you should be an absurdist writer because I’m getting to know Seattle

I just took a walk around my neighborhood. I live on the edge of downtown. There is a downtown park one block away, kittycorner. It has a great big series of fountains and some trees and flowers and a good view of three skyscrapers. The fountains are made to be loud enough that you don’t hear traffic. It works perfectly. When I’m in that park I think the whole world is just a fountain and three pretty skyscrapers with clean windows.

I saw a girl go tromping by. She was wearing a black skirt and carrying a closed umbrella. She was carrying the umbrella exactly like it was a rose. Like it was a rose that bored her because it was the seventh rose she’d received from admirers in seven days.

Another girl came by walking her pit bull. It was black and she was wearing black. Her hair was colorful though, like an African flag. Green, brown, and orange. She had dreadlocks. She was white. She leaned over to look in the fountain. It’s like a series of concrete waterfalls more than a fountain.

It is a cold and bleary day not worth going out for but I saw two fathers alone with their kids come and show them the fountain. Hold them right up to the edge so they could really see it and not be frustrated that they could almost see it all but not quite. Think of how many terrific fathers there must be in the rest of Seattle if I saw two downtown in a quarter hour.

I thought I liked Seattle before I came here. The first time I came here I was ten and I got to ride on a boat for the first time, see shrunken heads and two mummies, go up the Space Needle wearing a Star Wars shirt, meet my rich aunt and uncle, my cousin who was a magician, and see a killer whale. So I thought Seattle was really neat. I think it’s even better now. I just wish it would rain more. People who have lived in Seattle don’t like it when I say that. I can’t say “People from Seattle” because I’ve discovered that no one is from Seattle. They all moved here from Montana, Nebraska, New York City, and other places. They act like it’s their town though. I don’t like that. It reminds me of where I’m from. I could live in Seattle for forty years and if someone asked me where I was from I would say New Mexico because that’s where I’m from. You never get to change that. Hell, I feel funny having WA plates on my car. I think it’s like cheating. I wish people would tell the truth about where they’re from and not act like they’re better than you because they thought of moving to Seattle before you did. Anyway, why do they stay if they don’t like rain? Let them go to Arizona with the rest of the assholes.

I love Seattle anyway because these people don’t come around much and I just usually meet folks at the fountain who are much more honest about everything. I also love Seattle because you can count on certain Seattle clichés. All the coffee in Seattle is good. My apartment is small and smells like coffee because even the cheap kind that I buy is overly good and causes me to drink it too often.

Across the street from my apartment in the Church of Jesus, Scientist. That’s what it says on the side of the building. I like to imagine Jesus with beakers and Pyrex tubes and a blue flamed Bunsen burner. He would be wearing thick protective glasses and a white lab coat and working hard. His name tag would say: Jesus, the Christ, R&D. I think he’d make a lousy scientist but everyone in the lab would like him a lot and feel sorry when he got fired finally for being such a lousy scientist.

Writing about absurd things is the easiest thing in the world because all you have to do is look across the street and you’ll see something absurd. If you can teach yourself to be honest you’ll probably find plenty of absurd things in your own house. You won’t even have to make anything up like science fiction writers do. I highly recommend becoming an absurdist writer. Or a romance novelist. There will always be lonely women in the supermarket and other absurd things to write about so these are my best recommendations.

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