commuting.

You leave the house with Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047 to accompany you. Leave at 7:45. It’s about a 40 minute walk to work, so you allow five minutes for…unexpected events. Like dogs. Which you find. Madison Market…Golden Retriever and Springer Spaniel, tied to the post while their parental unit shopped. Oh so cuddly. You scratch their ears, get some kisses, explain to them that you’d love to spend more time, but you must go to work. So, standing up, you replace your headphones, give them small scratches between their eyes, resume walk.
You make your way down Pine, exchange smiles with the local fireman as he raises the flag at the fire station. Hear the cacophony coming from the demolition team as they tear down what used to be the Foley Sign Company. They are fortunately leaving the facade intact. The facade of the building must be nearly 100 years old, and in Capitol Hill, with all of the new condos being built, historical preservation is becoming very important.
Crossing 11th and Pine, green light, you are nearly run down by a swarm of bicyclists running a red light. You will find this extremely hypocritical considering recent events. You consider yelling at them, but pause. What good would it do? It won’t change their behavior. Besides, they weren’t wearing helmets. They’re obviously careless. Karma and all…anyway…
Make your way to Broadway, wondering where Superman was. Maybe it was his day off…perhaps he was sleeping in. Just then a very, um…rotund…drag queen walks up…you think to yourself…my, she’s out early…she says to you, “well good mo’nin there baybaydawwl!” You say “good mawnin beautiful!” with a big smile and remember why you love living on the Hill. Walk by all the odd little store fronts looking in even though they have the same things every day. Weird furniture, acrylic moose heads, vintage shoes, pet supplies, an old-school Lite-Brite you’ve thought of buying more than once, pretty-boy designer clothes, a very pink store that is so pink it’s blinding and you don’t even bother to look in, a baguette shop with cute paintings of dogs, a shop with Indian teas and exotic spices and incense, a Yoga studio, and Bauhaus, a cafe you’ve frequented more than once, sketchbook in hand. You make your way through the crosswalk, passing the leash-free dog park, surveying the pups romping about this morning, always wondering if non-dog owners were allowed. Sometimes, after work, you’ll catch your friend Boon (Carrie) in there with her dog Fire, stoked because you now have an “in” which is nice…one day there were a couple of gorgeous Dobermans and an adorable Japanese Mastiff to play with. Much slobber.
Heading down to Boren, you see the Paramount sign, always meaning to look up the history of the building but forgetting by the time you get to work. Which isn’t unusual. You usually get wrapped up in Wikipedia about something else. Heading down Boren, you can see your building, you just have to make your way through the random, intermittent craziness first. One thing you will notice is the women who wear stiletto heels to work. They have to somewhat hobble down the hill on Boren trying to balance themselves, precariously minding the uneven concrete. You acknowledge that high-heeled shoes can be sexy, but for cocktail parties, not hobbling like drunken sailors down sidewalks in Capitol Hill. That’s better suited for the people who actually are drunk on Capitol Hill at 8:15 in the morning, who love to holler and dance about at the bus stop on the corner of Fairview and Denny. They’re there every morning. Sometimes you feel like you need to pay admission.
There’s always a lot of traffic on Denny. There’s always a lot of people honking at each other and cutting each other off and riding the ass of the person in front of them. People resting their temples on their fists as they scream at the person in the car in front of them as if they could hear them. As you think about your morning…as you stroll down the tree-laden streets, looking up at the reddening fall leaves and the people beginning their days, going to school, walking down sidewalks, girls looking in shop windows to put their eyeliner on, reading books at bus stops, sitting in front of cafes with their laptops, people walking their dogs, getting their morning coffee, skateboarders, coming, going, walking, running, doing, living…in a 40 minute walk to work you get to see it all. People. Life. You walk into work, sit down at your desk, face flushed from the walk, greet coworkers, feeling like a human being…a being full of life and energy, ready to start your day…as opposed to an automaton who mechanically makes their way through the office sitting down at their computer just going through the motions with a Starbucks cup in hand.

How was your commute?

*I realize most don’t have the luxury of living 1.8 miles from their job…so this post is inapplicable to you =)

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