Saturday, October 13

Day 282 — Dear Seattle:

[for Tuesday, Oct. 9]

dear seattle -- oct 9

There's something I need to say to you.

We haven't known each other all that long, or spent more than seven hours together, but I'm in love with you. I'm not sure how it happened, and I wasn't really expecting it. I've been in a serious relationship with Memphis now for almost three years.

Sure, I've met other cities. I had a few brief flings with New York, but it was just too overwhelming and dirty for me. Just last week I was introduced to Honolulu, and I have to admit, I had a fabulous time there. Honolulu is so laid-back, and so sun-kissed that it feels charmed and quite cut off from the rest of the world. I fantasized about what it would be like to leave Memphis and spend more time with Honolulu, and it was exciting. But also a little too drastic. So when I left and came back to Memphis, I was sure it was the right thing to do, even though a part of me was disappointed to return to my old routines.

But you. You've made me rethink everything about my life.

I mean, I've known all about you for years. You're legendary now. You used to be quiet and sleepy and hard-working but mostly underappreciated. And then several years ago, something happened to you and people started to take notice of your musical prowess. Suddenly everyone was talking about you and trying to get with you and figure you out, dissect your every move and extract the larger meaning, and assign traits to you that you didn't necessarily want. But you hung in there, and you seem to have adjusted well and not gotten completely self-important.

As I coasted over a hill with the sunrise to my back Tuesday morning, I saw you for the first time. And, not to be shallow, but you are absolutely beautiful. There's something moody and serene about you, something a little cold, but something so fascinating that I couldn't take my eyes off you. Each of your curves leads to an unexpected place, where there's yet more beauty to behold.

The sun bathed you in pink light that morning and as I saw you wake up, I felt like I was at home, and although I hadn't slept in more than 24 hours, I felt invigorated being around you. I imagined the rest of my life there with you, waking up and watching the sun rise, with Puget Sound nearby, cooling the air, and the mountain in the distance watching over us as we went about our day.

You've done a fantastic job of cultivating wonderfully open-minded and creative people to surround yourself with. They seem to be urbane and sophisticated, yet not too uppity. They seem liberal and tolerant and diverse. They're unlike many of the people around Memphis and Nashville, where the cultures seem much more traditional and conservative, and you can't put "fuck" in huge print, even in the alt-weekly.

And, Seattle, you recycle. And you're clean. That is so freaking cool. I know, it sounds corny. But Memphis, on the whole, isn't really all that into the environment. Memphis tends to prefer an empty paved lot to a grove of fir trees. It's just another way in which Memphis seems backward-thinking and old-fashioned, which just doesn't jibe with my personality.

As close as I feel to Memphis -- and we've grown very close these past three years -- I just can't shake the feeling that we're not quite meant for each other. I don't know. Maybe I'm still expecting too much of Memphis. It's happened before. I know there are a lot of things keeping it from being my perfect match. Poverty, thick summer humidity, stubbornness, corruption, deep wounds from the past. Memphis can sometimes act like Artax in the Swamp of Sadness, unable or unwilling to get up out of the muck and keep moving because the problems just seem so insurmountable.

And yet, Memphis' gritty determination and authentically creative attitude keep me tethered. They're the only things that keep me sane here. But I feel like you've got all that. And more.

I've never had another city tempt me the way you did, Seattle. And I've not been able to stop thinking about you since.

I'm sure people will come along and tell me bad things about you so as to soothe my aching heart. You're expensive, you like seafood a little too much, you live a little too close to a volcano, etc. But something's pulling me toward you.

I hope you feel it too.

Project 365

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from Seattle. I moved from home about 6 years ago, and not a day goes by that it is not in my heart. Thank you for such a love letter. It brings tears into my eye, as I wait to be reunited.

Memphis, I know. Its authetic in that American way, they laugh out loud (which does not happen so quite opening in Seattle) which is a great thing... but if you bonded with Seattle, you need to go. Expensive should not stop you.

Sat Oct 13, 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger TVonthefritz said...

You're such a good writer. This surely proves why I should work at the CVS.

Sun Oct 14, 01:20:00 AM  
Blogger fearlessvk said...

just do it. you're young. you're supposed to do crazy stuff like just up and move to seattle on a spur-of-the-moment whim

(need a roommate there? ;) )

Tue Oct 16, 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger TVonthefritz said...

You should do it! Being young doesn't require reason or logic. I'll come join you. We'll clambake and read stories to each other from The Stranger over coffee and bagels.

Tue Oct 16, 12:02:00 PM  

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