with groves on both sides of the road.

 

I suggested we lie down in the back and look at the stars. We lay there and talked for a while. He called me his girlfriend and that turned into a huge talk about our relationship and suddenly I had my first boyfriend.

 

I told him I wanted to have sex. And since he had done it with two girls back in Germany (allegedly) I expected him to know what he was doing. We started kissing and got undressed.

 

No foreplay, no romance. He showed me how to use a condom and then we commenced to doing it.

 

Only, we didn’t. Because for some strange reason, it didn’t fit. We tried for close to an hour, both of us getting increasingly frustrated until we gave up. It was awful.

 

I drove him home feeling like a failure. More than a failure; I felt cursed. Cursed with virginity.

 

I have always had close male friends. The next day at work one of them asked me if I had finally done it. I hung my head in shame and told him the whole story.

 

He asked me about foreplay. But I wasn’t sure what that entailed. Foreplay had never even occurred to me. This was before I had access to the depravity and information of the internet. I actually knew very little about how sex worked.

 

I had seen a few of my father’s vintage porn tapes on VHS. They never needed stretching or foreplay. And in movies that shit always appeared to work or fit or whatever. Not that they ever really showed anything. They kissed once or twice and then got down to business. Wasn’t that how it worked?

 

It’s not like I could get sex books out of the library. I think The Tropic of Cancer was the raciest thing I ever read. But that still didn’t explain the mechanics of anything. Mostly it was shocking language.

 

 

 

 

I just realized this is a book heavy post for a post about sex.

 

The one bookstore in my town was a family Christian bookstore. They didn’t even carry Catcher in the Rye because of the prostitute scene. It’s a small, close minded town.

 

 

 

I actually hated this book and now I realize I really need to do a post about books. I’ve waited far too long.

 

Both the school and library computers had strict parental controls. And don’t even get me started on the school sponsored sex ed program. Their mantra was ‘just say no.’

 

Those were dark times, readers. When all I had to go on was hearsay and rumors from my barely more experienced peers.

 

So the next Friday night, I took G back to that orange grove and tried to initiate some of this foreplay I had heard tell about. But he wasn’t interested. At all. I couldn’t figure it out.

 

It was sort of a sad deserted place. Unkempt.

 

We finally had terrible, terrible sex. But at least I wasn’t a virgin anymore.

 

The sex with him continued to be consistently bad for the duration of our relationship. It was so bad that I didn’t understand why sex was such a big deal in our society. And I certainly didn’t think it was worth getting an STD, or worse, pregnant over.

 

After we broke up and he headed back to Germany, I heard that he was gay. So that solved one mystery.
And I went on to have decent sex happily ever after.

Seattle: Mt Rainier

This is probably going to be my last post about Seattle. More happened, but I feel like I am getting boring. So I’ll be back to my normal vaginas and vomit stories soon. But this story wants to be told. I can’t stop thinking about it.

 

My sister rented a car to drive me up to see Mt. Rainier. All the pictures in this post are my own (sadly, taken with my phone). I have never been on a mountain before. I have only ever even seen a mountain once in real life.

 

You can see Mt. Rainier from Seattle. It felt so weird, to see this giant thing looming in the background of the city. It was like a sentinel watching over us.

 

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Fun fact about Seattle: blackberries are everywhere you look, growing like weeds.

 

Driving up to it, I started freaking out. We took a bunch of back roads through smaller cities. It was the most beautiful day out. It was low humidity, cool weather, no clouds. Just a perfect day.

 

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Looks like a postcard.

 

It didn’t look real to me. It looked like it was a painted backdrop  on a movie set. My mind was having a really hard time processing this giant pile of earth. I was afraid of it. What was keep it all up there like that? Florida barely has hills, let alone mountains.

 

There were all these meadows on our drive. We opened the windows and could hear bees humming. Tiny yellow flowers were growing everywhere. And it smelled like sweetgrass and sage and lavender. I was in love with that moment of perfection.

 

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Just one of those perfect days you never forget…

 

I felt like I could take a deep breath for the first time in my life.  The air smelled and felt so good. It was a strange kind of high. In Florida, with the humidity and heat, it tends to feel like breathing through a warm, wet towel.

 

The closer we got to the mountain, the more I started freaking out. I could not believe it was real.  I think I said three things over and over the whole day.

 

“It looks so fake!”

 

“It looks like Lord of the Rings!”

 

“It looks painted on.”

 

We drove up and up through dark green forests of moss covered trees. It was cool and wet and everything was almost blindingly green. The road we were on was closed during the colder months.  Pollen drifted through the air like snow flakes falling.

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I went floating in a similar river the following day.

 

It was startling to see the look out points. The valley was so far below. The curving road seemed unimaginably dangerous. The guardrails were laughably insufficient. I was not used to being so high up.

 

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Yeah, one wheel slip and we would have died. Fuck those roads.

 

It was still in the 70s near the top of the mountain. We stopped when we saw snow. It was still piled high on either side of the road. I had never seen so much snow. I have only seen it twice before.

 

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Snow!

 

We got out of the car and in the silence of the mountain you could hear water dripping and falling in waterfalls as the snow banks melted and ran down the river. It was so loud, echoing through the distance.

 

 

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We nearly fucking died climbing up this bank to get glasses of waterfall to drink.

 

I got out and began carefully walking through a snow drift on the side of the road. I immediately fell on my ass. I don’t know how to walk in snow. My sister got out and I scooped up a handful of snow and threw it at her. Then another at our rented car. She and I had a small snowball fight.

 

We drove further up and played some more. I found where they had cleared away snow from a public bathroom. It must have been 8 feet high still, carved out around this building. And I was still comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans.

 

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I really cant believe I was even there to see all this.

 

The whole day was surreal. I can still hardly believe that it all actually exists. That mountain is still there, even though I am back in Florida.

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It really did look like LOTR.

Seattle: Portland Addition

My second day in Seattle, we took the bus to Portland. Remember when I mentioned that I was a pain in the ass to travel with? Well, it was a four hour bus ride and I was car sick the whole way. Even after taking my nausea pills.

 

Watch these two cities battle it out!

 

It was nice to have so much down time to really talk to my sister. But the very first thing I did in Portland was find a bush to vomit into. A kind lady stopped to ask if I was okay. Portland’s a friendly city.

 

Portland is beautiful. And interesting. But I honestly did not have a great time there. I don’t blame the city. I was tired and cranky and sick. My sister and I only knew a few things to do. And we had no car, which meant a lot of walking. Which made me even more cranky. Yes, I am the worst.

 

But J and I did meet up with Dave from Dave’s Corner of the Universe. He is another one of my blogger friends. And if you like sci-fi or comics and don’t read him then you are  missing out. His blog is genius. Seriously, genius.

 

We ate at a food truck and then went to Powell’s books. I don’t even know how long we were in there. Hours. It was huge and amazing and there were so many freakin’ books!

 

It’s three stories and one city block!

 

After Powell’s J and I walked down to Voodoo Doughnuts. I don’t know quite how to say this, so I am going to get it out fast. I hate doughnuts. And pastries, pies, cakes, and candy. I have no excuse for myself. I really only like chocolate.

I laughed for like 5 minutes over their slogan.

But these doughnuts were like eating baby unicorns in a rainbow sauce of sunshine and happiness. It was like Lisa Frank all up in my mouth.

 

Don’t act like you were too cool for Lisa Frank. Check out this brunette Pegasus!

 

 

 

I had the maple bacon bar and the Mexican hot chocolate. And a taste of J’s roommates apple fritter.

 

 

 

Oh my god, get in my mouth, doughnut!

I had seriously eaten one bite of the maple bacon bar and I wanted to go back inside and buy a second one. But unfortunately the line was too long and we couldn’t wait forever.

 

This is why it’s called Voodoo Doughnuts.

 

Because we had to go see Mill Ends Park! Please read about it on wikipedia. It is one of my favorite things ever. It is the world’s smallest public park. And I loved it.

 

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So adorable!

 

By this point we had barely enough time to eat dinner and catch the bus home. I took my back pain meds as I was ready to lay down in the street and die by this point in the day.


I slept the whole way back to J’s place.

Seattle: Part 1

I’m back from vacation and from my blogging hiatus. And I have some stories to tell you while they are still fresh in my mind. Be warned: you may see me in a different light after the next few posts.

 

Straight off let me say, I am a bad traveller. I get anxiety. I get motion sickness on any moving piece of machinery. I have a bad back and can hardly get comfortable at home where I bought everything specifically for my back. I don’t like interacting with or touching strangers. And I don’t like wearing bras or pants. Luckily, I have drugs that help all that.

 

As a result, I don’t travel much and am a total pain in the ass when I do. But I desperately miss my little sister and was ready to brave airports, planes, buses, trains, and shitty mattresses to see her.

 

The flight both there and home were absolutely miserable and not even in a way that I can make funny so I’ll skip it. Except that I tried to board the wrong plane and was actually embarrassed walking past all the people waiting in line.

 

I got to my sister, J’s place at midnight. I was so tired from travelling that I barely spoke to her and went straight to sleep.

 

The next morning the bright sun was shining in my face. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel rested. It had to be 8am. I checked the time. It was just after 5am.

 

What the fuck was going on? I texted my sister. Why is it so bright out?!

 

Apparently the sun rises at 5am and sets at 9pm in the summer in Seattle. Who knew?

 

Despite having no sleep on an uncomfortable bed, I was the most cheerful person in the city that morning. And every morning, actually. Apparently nobody smiles or behaves friendly in the city. At least not to J.

 

We took a bus to Capital Hill to go to J’s favorite coffee shop. When we got on the bus, I walked up to a pleasant looking blonde girl and said “I’m going to sit next to you.”

 

She laughed and said “okay.”

 

I don’t know how bus etiquette works. I was fascinated by everything and in an amazingly good mood. It was beautiful. Low humidity, bright sunlight, cool weather.

 

Seriously, this is the most beautiful city.

 

 

I started asking J all kinds of questions. I wanted to sit in the middle seats where the bus joined. They looked fun and bendy. Then I asked if I could pull the cord for our stop.

 

The girl next to me pulled out her headphones (90% of the people in the city were wearing headphones, no matter where we went) and asked “Have you never been on a bus before?”

 

I told her, “I’m from Florida. Only crazy people take the bus. And people with too many DUIs.”

 

I got to pull the cord and at our stop we took the rear exit. My sister got off the bus and the bus driver immediately closed the doors.

 

I was shocked. I said aloud, “Oh god! What do I do? I’m trapped forever!” Everyone on the bus started cracking up and my sister turned and looked at me, confused.

 

I had visions of having to get off at the next stop and being lost in the city and trying to find her again.

 

Luckily someone realized that I genuinely didn’t know what to do and shouted “Back door!” at the driver before the bus drove off.

 

We got to Capital Hill, which is apparently the gay district. It was amazing. There were adverts for drag shows and gay couples actually holding hands in public. I loved it.

 

Her favorite coffee shop was Kaladi Brothers Coffee. If you are ever in Washington State it is worth going to. This was seriously the best coffee I have ever had in my entire life. It was so smooth and incredible. We went back almost every day and one day I even ordered a double (which had 4 shots of espresso).

 

 

So many windows too!

 

We walked around the city for a bit. The city was beautiful. There were flowers everywhere. I stopped to check to see if they were real and a bee flew out into my face. I amused many strangers in the city that day.

 

She took me to Pike’s Place. It was right on the water and still early enough that most of the vendors weren’t set up. By this point of the day I had already done more walking than I normally do.

 

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The view from Pike Place.

 

The booths were beautiful and it felt like fall in Florida. I had a molasses cookie and fresh apple cider. There were fresh picked flowers for sale. And I sat on the Pike Place pig.

 

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Bet you never thought you’d see a pic of me riding a giant brass piggy bank. This was pre-haircut.

 

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They didn’t even look real.

 

This is the same place that has the famous Pike Place Fish Co. They throw the fish. It was cool.

 

I was a little worried about getting hit with a fish.

 

For lunch we had Takos Chukis. I got three baby burritos. Again, if you are ever in Washington, go there. They were the best fucking things I have ever had in my mouth. I went there twice on my visit.

 

Oh my god! These are heaven. I want to eat nothing but them from now on.

 

I also got to see the disgusting gum wall.

 

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It almost touched me. Ew.

 

And I got my hair cut by a Drag Queen he/she was the premiere Cher impersonator in the Pacific Northwest. I got me an adorable haircut. I was feeling pretty shaggy and gross in such a hip city. Which by the way, everyone up there is young, hip, thin, and gorgeous. I did not fit in at all. I was disturbed by how few old people were around.
My sister and I decided to “street harass” men by telling them when we thought they were hot. There are a lot of ot men in Seattle. But I happen to go for beards, glasses and hipsters. So, we talked to a lot of hottie guys on my visit. It started as both a way to open up and be more friendly (which we both need) but it turned out to be a lot of fun.

 

Basically the sexy face of Seattle. Beard, visible tattoos, hotness. The girls were hot too, but they didn’t have beards. Lots of dyed hair, though.

 

Stay tuned next post for more of my travelling adventures.

 

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Random graffiti wall near the gum wall.