Jun. 19th, 2014

morleyroarly: (olympic)
The first intersection is the most dangerous. Cross Traffic Does Not Stop, and couples out walking their tiny city dogs are eager to weave their way home for dinner.

I upshift as I head down twenty-third. Toward the lake, toward the athletic ladies in Lululemon pants, toward the recycling scavengers with wide-brimmed woven hats and worn rubber gloves.

The intersection past Childrens' Fairyland is wide, spaced to accommodate a parade, a funeral procession, the turning radius of a grounded aircraft.

Along Grand Avenue, cyclists vie for first of the pack. Knobby tires grind ruthlessly past on the left. I slow to a stop, allowing a dashing elderly gentleman in wing-tips and a red v-neck sweater to claim the crosswalk.

Past the corner of Ahn's 1/2 Pound Burger where a young boy melts into the corner of the parking lot, leaning against an outsized bicycle, the seat nearly reaching his sternum. His faded blue button-down shirt and wide, straight pants remind me of the luggage porters at the train stations in India.

During sunny afternoons the corner by the colonnade is festooned with small dogs, drum circles, slackliners. At sunset the crowds have departed, leaving brimming cardboard trashcans and chalked designs on the sidewalks.

The girl can't be much older than 20, and she sits on the low stone wall at the edge of the lake serenading the sunset on her ukelele. Her red hair is matted and wispy, her skin pink with the warmth and color of the oncoming night.

Past the taco trucks at International, past the green bicycle lanes smeared with tire skid marks, past the apartment building on the edge of the estuary channel that climbs skyward with balcony after balcony, light after light, anonymous and pixelated.

The man with the plastic bags has strewn his collection across the walkway. Ratchet straps, insulated bib overalls, tangled headphones and aluminum cans. He shouts with joy as he throws his precious belongings onto the lawn.

Three police cars are parked on the sidewalk at City Hall, blue and red lights reflecting slowly off the marble walls. They lean against the hood of the largest SUV, in no particular hurry to prosecute anyone.

Fluorescent lights illuminate the entrance sign carved in gold script on rich brown wood above the mint green parking corridor of The Lakeside Regency Plaza apartments.

Turning the corner toward the north, the office buildings of downtown appear immovable against the fading grey sky. The Cathedral of Christ The Light, a giant upturned basket of wood and glass, stakes claim to the northeastern corner of city life.

I downshift as I turn left on 23rd, back past potholes and stop signs and the fragrant dumpsters behind True Burger.

The last intersection is the most dangerous. Cross Traffic Does Not Stop, and the ladies in too-short dresses and too-high heels are eager to find their parking spot and make their way to the club.


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