Seattle, 4am


That photo was taken a little later than 4am, but it has my godson in it, so you can afford me a little license.

4:31am: Jetlag is hell but it’s getting better. Like a clock that’s a little fast, I wake up a few minutes later every day. If I stay here long enough I’ll wake up at 10am East Coast time. Apparently my godson Ewan was born on East Coast time, because he’s up and crying. Too bad his dads are on Seattle time.

5:00am: Time to go for my walk. Since my friend of twenty years hasn’t seen fit to rent thousands of dollars of gym equipment just to entertain me for the four days I’m here, I’m going to rough it with a long walk and some masochistic Pilates exercises my trainer has taught me. I quietly dress without shining any light into the baby’s room and head out like a mouse. Almost. More like a mouse that dropped his iPod in the dark of the living room with a loud thunk on the hardwood floors.

5:02am: My precious collection of digitized Kid Rock is still intact. You can all breathe easier now.

5:07am: I leave the front door unlocked, stretch my hamstrings, and head down The Hill. I capitalize “The Hill” because this thing is big enough that grown men over the age of 30 have been seen tossing tennis balls down it for half an hour just to see how many blocks they’ll roll. Well, not entirely grown men. But they were over 30, and hopefully, nobody else saw it.

5:09am: Twenty feet away from the house I pass a man with a raincoat, big-framed glasses, and some sort of fishing hat pulled low over his head. He’s carrying a long, shiny aluminum case with reinforced joints and corners. Kind of exactly like the case I carried on Halloween when I was dressed up like a Mafia sniper. I realize I’ve left the front door unlocked for a house full of sleeping and infant type people in a neighborhood where hit men apparently walk home after a busy night of offing stool pigeons.

5:10am: My worry ends abruptly when I realize the two show-quality Chinese fighting dogs (Sharpei) my hosts own will disembowel any unknown visitors.

5:11am: I breathe even easier when it hits me that the mysterious guy is probably just a Seattle city employee whose job is to tranquilize anyone who fails to have their requisite espresso injection every hour. Ewan’s house has an excellent view of several coffeehouses along this street.

5:29am: I’ve almost made it to the top of the opposing Hill and am contemplating whether or not my Completion Complex will require me to walk the last forty feet vertically to the absolute top of The Hill.

5:34am: I stand in the middle of an entirely desolate street at the very top of the hill opposite my godson’s home, directly under a flashing red all-way stop light. I contemplate whether or not I have a Completion Complex about having a Completion Complex.

5:40am: Turning around to return, I note what a swanky neighborhood I’m in. I walk past an expensive new house that I saw them pour the foundation for a few days ago on my last walk up this hill.

5:41am: I remember Alan telling me that there’s an old decommissioned military base here. Before reverting to the city, the Federal goverment had to offer the land to a local Native American tribe who wanted to build housing for tribal members who were living in the city. These neighbors refused, probably because they thought they’d be living next to a bunch of drunk Indians. It was no surprise to the tribe that these same neighbors rejected their proposal to put a casino there. A pity really, since these are the same idiots who voted to reduce their car tag tax down to nothing and now they’re scrambling to find money for ambulances, police, and fire departments. They could have used the extra tax revenue that a casino deal would have inevitably brought.

5:51am: I’m home. At least, home on the West Coast. Time to leave this place and go back to where my body clocks works.