WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING RIDING A MOTORCYCLE IN A RAINFOREST IN OCTOBER!?!?!?!?!?
So I'm going to intersperse my fishing journal with my travel journal. I took notes while I was on the boat, so I can check back to them when I get the time. As it stands right now, I'm in a motel in Forks Washington drying out. The date is 10/25. Some damn fool got a bug up his butt to hit the most Northwest point in the continental United States. This damn fool, thought "hey, I've got a great tent, and a good sleeping bag, and all my bags are waterproof, so I can camp out in a rainforest." This man, who shall remain nameless, forgot to take into account that he is in a mountain range, in late fall, with constant precipitation (wet roads), where the nights, although they aren't freezing, aren't much warmer than 40 degrees either. The idea that he might be out here for more than one day never crossed his mind either. Options: build a fire, wake up cold and pack a wet tent again, OR find the cheapest motel in all of Washington State. Admittedly, it's not called Generic Motel, these guys were a little more creative. They called it Town Motel. Some might call this cheating, I call it avoiding hypothermia. I was actually warm for a little bit. Someone was burning about 3 acres of stumps, and the breeze was blowing the hot air (and smoke) across the highway. I pulled over to stare at a hill full of fires. A pyromaniac's dream, there were dozens of huge glowing red embers spotting the side of a mountain and popping glowing ashes 2 stories into the air.
My week to date starting on Thursday: I went to a local motorcycle club called the Cretins. These cats all ride cafe racers (which is what mine is). I didn't buy a beer all night, they were impressed by my ride from Baltimore. I proceeded to get into a fight with a guy. It was boxing night, so the fight was encouraged. The fight is on YouTube, do a search for cretins boxing, and it's Pete vs Micah. You get a great shot at my brand spankin' new bald spot at the end of the fight. I think that I fought like a girl. If you look real hard at my legs in the first round, you'll see my right knee lift up and then go back down. It's not always easy to remember that you're boxing and not fighting. I was introduced to this club by Bob, the owner of SeattleCycleSalvage.com (I THINK, VERIFY THAT ONE). Bob sold me a shock and told me where to go in L.A. for more cretinous fun.
Friday: Went to the Wine Shop on 24th to hear a gentle, kind and beautiful woman sing and play piano. Her name is Mary Lydia Ryan. Her voice is outta sight! She is on Myspace, as are a sampling of her tunes. If you can't find her online, email me, and I'll put you in touch. The bar is owned by Aaron, who has the deepest laugh lines of anyone in Seattle. He also has a great beer and wine selection. His is the only establishment at which I have seen Saison DuPont, the last truly Belgian beer I had before leaving Baltimore. When I wasn't enjoying a chipotle brew, a french red and the music, I spent the rest of the night getting eyed up (and patted down) like a piece of meat by an exceedingly drunken woman. Drunk chicks are cool, being eyed up like a piece of meat is cool, having people offer to take care of me if I stay in seattle (this woman was VP in a very successful business) is cool, one at a time all of these things are quite fun, nay can end well. I take issue with drunk chicks offering to take care of me while eyeing me up like meat. I've been the guy to wake up the next morning, not remember who I kissed or why, and then receive angry phone calls saying that I didn't fulfill the obligations that I made while drunk. Thank you no, I'm tired of being jilted.
Saturday: did stuff
Sunday: did other stuff
Monday (backstory): A week prior to this day, I was in the cafe beneath the Panama Hotel ($50 per night). This is my usual haunt when I'm typing from Seattle. A knockout redhead steps in and orders a drink. When I say knockout, I mean this girl is better than a 10, she goes to 11. On this long and glorious trip, I've been doing quite a bit of thinking about my life, more specifically, women in my life. I've been good at getting beautiful women in my life. But there has reliably been a physical something a little off about these girls. Some of them have had amazing bodies, but huge noses, some of them have had gorgeous faces and strong legs, but are a little overweight, some have been beautiful in every way, but too young for a real relationship, some of them have cute faces and flat stomachs, but their calves are monstrous, some of them are perfect in every way, but married to a guy that I will never be. Consistently, I have chosen to date women that are just good enough. I haven't yet successfully gone for that ideal brass ring. I haven't reached out and touched the greek ideal, complete with golden ratio. That girl that has the drum playing every time her hips swing, that is so unutterably breathtaking that crowds fall silent as she walks by. And I'm watching this woman stare at photographs, and look at newspaper clippings, hearing the drums with every step that she takes until their sound fades into the night outside the doors of the cafe. The pounding of her hips still echoing in my ears, I figure that she has gotten her skinny caramel double mocha, and headed off to do whatever it is that angels do... so I step out for a smoke. Cue bass drum, because this muse of human achievement is on the phone, pacing just far enough away from the glass front as not to be noticed. When she hangs up, I ask her "what are you waiting for?", and she tells me "my friend."
Her friend is Mary (the aforementioned pianist).
The girl that floats instead of walks is Kristen.
I invited them both to go swing dancing.
I had no idea where or if we could go swing dancing in Seattle on any day of the week (let alone Monday), I just knew that I wanted to have more than a mere 45 seconds of conversation with both of these exceptional people.
Monday: Mary Kristen and I were supposed to go swing dancing. Mary was (lamentably) unable to join ("if I could eliminate sleep from my calendar, I'd have so much more time to have fun!"). Kristen and I wound up dancing (she remarkably better than I) for a couple of hours, and then out to "Beth's cafe" for milkshakes. The service (and patrons) looked like The Ottobar, the layout, The Bel Loc Diner, and the decor was that of a kindergarten classroom. Every square inch of wallspace was covered in an 8 1/2 X 11 piece of paper with something hand drawn on it. It was at Beth's cafe, that I discovered why my success rate with women that go to 11 is so poor. When I'm sitting across the table from them, I can't finish a sentence. What keeps going over and over in my head is "by God you're gorgeous". I don't listen so well either, because what keeps going through my head is "by God you're gorgeous". My remedy for this malady is to sit across the table from as many angels as I can until what goes through my head is no longer just "by God you're gorgeous", but becomes the thrust, parry, and riposte of amazing conversation. We finished our milkshakes, and she excused herself to go and do whatever it is that angels do. I hope that Kristen's percussionist enjoys his job, he's not going to get a vacation anytime soon.
Tuesday: Packed up and rolled out. I may never see Kristen or Mary again, but for a split second, they both made Seattle a bright and sunny town for this traveler.
Questions?, Comments?, Hate Mail? Send it to Pete or John
11/18/06 Issue 17 - Moregon
11/06/06 Issue 16.2 - Metal Ist Krieg!! Cont'd
10/31/06 Issue 16.1 - Metal Ist Krieg!!
10/27/06 Issue 15 - Cape May to Cape Flattery or
10/23/06 Issue 14.2 - 2 days in dutch and the steam out
10/17/06 Issue 14.1 - Seattle to Dutch
08/25/06 Issue 13 - Holy Mackerel!!!
08/22/06 Issue 12 - Ever heard the verb shunt?
08/18/06 Issue 11 - Close but no cigar
08/14/06 Issue 10 - On the hunt
08/09/06 Issue 9 - I've really been at my parent's house this whole time.
08/07/06 Issue 8 - Nooooorth Dakota where the wind comes sweeping down the plains
08/02/06 Issue 7 - Grooves, Grates and Gravel
07/30/06 Issue 6 - Moon Over Parma
07/28/06 Issue 5 - I LEAVE TOMORROW!!!!!!!
07/24/06 Issue 4 - Why Jersey, and what's the holdup?
07/23/06 Issue 3 - Is this fraud? and Welcome to Delaware
07/22/06 Issue 2 - MVA, Headaches and Miracles
07/21/06 Issue 1 - Mission Statement