May 1st – Downtown – No injuries from anarchists but I did stay mostly indoors. The Seattle P.D. said they broke up an altercation between clowns and superheros. They weren’t joshing. Windows open, the smell of fresh air and the hum of hovering helicopters.
May 2nd – Downtown – Crazy notion to try on jeans even though I know jeans are not my friend. After reasoning with myself that Cruella de Vil wouldn’t wear jeans so why should I, I leave the stuffy, uncomfortably warm store that sells ill-fitting stupid jeans. A gardener waters flowers igniting the buried smell of potting soil, one of my favorite smells.
May 3rd – Ballard – Raw fish and floral cocktails.
May 4th – Capitol Hill – My birthday begins with brisket biscuits and ends with at least 7 courses in Ballard where the food is good and the music is that of a soccer mom’s iPod. All of the smells of this special day were divine.
May 5th – Underground (seriously) – Dusty and dank can’t be covered up with Pine-Sol.
May 6th – Downtown – Heat in Seattle makes people react like drunks. You just never know who’s going to the be fight’n kind or the love’n kind. I see both on a sweaty walk to the market. A man kicked out of target throws hundred dollar bills into the streets threatening the lives of anyone that dares to pick them up. Closer to the abode, a man asks me if I want to taste his “terrible apple” which is really a naval orange.
May 7th – Downtown – It smells like rotting garbage outside. I hate it but Moxi loves every second of breathing it in. A buzzed lady, in all seriousness, asks me to trade shoes with her. I didn’t. But, we both wear the same size but if we traded, she’d would have gotten the better deal. I’m no dummy.
May 8th – Waterfront – The perfect weather has convinced me that I live in a perfect place. I’m quickly approaching my 5 year anniversary of living in Seattle. I kept driving until I smelled saltwater and that’s how I ended up on this pier today, breathing in saltwater and admiring mountains kissing clear blue skies.
May 9th – Pike Place Market – More flowers than ever have been crammed into the market in anticipation that you’ll honor your mother. I stop dead in my tracks as a woman opens the back doors of a van stuffed with purple Japanese irises. Their perfume takes over. I lost my grocery list then and there. It flutters in the waft of irises.
May 10th – Pioneer Square – Exploded mayonnaise packets line the sidewalks. The air smells mineral…rusty…bloody. Butchers.
May 11th – Capitol Hill – On a leisurely walk covered in ELdO Jasmin et Cigarettes, I find myself accidentally trapped in one of those random Seattle “Take Your Pot Plant Out for a Walk” marches. All of the pot smells! From living to dried to smoked in abundance. The smell of bookstores – paperbacks and brewing coffee. A warm day, a perfect day to eat tamales perfumed by banana leaves.
May 12th – Pike Place Market – Welcoming that rain on hot asphalt aroma, I walk home carrying a big ‘ole bag of salty, sandy mussels neé Penn Cove.
May 13th – Downtown – Lost in projects, the day outgrows me and I wish I understood the concept of “quit’n time”. A crock of re-hydrating pinto beans overboils. The entire floor stinks because of me.
May 14th – International District – Goths exhale the clove, cumin and nutmeg smoke of crackling Indonesian cigarettes outside the train station. Purple and teal coifs glimmer in the bright sunshine. A newspaper chases me down the sidewalk. Catching me at a red light, it spreads open on my feet reveling the face of Morrissey. I step on it.
May 15th – Downtown – A rather groggy day as a woman roaming the streets singing kept me up most of the night…so I thought. Startled from a deep sleep, I wake up my husband singing along with the woman that I believe is singing in the streets. When you wake up your entire family singing Sleater-Kinney in your sleep, it’s time to buy a ticket back to the South for some deprogramming.
May 16th – Ballard – I’m pretty sure I witnessed a homeless performance art piece performed by hipsters. Gentleman with an overly waxed handlebar mustache wears suspenders and some “ye olde fanny pack” thing. Squid ink cocktails and the smell of fancy olive oil. Ballard was trying too hard today and I wanted to kick it in the balls.
May 17th – Downtown – I’m working on something fun and my house smells like candied violets.
May 18th – Belltown – Talkative and full with charcuterie, I cross the street waving my arms in a fervent discussion. My enthusiasm and general love of life was post-poned by a stream of piss routed my way. A man gifted with a special talent to ruin perfect afternoons is walking, cursing with his pants dangling at his knees and aiming urine all at the same time. Take it from me, piss on Lanvins will terminate your evening.
May 19th – Pike Place Market – It appears tourists are scared of a little spring mist and hide in their hotel rooms watching Kevin Costner movies. I run rampant in the market getting my groceries in record time. I like to pretend I’m on The Amazing Race. I even have time to grab a Turkish coffee and enjoy its deep, syrupy aroma.
May 20th – Downtown – #170. The DMV is packed to the gills with B.O. I get my picture taken. The woman on my ID no longer looks like Xena. Heartbreak.
May 21st – Pioneer Square – A revenant of rocksteady music scrunches out of a forsaken boombox that sits alone on a small square of grass. Crackling staccato. Pothers of curing pork fill the muggy air.
May 22nd – Downtown – A cool, misty gloomy day gives me an odd sense of comfort. Trekking through the urban nebula, I’m told that I’m “perfect” by a vampire in teashades extinguishing his cigarette on a particularly sooty sidewalk with his pikes on Pike. As the stale smoke hits my nostrils and I process the remark, I find myself walking faster that I had planned to walk.
May 23rd – Downtown – In front of the computer all day, the hours are on speed and I’m not. A few sprays of Chanel Cristalle and red lipstick to cheer me up.
May 24th – Central District – Damp ditches. The smell of earth. A man collects empty vodka bottles from the bushes while singing hymns.
May 25th– Capitol Hill – Strong espresso and pate is what gets me through my last day in Seattle before I fly back to the South.
May 26th – East Nashville – Groggy and filled with dread, I find myself thinking of about avenues and byways that I haven’t thought about in years. This is the also the first time I’ve drove in about a year. Bonfires mix with honeysuckle breeze. Jack under the nose. Foam parties. I give dysfunctional motherly advice to the twinks that drive in from the rolling hills of Kentucky. Sex on the Beach. Drag queens waft by in Pink Sugar and Angel. Soaked to the core in squishy cowboy boots. 4:30 a.m. eating the Special at a truck stop with the type of haggard waitress you expect.
May 27th – Hills of Tennessee – Nostalgic humidity. Half a bottle of cheap hairspray has burnt my nostrils. Chili peppers. Captivating conversations with my 14 year old brother with Down Syndrome. He has a mustache now and hair in his pits. He’s pretty cool.
May 28th – Ennui in Tennessee – Silence bedeviled by the croaks of bullfrogs. Fireflies rhythmically dot the pitch-black abyss. Drunk on honeysuckle.
May 29th – East Nashville – Possessed by wanderlust and equipped with a rental Toyota, I find myself drawn to recollective places with familiar faces. Brisket and bitter beer. Queer BINGO. Karaoke. Cigarette smoke lingers in hair pillaged of volume by cruel humidity.
May 30th – Nashville – Thunderstorms, steel guitars, the smell of hot pavement and tires. I have a baby nephew that smells like sour milk and avocados.
May 31st – Nashville – Uniquely fulfilling trip back to a forsaken home that I’ll promise to reminisce. Buttery grits. Dummies, biscuits are for sopping. You should know that. Goodbyes in ruby red lipstick.