Ten Years Later, The Emerald City Trembles
Why Seattle? In part, because she’s never been to the Pacific Northwest.
In part because I have.
When I first stepped onto the ground at SeaTac airport, it was difficult for me not to bellow out “I’M BACK, BITCHES!” at the top of my lungs.
Let’s travel back in time a decade.
You remember the mid-nineties, right? Oklahoma City, O.J. Simpson, the Yugoslavian war going apeshit, Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich. The economy started to boom, baseball cancelled the World Series, paranoia became a theme of pop culture, the comic industry went into freefall, and politics’ descent into the vitriolic hackery we know today picked up a lot of steam. Me, I graduated from college, armed with a double major of “history” and “unemployability.”
Lacking any direction or understanding, I decided to split away from the world I knew and start fresh. Had it been 1926, I would have gone to Paris. But it was 1996, and thus I went to the City of the Hour: the Emerald City, Seattle.
Once there, I got a crap job, lived in a crap house in the Lake City neighborhood, and spent a year in the venerable post-adolescent tradition of “finding myself.” This entailed underemployment, lots of coffee, kung fu, strange men, stranger women, and the dreaded Twelve Egg Omelette at Beth’s Diner on Aurora.
I grew up in the Rust Belt. Seattle's gleaming downtown felt only one step below Oz.
God, I loved this city. God, my life here sucked appalling amounts of ass.
I haven't been here in ten years. I left a battered but wiser young man, unemployed and alone.
I return in triumph.
I'm back, bitches.
Let the city tremble.