Staying Awake in Seattle, Day 13: Driving rain

For a place that's been about 75% sunny and blue-skied since I've been here, people squawk an awful lot about rain.

I'm happy with it, and even happy going out in it, provided I've got the appropriate footwear and rain gear. Relentless sunshine ain't all it's cracked up to be, either. (Come on: you've never read Day of the Locust? You should, dammit.)

It was off-and-on sunny/cloudy/drizzly today, which as I understand it, is how things work most days here. It's cool. For some reason, I was unable to get my motor running today. Less cool, but yesterday was a big People Day, and while I love my People Days, they do wear me out.

So outside of what has become my daily pilgrimage to see Matt & Co. for my daily caffeine fix, I holed up and did a lot of puttery bidness. I'd have been happy to continue on into the evening in this fashion, just me, some Greek takeout and the cable. (Mmm...cable...)

But tonight, my Hostess with the Mostess, a.k.a. my local benefactrix, was flying in. And, well, when someone gives you use of her phat bachelorette pad for a month AND makes you hand-drawn maps, you must step up where needed, even if you're not asked to. Which, for the record, I was not. She's my cousin, though. By marriage, and in a wackadoo way, but it adds up.

Anyway, a long day of emailing and texting back and forth about routes and flights and plans would have made most people more ready, not less. I, however, am not most people. I am a neurotic nutjob who is really, really good at the thin slice of things she's good at (writing, performing, helping people get their shit together) and Olympic-level suck at everything else.

Driving inclusive. Driving in the rain at dusk with middle-age eyesight in a strange city? Fuggedaboutit.

I left plenty of time. I wrote out instructions. I printed out, by hand, as I've no printer locally, her instructions, mapped it on the Google two ways, and triangulated all three. I talked myself there, literally*.

I made it to the Cell Phone Waiting Area and cooled my heels there, obsessively playing Wurdle. For...a long time: I was early; her plane was late; her bag was really, really late.

There was a brief respite when Cuz finally got in the car. I still drove, but she was there riding shotgun to distract and direct me. We had some complex maneuvering having to do with picking up cars and dropping them off in various parts of the dark, wet city. The whole time, me clocking stuff, or trying to, so I could find my way back. Never mind that I was in a major U.S. city with the world's finest handheld navigational device: I am NOT a pioneer. If the West had been depending on me, it would still be scrub and desert. Anyone could drink my milkshake.

I found my way back to the apartment, simple, I suppose, just like Cuz had said.

A weird sort of glow started building when I recognized those last few turns, including the Super-Secret Batcave Entrance.

I parked in a space I now recognized, used a key that had become familiar to climb a flight of stairs I knew, and let myself back into the apartment that I have come to call home. And it felt like home: as much as any home I've lived in. With my three black sweaters and three pairs of jeans, my funky table that's my new office, my fresh pile of laundry, the second, since I've been here, ready to be put away.

Time and people and pushing my boundaries just a bit have made this place feel like the best kind of home I've ever known. Imperfectly perfect. Sanctuary.

And, like the commercials say: knowing that with enough time and effort, I can make anyplace feel like home?


xxx c

*Is it just me, or is everyone talking to themselves a lot more as we go careening downhill towards our collective doom. My god, the aisles at Target are getting to be like the stairwells threading through the tower of Babylon.