Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Settled In

Photo courtesy of T. Turner

November 14, 2005
Dear Wichita,

Thought I would drop you a note, say hello. It's been almost four months since I left, but it seems like only yesterday I was staggering down your three AM streets, drunk on the cheap booze college dropouts tackle every weekend. So close and so far, some days I miss you, some days I get too wrapped up in the bustle of everyday life here in Seattle to even consider it.

It's nice here, not nearly as cold as Kansas but we make up for it in the constant mist that soaks me to the bone. I guess you could say that I traded in my Wichita jean jacket for a Seattle goretex. I'm bartending three nights a week at a fairly reputable pub downtown. Not a bad job, the downtown location gives me some pretty good tips. I'm also working at a Mom 'n' Pop bookstore on weekends, which is pretty cool. We sell used and new and totally attract the eccentrics. I guess a bookstore that is open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays will do that. A lot of odd hours, usually late nights, but it gives me a lot of time to work on my photography.

Yeah, photography, and not just random pictures at weddings and birthdays. I bought a new camera and am trying my hand at the 'art' of photography. That shit would never fly in Wichita hey? I know, maybe that's why I'm here instead. Nothing against Kansas but it wasn't much for the arts community and in Seattle everyone seems to have an artsy side to them. Or an outdoorsy side, one or the other. The girls here would be beautiful at a photography exhibit or crawling out of a tent after a night spent camping in the mountains. I'm just saying, is all.

I went to my first art show a couple of months back, a display of paintings by a local guy who calls himself Chavez, although he doesn't look at all Latino. It was interesting, I'll say that much. It took me a while, but I eventually figured out that the Seattle art community is broken into two camps, the corporate, big-money camp and the dirt-poor, struggling artist camp. Guess which one I fit into? I talked with Chavez for a bit, he seems like a decent guy and he is a pretty good painter too, sold some of his paintings for $200 plus. I'm still keeping my photography quiet until I figure out if I am any good at it. You probably don't care, but whatever.

I miss Wichita sometimes, mainly the familiarity of the streets and the up front personality of the people. Seattle has some good people, but they are harder to read at first. Everyone here seems to keep to themselves, or at least to their close circle of friends. I have met some interesting people here, but it isn't the same as when you've known someone since kindergarten. But I have only been here for a bit so maybe things will change.

I'm living in a bachelor apartment about a 20 minute bus ride from the downtown core, in a somewhat sketchy area of town. Not a bad place, the hot water is in short supply some days and the people across the hall from me cook with a lot of curry. But all in all, certainly livable. It gives me a sense of privacy, something I never felt in Wichita. Funny hey? Here I am, surrounded by thousands of people and living cheek to jowl with them in an apartment block, and yet I still feel like I have more privacy than I did in Wichita, where the empty prairie is never more than a half hour drive away.

I do miss the big sky of the prairie, but having the ocean so close is pretty nice, I gotta admit. I walked down to this area called Pike Place Market yesterday, a collection of pasty-white art kids and tourists hanging around coffee shops. Its pretty cool. I stopped for a coffee and read the paper, taking the occasional break to watch people go about their lives. Seattle seems to be a bit more contemplative that Wichita. Here I can sit and stare, think and watch, sipping good coffee, and no one finds me to be a bother. Coffee shops in Wichita are meant for old farmers who have nothing better to do than complain about the government.

Sorry. That was a little harsh. Kinda true though, you gotta admit that.

Anyway, the market is nice. I'll probably make it my haunt, maybe even look into apartments near it. Who knows, its all up in the air, which I am kinda enjoying. That is the main thing I love so far about Seattle, that the atmosphere seems a little more laid back than in Kansas. Hard to explain but it just feels that way. Maybe it is the rain that slows us down here, causes everyone to linger in the coffee shops just a few minutes longer. I don't know.

Anyway, its almost 1030 in the morning and I have to get going. I have a doctors appointment at 1115, just a checkup nothing serious, don't worry. I'll write again when I get the chance. Maybe even send some pictures if they turn out. Hope this finds you well and say hi to Mary for me.


Daniel. (Danny-boy!)


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