summer, I am going on a West Coast trip later this week, which will
surprisingly not feature me begging my father for money, sleeping
quarters, and “walking around money” in the SoCal. No sir. This trip
is to the Northern parts of the West Coast and will include two
places I’ve only seen in episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and live from-the-
set color commentary from the movie Elektra; Seattle and Vancouver.
I will be up in Seattle for something called Sea Fair, which
according to my friends, amounts to a huge party on boats in Lake
Washington. Knowing nothing about lakes, Washington, or Fairs via the
sea, I am cautiously optimistic that this won’t downgrade into large
scale bumper boats. Assuming I survive said Sea Fair, I will also do
other stuff in the city that may or may not involve the Space Needle,
which I understand involves neither needles nor Space, but does have
25 lightning rods on its roof. And I have been excited to visit
Vancouver ever since my junior year of college in which I ended up
seated next to a friend’s date (who was from that city) at our frat’s
Winter Formal dinner and we had this conversation:
Me: So…where are you from?
Me: Oh wow, Vancouver is beautiful.
Her, slightly more interested: You’ve been there?
Her, giving me a strange look: Oh.
Me, attempting to recover: But… I’ve seen tons of pictures.
Her, eyes down at the menu: Mmmm-hmmm.
Me, desperate: Um, yeah, tons…
(85 seconds of silence)
Me:…you guys have whales right?
Me, self-satisfied: Nice.
Anyway, this trip is not entirely about re-living semi-unpleasant
college memories. There will be writing as well. I will still be
working, although I’m trying to get at least a week ahead so I can do
less work, but I am also trying to start/finish a magazine story for
Boston Mag, and re-work this *&^$ part of my book that is frustrating
me to no discernible end. I don’t want to get into it, but it
involves most of Chapter 3 and the urge to delete nearly everything
in it. What– I wonder now– was I doing when I wrote Chapter 3? Was
I on hallucinogenics? Trying to write in couplets? Did I let my 15
year old self ghost-write? Frankly, friends, I am embarrassed.
Promise me–if you happen to accidentally stumble upon my computer
after I’ve been knocked overboard during the Fair of Seas– that you
won’t judge me.
Needless to say, I am hoping that a short story arises from the ashes
of this trip. As I envision it now, it will probably be called “Don’t
Grunge At the Ball,” and be loosely based upon the rise and fall and
rise of Eddie Vedder’s baseball career. I smell a Pushcart nomination.