I have a folder on my hard drive called “File Me”. It’s a catch-all that I use for things that I don’t feel like organizing right at the moment, but will put in their proper places later. “Later” turned out to be last night.
Among the items contained within “File Me” was a folder labelled “February – blog later”.
Curious, I thought, and looked inside. Within that folder were a handful of photos, a scan of a wristband and an animated gif made from an old Mickey Mouse cartoon. Put together, they tell a story.
Oh yeah, I thought, looking at the images. Definitely blog later. I’ve included all of them in this article.
It’s hard to believe that these photos are from mid- to late February, not quite eight months ago. I flew to Seattle twice that month, spending a grand total of sixteen days there. Home had become a nice place to visit.
I have very vivid memories of the night my friend Jeannie drove me to place near the Sound. I breathed in lungfuls of cool night air and stood on locks over waters that would eventually flow into the Pacific, thinking that only a month before and a continent away, I was in a darkened emergency room. It hadn’t been that long since I was gasping like a fish on dry land, fumbling in the dark, desperately trying to reconnect the emergency call button and thinking “so this is what dying feels like”.
What with the bouncing between Eastern and Pacific time zones – twice, the late nights and early mornings associated with doing a presentation in front of hundreds of people, the countless (and expensed!) tumblers of bourbon and goblets of red wine and perhaps a whiff or two of pheromones, it’s all a big jumble in my head.
I visited a great-aunt, my late grandmother’s sister, whom I hadn’t seen in years. I made friends with the sweetest, most gentle dog with abandonment issues. My co-worker Paul and I gave one kick-ass presentation; we still get complimented on it. I jammed live on stage with the Bootie DJ crew at Chop Suey, playing accordion over a mash-up that used The Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams as the base track. The next week, I played with the band in the middle of Safeco Field.
Someone at Redmond said that I’d be an asset to their team and that I should transfer there. I gave it some serious thought.
I got perp walked into a meeting with a perturbed C-level executive. I had some heart-to-heart conversations with a lot of co-workers who were convinced that I was going to quit, including one with my manager that was only survivable through continuous shots of Wild Turkey. Oddly, at the time, while it would be a fair assumption to think I was going to leave, I was determined to stay.
I had two terrible, sleepless nights, slumped in my hotel room’s easy chair with a bucket of Coronas in ice at my side, staring at the highway to Portland and thinking “something’s got to change.”
(The Seattle Crowne Plaza’s room service has a “three chicken tacos and three Coronas in a bucket of ice” special for $20. Every hotel should have a deal like this for those long dark nights of the soul.)
There’s a even a hilarious (in retrospect, anyway) story about a non-date gone wrong that involves a Lotus Esprit, the pigeon-hole principle, too much booze, free fries, rotten timing, the accordion (naturally) and of course, a girl. I’ll tell it someday. It can’t ever hope to top “Worst Date Ever”, but it’s still a good one.
Oh yeah, and apple pancake with Jeannie. That was pretty good.
None of these photos will ever win any awards. Any decent photographer will tell you that they’re just vacation snaps, and they’d be right. But they’re special to me, because they tug at my soul. They take me back to a very tumultuous February.
As for the stories that go with the photos? I think I’ll let them “age” a little longer before telling them. I’m going to follow the instructions I gave to myself when naming the folder they came from: “blog later”.