rough neighborhood, huh.


i'm out of shape. i get winded just walking up a small hill, or else a flight of stairs. i decided today that i would try and run for a little bit. i would run to emily's house. this ended up with me running for about a block, and then i would stop and swear i was going to have a heart attack or worse, throw up. it took me almost an hour to get to her house. a healthier person probably could've done it in about twenty minutes.

after passing the soccer field in georgetown, this blonde girl ran up to me. as she did this, all i could think was, i'm either going to get conned, or this will turn into a movie-like romance. she was all hipstered out, and looked like a character straight out of a 1920's black and white silent film. "do you know where 13th and bailey is?" she frantically asked. i pulled the headphones out of my ears. "umm," i said. "either 13th or bailey," she said. "i think bailey is back that way," i said, pointing behind me. but then i remembered that i was wrong. "actually, it's that way," i said, pointing ahead of me.

"i'm just trying to catch the 60," she said. "oh, you can catch the sixty down there," i said, pointing toward michigan street. i thought at that point we would walk together, so i put my headphones away. instead, she said "thanks!" and added, "i hate georgetown!" then she towards michigan street. she didn't even bother to stick around and ask me where on michigan she should turn - left or right - but i saw later that she went left.

emily took me home before nine so i could deal with two dudes who were going to stop by my apartment to pick up my couch. they called at nine. "we're gonna be an hour late," the guy said. "we're shooting a documentary here in renton, and we're gonna be a little later than expected." "how late?" i asked, masking my annoyance. "probably an hour, an hour and fifteen." "alright," i said, "i'll be here." "sorry about that," he said. "no problem," i said.

less than an hour later, the two dudes showed up, just as they had promised. i shook their hands. matt and jeff or something like that. the couch was for their friend rachael. i imagine rachael must have been really hot to have two dudes come pick up a heavy-ass couch at a stranger's apartment in columbia city for her. one dude was wearing a blazer with jeans. the other dude was wearing a checkered sweater and blue shoes. his whole outfit probably came from zumiez.

"smells like subway in here," the dude with the blazer said. "yeah," i said, "it sucks." "yeah," he said, "it would probably get annoying after a while." my apartment smells like subway. that is one bad thing about my apartment. the dudes got to lifting the monstrosity out of my apartment. luckily, it only took them two tries to get it through my doorway. i helped a little bit, but not really. blazer said he was gonna go to his truck to get the bungee cords or something. i stood in the hallway with the couch and the zumiez kid. we got to talking.

"so, are you moving out, too?" zumiez asked me. "yeah," i said, "eventually. i don't know when. i'm just trying to pare things down." "oh." "you guys live in renton?" i asked. he looked somewhat afraid when i asked him this. maybe it was his first time meeting a craigslister and he assumed we were all sexual predators. "i live in lake stevens," he said, quietly. i like to think that he was thinking, please don't have your asian gang pay me a visit there. "cool," i said. "are you guys in school?" "yeah." "where do you go?" i asked. again, he looked uncomfortable with me giving him the third degree.

"we go to the art institute." "cool," i said. "yeah, it's pretty awesome," he said. "you know, like a lot of people don't really know what they want to study or what they're gonna do with it..." yeah, you're talking to one of those people, asshole. "but you know, i've always been into video and being creative. it's really great to be creative and everyone knows whether they're going to be an editor or director or whatever." what a nice kid, i thought. i wonder if he'll still be so nice when he has his degree.

the guys loaded the nasty couch onto the back of their red pickup truck. i saw a black man crossing the street. suddenly, zumiez kid said, "this is a pretty rough neighborhood, huh?" i should've lied. yeah, this is the fuckin' worst part of seattle, man. i'm surprised the thugs on my block haven't shot your white ass down yet. you'd better haul ass out of here, man! get the fuck out while you can! "no," i said. "it's a good neighborhood. there are some nice restaurants down the block." it weirded me out a little bit, that this kid was afraid of a neighborhood like columbia city.

the sheltered children continue to plague us as a society.

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