Seattle, not only grunge

June 14, 2019

Ah, Seattle! Of course you were the father of grunge, among many other things. First with the jazz, then with the rock, music fills your soul and you couldn’t help but let it out. I get it. Kurt, Eddie, Chris, Layne, Dave and their band companions found the answers to many of their existential questions in you, they created and they evolved putting words into music, feelings into sounds, and for some reasons I believe I found some answers too, but although I’ll try and explain them in humble words, I’m sure I won’t be as successful as those who preceded me, and who now are myths and heroes of our time.

I introduced myself to you smiling at the idea that here, it seems, is where people get inspired, and actually can build something. From music, to business companies, airlines and more (just think of Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks!!!) you gave a push to many. I wished for a minute you could be the place where I could get enlightened too. Eh, I wonder. I honestly have to confess that I also laughed at my excitement for being in the city where Grey’s Anatomy is fictitiously set. I guess I can see why now: they needed a city “with some balls”. They surely found it.

I parked the car and I started walking through you letting my receptors open, and you could tell I was receiving by the fact I was walking with a grin, and people were once again noticing me (like in Portland!?), but eventually I understood why. “Nice shirt!” – “I like your shirt!” – “What does your shirt say? I like it!” or simply smiling back at me acknowledging the message it shows: “Less job. More travel.” in the front, and “Quit your job.” in the back. I wonder if someone took it as a sign and eventually followed the suggestion, or if they will do it soon, I need the credits. For sure many appreciated it, and they also had the chance to experience the “open to discussions” version of me. Wow. Big deal. Not really. Well, I interacted with the guys at Starbucks, the musician at the pier, the photographer on the street, a few guys in a car pointing at my shirt laughing and nodding, women and men crossing path with me and explicitly agreeing with the message I was sharing. Fun times. Two girls asked if I could take a photo of them and I basically did a whole photo shoot session for them. They laughed and they kept on saying “thank you, you’re so kind”. I think at a certain point they started thinking I was a freak. But by that time, I already said bye headed back to my car, after a whole day spent walking and stopping at typical places. Such a tourist: I visited the Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum, the Pier, a few art expositions here and there, the tall buildings, the viaduct they’re taking down polishing the view of downtown in such a cool way, the first original Starbucks, the Space Needle, and the Native American Art exposition, where I had a very interesting conversation with Cole, about Native Americans, my old studies (but never forgotten) and native stuff in general. Phenomenal.

Aaron, knowing I was coming from LA, tried to convince me that Seattle is better than my city of angels. He said the beauty of it here is not even comparable to LA’s; when the sun is out, it makes everything appear more charming. Here. Hmm. In LA the sun is always there, he continues, (I thought: not this year dude, not this year) so you simply get used to it. In Seattle, you wish for the sun and when it comes out it’s a good day (sounds kind of like me, right?). He talked about the lakes, the mountains, and the sound, meaning the music scene. Everything, he then added, is a short drive away whether you like hiking, skiing, water sports, going to the lake, hanging at the river, chilling close to the center, going to a bar. I objected using the desert card; he said the desert here is East of the mountains at about a 3-hour drive. Damn. He almost convinced me. When he used the music card I could not disagree, and he eventually ended the discussion with “Everything you need is here, and not as spread out as in SoCal“. Good point. So now what? Nothing, I took some (mental) notes down and I’ll used them for future reference.

Seattle touched me deep. We got physical, I confess. To the point I felt dizzy and breathless. Conversations about it were simply too reductive. As our body speaks better than words sometimes, mine could simply feel it all and speak for itself. In Seattle I saw things from the past, transformed into something I can now appreciate with a level of maturity that is palpable. Features almost too familiar accompanied my journey here, and I was safe. Not sorry. Just like staring at the eyes of a stranger sometimes can make you feel at peace and welcomed, Seattle was there to question me, to tackle me, and eventually embraced me with a passion that penetrated my soul. I felt good. It felt good. And if you only knew me, even just the smallest and remotest part of me, you would know that admitting and accepting that I actually felt something (and to say it out loud) is a big big big achievement. It all just came naturally and, despite the apprehension I felt right before introducing myself and even the first few minutes in, Seattle was nice and solid, raw and real, letting my guard fall down and my shields fade away, leaving room for fun times and good memories. Feral but not aggressive, direct but not disrespectful; I allowed myself to be seen by Seattle, so much so that my defense mechanisms failed, and I got “softer“. Just like a kiss, that when you can see it coming it just makes you chuckle, I too giggled and opened up, and people could sense it. I was not hating on every single human as usual. Just a small part of individuals kept on being the same annoying mortals, but it was nothing unbearable and I could handle it pretty well. Seattle allowed me, and I allowed myself really, to enjoy my limited time here, grabbing what I’ve been offered, giving what I could let out, up to a different extent. Thank you Seattle. Steve Jobs said “stay hungry, stay foolish”?! Pff. Amateur. “Stay sober, stay loud, stay real“. Just like Seattle.

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